Cyril Abiteboul, Renault, Albert Park, 2015

Renault hits back at Newey “lies” over car trouble

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Cyril Abiteboul, Renault, Albert Park, 2015In the round-up: Renault motorsport chief Cyril Abiteboul accuses Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey of lying over the nature of the team’s problems.

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Etre dans cette situation est scandaleux (Auto Hebdo - French)

"Cyril Abiteboul said Adrian Newey's claim that Renault was the only source of Red Bull's problems was 'lies' and that he had 'spent his life criticising his engine manufacturers'."

Renault: No race-winning engine in 2015 (Autosport)

"I think it is no secret that Red Bull in particular is very aggressive in their development strategy. They try to get us to apply in the engine world what they apply in the chassis world."

Hamilton: Unfair to curb Merc (Sky)

"They did the job many years ago and now we are doing the job. It would be unfair in that sense."

John Watson: 'F1 has a major problem but is putting its head in the sand' (The Guardian)

"Bernie Ecclestone has done a phenomenal job for (owners) CVC but somebody needs to step in because of the dire state the middle and bottom of the grid is in. You can’t have a race with just four big teams. I’m unhappy with the governance from the FIA."

Hasta la vista, Melbourne (ESPN)

"We all realise he's got this mohican and I just feel like saying 'it's bloody hair, Lewis, nobody cares, it's a haircut'. It's like he's got an issue of photographers taking pictures of his hair."

Nicolas Hamilton confirms 2015 BTCC programme with AMDTuning.com (British Touring Car Championship)

"UK racing driver Nicolas Hamilton (brother of Lewis) will become the first disabled competitor to participate in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship."

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Comment of the day

There is a side to the pay driver debate which doesn’t come up as often as it perhaps should:

Is there a reason very poor drivers seem to have a lot of financial backing?

Surely it would make more business sense to put your money behind a talented driver?
Thomf1s

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  • 125 comments on “Renault hits back at Newey “lies” over car trouble”

    1. 1) I’m with you Cyril. “We’re in it together” should be the motto, specially since Renault only supplies Red Bull. Horner, shut up, and work your way out.

      2) It’s not ideal, but what else can Lotus do? you either sign up pay drivers or you lose 2 seats in F1. I rather have 2 more seats than a proper development programme. Again, it’s not ideal, but you got to pay the bills, man !

      1. It’s good to see Renault finally standing up for themselves after taking all the poison from Redbull for so long. They were happy to take ALL the credit when they were winning 8 Championships but now times are lean they want to shift all the blame at Renault. How does such a relationship work?

        1. @blackmamba
          To be fair, they were blaming Renault (for their poor straight line performance) when they were winning championships too.

          1. Yep @george and even when they were visibly equal on power going up the 23-second hill in Brazil.

            I’m looking forward to Horner’s “Yes no look” interviews this weekend. It’ll be “yes no look we’re all in it together” suddenly ;)

      2. @fer-no65 – Personally, I’d rather 2 less seats than 2 pay drivers. F1 is plodding along at the moment and using pay drivers puts a sticking plaster over the issue.

        The basic issue is that F1 costs a lot to run and despite making billions, the money is all kept by Bernie, CVC and the teams that already can afford to go racing. Whilst using pay drivers, the problem is effectively solved and allows this charade to continue.

        If the teams that can’t afford F1 dropped out, you’d be left with a tiny grid and Bernie/CVC would be forced to do something about it.

        1. They would finally have their excuse to do 3 or even 4 car teams is my guess.

        2. So you object to Alonso being in F1, do you? Wherever he’s gone, Santander has gone too and in 2010 they bought the drive for him. Even salaried drivers who don’t bring along personally collected sponsors bring more sponsorship to their team than their salary costs. These days, every driver effectively is a pay driver.

      3. He also said Newey is “has spent his all life blaming engine suppliers and he’s too old to change” touché!

    2. Renault and Red Bull are so political hot now…. I’m not even expect that to happen like this ! It thought shrinked grid will be the most political issues, anyway where’s Bernie now ?

      1. To me this is quite significant when a Senior Renault member accuses a senior Redbull member of lying. It lends more legitimacy to claims that Renault are shopping around for a team and by the looks of things they want to drop Redbull like a hot potato. Seems they can smell the coffee that Redbull are on the way down and this might be the perfect time for a quickie divorce, just like Vettel did.

