Newey: Red Bull blocked from Mercedes deal

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Adrian Newey speaking at the Watkins lecture today

Adrian Newey claims Red Bull evaluated a switch to Mercedes power for 2010 but were prevented from using the engines by rival teams.

The designer claimed Mercedes users McLaren and Brawn blocked a Red Bull-Mercedes deal.

Speaking at the Motorsport Safety Fund’s Watkins Lecture at Autosport International, Newey said the team considered the switch because of Mercedes teams’ performance advantage in 2009.

Newey said:

The Mercedes engine enjoyed a good advantage over the rest of the field last year. The lap time difference was significant – several tenths of a second. And when you have to find that kind of performance from the chassis, that’s quite a big ask.

But in the end Brawn and McLaren blocked us from having the Mercedes engine.
Adrian Newey

He said the team had also evaluated the new Cosworth engines but decided to stay with Renault for 2010 as the French manufacturer planned developments for its engine.

“We now have a good programme of development,” he added, and denied the discussions over which engine to use had delayed the development of the RB6.

Read more: Adrian Newey says banning double diffusers won’t help overtaking

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Newey: Red Bull blocked from Mercedes deal”

  1. With Mercedes engines, Red Bull would be unstoppable.

    1. I 2nd that, no wonder they blocked it…LOL

  2. He is right about the Mercedes engine having more power. Fast Fred will have to drive extra fast to make up for the lack of power in his Fiat.
    In Germany they have always made better engines than in Italy.

    1. I thought Renault was from Franch :-p

    2. Ferrari used to have the most powerful engine, it was Enzo’s philosophy. They had the most powerful engine right up to 2007/8, but during the ‘engine freeze’ Mercedes have caught up and probably surpassed them.

      I’d also say that Italian engines are on the whole better than German engines ;)

      1. i drive a fiat so i completely disagree.

        1. Seconded

    3. Mika Hakkinen from Indy 2000 can have something to say about the last sentence.

    4. The Mclaren reliability between 2000-2006 says that Germany haven’t.

      1. Reliability was an issue but mclaren were the fastest in the field. If the engines lasted they would be the best. The motors usually broke in the hands of Kimi raikkonen……strange. He has no luck.

  3. Well of course they’d block it, this is a competition after all!

    But I doubt Newey’s claim of “several” tenths a lap, maybe at Monza but that’s a one-off. The Red Bull wasn’t that much of a superior car to be able to hold off that kind of advantage. Also, the Renault had the best fuel efficiency, so it wasn’t all loss, especially given that the weight penalty for a lap of fuel is about a tenth in itself.

    I wanted Red Bull to get a Mercedes deal to make things a bit more equal, but if you have the same engines then you limit the scope to claw back laptime deficits through means other than copying what everyone else is doing. Ideally I’d like only one team per non-Cosworth engine, but we’d have to wait a few years until the costs of F1 come down.

  4. Yet another reason for me to dislike Mclaren and Brawn.

    Red Bull would be amazing with Merc engines, oh well I hope the Renault can improve next year.

  5. He would say that though, they still want to equalise the engines so expect everyone to complain about Mercedes’ power advantage – notice that Newey is keeping quiet about Renault’s fuel economy advantage though.

  6. The engine freeze really helped Merc if you remember how they got blown up if really stressed as Kimi often does :-( . So with the freeze they went on to concentrate on durability and less fuel consumption.

    Hope they continue in that way as I am a Merc as well as a McLaren fan ;-)

  7. I think Brawn and Mclaren are right!!

  8. And here we all where thinking that it was lewis making the car fast, but it was just the engine lol

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      15th January 2010, 15:28


    2. No I thought Lewis was the best. The motor is icing on the cake :D if this is what Newey claims

  9. I think Mclaren and Brawn had a right to block the engine deal with Red Bull. The Mercedes is the best engine on the grid, but not enough to say that the other engines on the grid are several tenths off the pace. McLaren had the fastest cars on the grid in 2007, and 2008, and that is why Lewis wins races, not because of a Mercedes engine advantage.

    The fuel economy of the Renaul engine won’t be that significant. All teams will qualify on low fuel, and they will all start the race on a full tank of fuel. I doubt the Renault engine saves any significant amount of fuel, as to play into a big race strategy advantage.

    1. Uh mclaren need a motor in their excellent chassis and it was mercedes which is apparently the best in the field. Lewis is the best in the field too, so that is a championship winning formula :D .

  10. “got blown up if really stressed as Kimi often does ”

    in fairness i think that was just kimi’s driving style. didn’t he pop a couple of red engines ealry last season?

  11. Is it me or does Red Bull change there engines alot? first Renault when they were quickest then to Ferrari cos they were the best now they wanted Mercedes engines.

    1. They had Ferraris before Renaults

  12. Actually Ratboy, Red Bull went from Ferrari to Renault as they passed the Ferrari contract onto Torro Rosso. But yes you are right in your statement that they change their engines alot

  13. I think if the aero is good for the Red Bull with a good upgrade engine,Newey can still fight back.

    Can anyone answer that what is the maximum number of teams a engine manufacture can supply?

    1. I believe it must be three which is why Red Bull was unable to use a Mercedes engine for 2010 as they already supplied engines to themselves, McLaren, Force India. However I always thought it was four, so i’m not sure on that one.

  14. I think we might find that redbull used the threat of wanting a merc or indeed a cosworth engine to help renault get the go-ahead from the fia to upgrade the renault engine,it was never in doubt that they would use it.

  15. Remember when we called Max, mad – when he suggest everyone use the same standard engine? Now we bitch that a forth team (half the 2009 grid) couldn’t use a Mercedes engine!

    Renault is the engine to have for next year, slightly down on power but really down on fuel consumption – someone work it out in their blog: 3tenths a lap!

  16. I think all motors have their strengths and weaknesses at circuits. But Mclaren who were partnered with mercedes for a long time couldn’t get the power or performance out of there 09 chassis until the end of the season. Brawn who were nobody and chose mercedes over ferrari basically dominated the first 7/8 races. But again Brawn had much more time to develop their 09 chassis compared to everyone else and I don’t believe that mercedes has a “several tenths” advantage per lap on everyone else. Newey should just say that he doesn’t like Renault after the reitrements *motor related* last year :D .

  17. Surely there is a conflict of interest when an engine supplier also has their own team, like Ferrari, Mercedes?

  18. How intriguing. I’m surprised at Brawn and McLaren. Interesting that Force India did not object. I wonder what the engine developments Renault are planning as I was under the impression that engine developments were frozen…

  19. I am soo happy.

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