UK car firm backed by Investment Dar is reportedly in discussions with Red Bull Racing
Kuwait-backed Aston Martin is reportedly in talks with Red Bull over a shock return to Formula One.
The UK-based car firm, which has Investment Dar of Kuwait as a 24 percent shareholder, has been in talks with Red Bull Racing, according to media reports, which suggest that a deal would see the F1 team run rebranded Mercedes engines in 2016.
The suggestion that Red Bull could switch from Renault to Mercedes engines has, however, been dismissed by Mercedes F1 non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
"A load of rubbish," the Austrian told Reuters at Sunday's British Grand Prix.
"We have not been asked, we never thought about it. That's it," added the triple world champion.
British magazine Autocar reported on Saturday that Aston Martin executives were in talks with Red Bull about a deal that would lead to the former world champions competing with Mercedes engines.
It suggested Red Bull, whose relationship with Renault appears to be at breaking point, would compete with Aston Martin branding along the same lines as the Nissan-owned Infiniti marque, which currently sponsors the team.
Mercedes have a five percent stake in British-based sportscar Aston Martin, famed for supplying fictional British secret agent James Bond with his cars of choice.
Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer and marketing head Simon Sproule were at Nissan when the Red Bull deal with Infiniti was done. The company's main shareholders are private-equity groups, Investment Dar of Kuwait and Italy's Investindustrial.
Aston Martin competed in Formula One unsuccessfully in 1959 and 1960.
Mercedes currently supply four teams, including their own, with engines while Red Bull are contracted to Renault until the end of 2016.
The French manufacturer has said it would honour its contract but was deliberating whether to quit the sport or become more involved by buying a team.