      2. i think redbull are making arrangements for next year, for a ferrari engine. if honda falters the whole year, i predict alonso in a redbull ferrari next year.

        1. Red Bull will never have a Ferrari engine. They would be in direct competition and would likely beat them. This is the reason why Red Bull are threatening to quit – at the moment they are stuck with Renault.

          McLaren’s deal with Honda probably states that they can veto who Honda works with and Mercedes and Ferrari don’t want to make Red Bull quicker and don’t need the money.

          1. can you see Ferrari putting up with RB complaining about a Ferrari engine like they do Renault, they would just tell them to pee off,
            definitely time RB took off a bit of down force and let the engine speed increase for a change, for Renault its like towing a parachute down the straight due to the drag of the down force,

      3. It’s rather unfortunate it has come to this but I guess it was bound to happen. There is only so much Renault can take.

        When it goes good, it’s Redbull’s and Adrian’s ingenuity but as soon as it goes bad, blame Renault.

        It had to come to an end someday. Glad to see Renault finally standing up for themselves and if they go further, as someone suggested, to drop Redbull, I guess one can say the team brought it upon themselves.

        Renault deserves accolades for the years of success, whether they have the best engine or not.

        1. That’s true, there is a saying “after the sweetness is gone, the pulp is thrown up.” Which resembles the situation of RBR and Renault.

    3. Lewis’s hair I suspect is actually quite simple: a few years ago he looked like he was going quite bald in front, and kept it very tightly trimmed. Then he spent a very long time totally covered up with massive hats all the time. Now he’s got a big wall of hair. Has he got plugs in? He’s always seemed a bit insecure at media attention and shy, so that might explain it.

      If so, it’ll come out eventually. Wayne Rooney probably had the right idea with just being open about it.

      1. You read my mind Hairs! Ive been saying this to my old man for 2 years now!
        No shame in it if he has got plugs

        1. yes there is, im going bald and think that would be the most shameful thing, just be yourself and dont be insevure.

          1. What if being yourself is being insecure!

      2. exactly, his procudure was pretty effective, my guess is something advanced in Dubia that the western world still doesnt allow.

        Either way the man paid a lot of money for it and he should have the right to make sure it looks like it.

      3. No, he doesn’t have to be open about it cause he is not obliged to. He is not in a public office where he is spending public money that he has to declare. People have to get away from this idea that famous people owe every aspect of their lives to the masses.

        1. I’m not suggesting that at all. The problem with hiding something like this is that people can see there is hair where before there was none, so it’s effectively impossible to hide!

          1. @hairs yeah right, you are just worried about his wellbeing. What consequences could there possibly be if he doesn’t make a press release about his hair immediately?

            1. @blackmamba I’m not sure I follow this one at all. There’s an article in the roundup where a photographer wonders why Lewis is behaving strangely around photographers and doesn’t like being photographed, particularly his hair. I’ve merely suggested a reason why that might be the case.

      4. Nice expert analysis on hair @hairs ;)

        1. @hairs has been waiting at least 5 years to write that comment :)

          1. Or waiting for hairplugs…?

      5. Duncan Snowden
        25th March 2015, 19:59

        “… it’ll come out eventually.”

        They don’t tell you that on the adverts.

    4. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      25th March 2015, 0:14

      Regarding comment of the day the backing for poor drivers more often than not comes from either a direct relation/business close to the driver (One random specific example is Max Chilton getting his backing from his Dad/Dad’s business). Lots of pay drivers over the years have been similar, with backing coming from a parent/rich ancestor or even their own personal wealth. Either that or it’s nationality related, whereby a company/person will just benefit from having X from Y country marketed in F1, even if they’re rubbish.

      1. Here’s an example of what just having your name briefly associated with F1 can do for your profile:

        https://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore#q=luiz%20razia&cmpt=q&tz=

      2. I guess more to the point the question is why do the terrible drivers seem to be the ones who get signed up for these roles? There are plenty of pay drivers who are good, as Nasr showed the other weekend, and even Pastor, with his reputation, is still a very, very quick bloke! But the combined GP3 points tally of Carmen Jorda and Adderly Fong over the past 2 or 3 years is 2 points…Max Chilton, despite the derision he gets from most F1 fans, did at least see a bit of success in junior formula

        1. @thomf1s – We all know why Carmen Jorda is in F1 and it’s nothing to do with her ability or previous record. Adderly Fong is in F1 because of his nationality – I’m not aware of other HK/Chinese drivers who are more deserving of a seat….

