Lewis Hamilton’s biggest rivals could be teaming up in 2021 after Mercedes decision

Lewis Hamilton may face a more difficult challenge for the world title next year as his two biggest rivals could team up to threaten Mercedes’s long-running dominance in F1.

Red Bull have found themselves without an engine supplier after Honda decided they will stop producing F1 power units from next year.

The Japanese firm have withdrawn their service to focus on greener energy.

Red Bull team were hoping to do a deal with Championship leaders Mercedes but Toto Wolff has rejected the proposal.

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“The main [reason] being that we are supplying four teams including us,” Wolff said.

“We are almost in a state where we cannot make power units for all of us, so there is no capacity.

“But I have no doubt that Helmut [Marko] will have a plan B, as he said, and probably doesn’t need to rely on any of the current power unit suppliers.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also explained that Wolff had “made it clear that Mercedes is not keen to supply an engine.”

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Max Verstappen and Alex Albon’s bosses do have an alternative solution as they are planning on turning to Ferrari for help.

The Prancing Horse have been Mercedes’ closest challengers during their seven-year dominance but have fallen away over the past 24 months.

Still, their engines are thought to be stronger than the rest of the field and with a Red Bull chasis, that will cause Hamilton an extra worry.

“It is something that we need to start considering now, I think we have not decided,” Binotto said of potentially doing a deal with Red Bull.

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“I think it will be down to Red Bull eventually to look at us and ask for a supply. They are a great team, no doubt, and I think supplying them is as well a lot of energy which is required.

“Timing-wise, there is very little time because we need to organise ourselves. 2022 is just here behind, so as we said, it was somehow sudden news from Honda and now we need to consider something that was not considered a few days ago.

“But [it is] something which we need to consider and which we need to take time to think about and have a decision.”

If Red Bull cannot find a new supplier then F1 rules state the supplier with the least customers must become the provider.

That would be Renault – a team Red Bull are desperate not to get back into bed with after parting ways in frosty scenes last year.

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