    5. I know that it can be refreshing sometimes when drivers say what they think, but Bird and Razia reactions to the signing of Fong is just unprofessional and tacky. I know that this sport is unfair sometimes, but instead of acting like 13 year olds on Facebook they should just keep their heads down and work hard towards their own goals.

      1. It’s sam bird. What did you expect?

    6. I believe it’s Renault and Red Bull have themselves to blame. Renault engine lacks a bit of pace and Red Bull has a poor car deign.

      1. yeah, but unfortunately with out as an, or more efficient motor, RBR will be hard pressed to produce a better chassis, and that’s pretty much how it is. The motor is the heart of the car, given the current rules, RBR cannot afford to run as much drag as Merc, and cannot compete because of it. That’s the reality of it all, Renault do not have the advantage they did before the change in formula.

        1. 1st line should read: yeah, but without relatively the same efficiency, or more, RBR will be hard pressed to produce a better chassis (aero).

      2. @warner16 – What evidence is there that the Red Bull is a poor car? I’m not saying it isn’t – just wondering where the info came from?

        1. The pace of the Toro Rosso? @petebaldwin

        2. The Toro Rosso Pace, as they were lapping ruffle the same as the Red Bull’s in the AUSgp

    7. Re: COTD

      Pay drivers are backed usually by family/powerful connection(usually related to nationality). It has nothing to do with the quality of the driver, but there’s more of a chance that a pay driver will be bad when he’s supported by his rich family because they will support their baby boy’s passion regardless of the scope of his talent. Example: Chilton and many others

      Now drivers supported by powerful connections have a bigger chance to turn up good. As Nasr said, his family never had money so he always relied on Brazilian sponsors to advance his career. Obviously he had to deliver the goods to retain the support and that’s not entirely dissimilar of the Red Bull scheme

      Same about Perez and Gutierrez who were supported by Carlos Slim.

      Don’t know who Eriksson backers are, but until he stalled at GP2 level he was considered a prospect to become the next Peterson, so it’s easy to see how he would get some wealthy motorsport crazy Swedes excited about him

      Maldonado, with all his stupidity, is the fastest Venezuelan driver ever IMO with due respect to the original Cecotto

      So, pay drivers are supported for a reason. Although, sometimes, that reason isn’t something neutral fans can understand or agree with. And sometimes those who labelled pay drivers aren’t pay drivers at all. Nasr is labelled as such by some only because he didn’t win GP2. But he won FBMW on his first attempt and F3 on his second. If he went to F1 straight after 2011 as test driver in 2012 and race driver in 2013, no one would’ve dreamed of that. Instead he would be named the perfect driver: 2 championships in 3 years of car racing AND Banco do Brasil? Wow!

      1. @montreal95 To be fair, we’re overhyping Nasr because of one race in F1. He has had three seasons in GP2, arguably with the better teams available, and only won a handfull of races (Of which three from the reverse grid) in his third season. Even then got beaten by a rookie in Vandoorne who won the same amount of races in that season.

        1. @xtwl That’s precisely what I was talking about. People label him a pay driver because of GP2. But some drivers don’t do GP2. Would they label him a pay driver if he went to F1 test driver role and then race driver role(a.l.a Bottas) straight after he destroyed everyone in FBMW and F3?

          In motorsport you’re only as good as your last race, it is said. So if you only remember GP2 for Nasr, neglecting previous achievements, it’s only logical that some now remember Melbourne, forgetting GP2

          I’m not one of them. I thought Nasr was a damn fast driver before he arrived in GP2. Seeing him fail to win it in 3 years was a massive disappointment, precisely because of the high expectations I (and many others, including experts) had of him. But to see him labelled a pay driver is even more disappointing, and simply tells me that the average fan doesn’t pay enough attention to junior formulae

          I hear people even saying it’s not fair that Nasr is in F1 but Palmer isn’t. Excuse me? Palmer hadn’t had a junior career even half as impressive as Nasr. And Nasr beat Palmer when they were team-mates in GP2 in 2013 despite having a year less experience. Palmer is a classic example of a daddy-supported pay driver

          I’m not over-hyping him(or at all). One swallow doesn’t make a summer, and after GP2 Nasr has a lot to prove. But a pay driver he emphatically isn’t

      2. My point is there must be more successful drivers than Fong and Jorda Lotus could sign up for this “development Driver” role they have made up. the drivers you mention, Perez, Gutierrez, Eriksson and Maldonado, have all had some degree of success in their careers. Fong and Jorda have two points in GP3 between them.

        1. @thomf1s Sorry, I thought it was about race drivers. Regarding development drivers, it’s a role that allows you to put on team overalls, post pics of that to Instagram and maybe a few hours in the simulator. No driver serious about his career would agree to pay significant sums of money for a role like that. Only a hopeless one, with loads of cash, who wants to experience F1 to some degree. Basically it’s just a tool for teams struggling for cash to fill up their coffers. Both parties understand what they get from this(or at least I hope they do)

    8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th March 2015, 1:01

      Re: COTD
      I have also wondered about this for a long time. Seems that Nasr seems to be the only one I can think of that brings significant backing and can back it up with speed.

      1. There’s many many more examples than just Nasr, but the reality is that is just very rare that a company would sponsor a driver just based on talent because it is simply way too risky, even a young promising driver in a top team can be ditched overnight, just look at Magnussen.

      2. Grosjean, Perez and Maldonado are pretty quick pay drivers too

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          25th March 2015, 9:00

          Yes, I should have clarified that I meant of the relatively newer drivers like Erricson, Chilton and Gutierrez.

    9. JustOneMoreThing
      25th March 2015, 1:11

      I’m not sure This Day In F1 was 15 years ago. Cos that’s one hell of a come back from Ayrton Senna.

      1. it supposed to be 25 years ago. @keith

    10. JustOneMoreThing
      25th March 2015, 1:14

      Cyril Abiteboul said Adrian Newey is too old to change. However, he’s now changed to building fast yachts. He change change his career obviously. ( Even if he finds it hard to let go of F1 )

      1. The fact that he leaves F1 for building yachts itself proves that he is unable to accept change (albeit negative) i.e. reduction in importance of aerodynamics vis-à-vis engine or PU. Now that Renault built a dud of an engine in 2014 (as claimed by him, his boss et al), being the superior designer that he is he should have designed his car around the Renault PU. I mean he could have designed a car which could mitigate the shortcomings of the Power Unit and maximizing on what it has to offer. If he was up for challenge, he should have made a better package and prove himself than throw the hat in and leave for something else.

        1. Duncan Idaho (@)
          29th March 2015, 3:29

          So he should have known that Renault were full of it when they said they could close the gap and so designed last year’s car again?

    11. With COTD could someone please clarify this.
      As Fong wouldn’t be eligible for a superlicense next year, would people in his situation still allowed to be development drivers? Because seeing as he doesn’t have the qualifications to participate in a race weekend, for the FIA to allow him to be a development driver they have to recognise that no one has any intention of letting him drive the car.
      Are the FIA allowed to intervene in development/3rd driver cases?
      Obviously tests are ok so maybe my point is more applicable to tests/reserve drivers, not development drivers. Because surely they should at least have the option to drive for a Bottas in Aus circumstance.
      Essentially does this rule out someone like Jordan King ever being a reserve driver?

      1. @mickey18, there is no obstacle, since Development drivers do not necessarily do any driving. Possibly Fong will get to do a demonstration run in an old car, for which you don’t need a superlicense, but I doubt they will even let Carmen Jorda near their old cars.

        Honestly, I don’t know what these development drivers are thinking. They (presumably) spend a lot of cash just to be affiliated with the team, and spend some time in the simulator.

        You don’t need a superlicense for testing, either, but I am not so sure about the reserve driver role, however I suspect that has no official status with the FIA (and not with the teams, either, judging by how Lotus passed over their reserve driver Valsecchi in 2013 when they needed a stand-in for Kimi), so that would not require a superlicense, either.

        1. They (presumably) spend a lot of cash just to be affiliated with the team, and spend some time in the simulator.

          Their sponsors get some car space and screen time, they get an eponymous bullet point on their CVs that says they were ‘in Formula One’.

          The FIA only seem to have a few hard & fast rules – no more than 4 drivers may be entered by a team in a single season and each of them needs a valid super license to participate in an official race meeting (FP, Q & R).

        2. Yes well perhaps that’s a problem. Maybe the new license rules should extend to third drivers. Otherwise the FIA are admitting there are still drivers in the paddock unworthy of F1. We keep getting these rubbish announcements from teams whose drivers are obviously not there because they should be. If it’s ok for them to be a 3rd driver but not ok to drive in a weekend if they get the call up, that’s a bit silly. As you said, they are paying to be affiliated and for the CV but it disrespects the sport when even they know It’s impossible to drive because of the rules.

    12. Adrian Newey should keep his chin up. Things be could be worse, like they are for his former Repton schoolmate.

      1. You win! lol

      2. I see what you did there 😊. COTD! @keithcollantine

    13. So Renault say Newey lies when he states the engine is RB’s only problem. Then Renault admits it cannot develope at the rate RB develop. Sounds to me like Newey is right, RB might have some chassis issues, but the weak link in the chain is Renault.

      Lets not forget Renaults latest statements have a new political charge attached to them, they are planning on stepping back in with their own team. My suspicion is they are trying to drive the price of STR down a bit or perhaps make RBR a little less attractive to AUDI.

      1. I think you misunderstood Abiteboul. He wasn’t saying that Renault can’t keep up with the development speed of RB, he was just questioning RB’s approach to the development of the car.
        He claimed that it’s impossible to develop a PU like a chassis. You can’t just go to the racetrack, put some new parts on the PU and evaluate them on track, like you can with aerodynamic parts.
        It takes a lot more time and RB are very impatient. They want to push the development more than it can take and that’s their problem.

        1. It sounds to me like RBR is spoiling for a “material breach” scenario. They are making loud and public claims that Renault is not applying necessary updates, including ones they recommend. They want to walk away from their deal at the lowest cost and to be able to jam Renault on payments owed under contract.

    14. I knew Lewis had a brother, but I didn’t realize his brother had cerebral palsy and was also involved in racing. That’s a nice story to read, I wish Nicolas all the best. I think we only occasionally get BTCC racing on tv over here in America, and even then only after the fact, but I’ll be sure to cheer for him whenever it’s on.

      1. You should watch racing with the Hamiltons. It shows a really sincere side to Lewis and gives an idea of how hard their father slogged all those years not only to get Lewis to where he is but looking after the rest of the family.

    15. Difficult to see how the Red Bull/Renault partnership can continue much further. After so many disparaging remarks by Red Bull over the years now turning into full on attacks of blame towards Renault it certainly is reasonable for Renault to finally respond in some fashion. Really, Renault has been fairly mild in their responses up until now. Still, accusing Red Bull of lying doesn’t seem all that harsh after all Renault has endured.

      Best thing Renault can do now is try and find a new engine supplier for 2016, not likely, maybe 2017. Or, get out. They could sell STR to Renault and find another manufacturer to buy RBR, maybe.

      Or, they could put their heads down, get to work like a good partner with Renault and show the world what they can do to get better without all the public complaints. That just doesn’t seem to likely though, does it?

      1. *best thing RBR*

        1. Right, RBR. Thanks – @hahailham1

      2. Exactly my thoughts @bullmello!

      3. @bullmello Yesterday I saw Cyril Abiteboul’s tweet claiming that Renault engine is only 50bhp down on the Mercedes’ engine, while Red Bull recently said it lacked 100bhp. https://twitter.com/Cyroul/status/577957300138291201

        It seems that Renault and Red Bull are going to break up and the question is: What will RBR do next? Unless they choose to pull the plug, they might build their own engine or ask one of their partners (Infiniti?) to do it. Given the complicatedness of the current engines, it would still be a tough challenge, which is why they have been talking about the need to introduce simplified engines and more standard parts. But, for God’s sake, please don’t do the same thing to chassis rules because F1 is losing great people like Newey, who are annoyed by these restrictive rules… :)

        1. @girts From what I know, Infiniti is their partner because of Renault. Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota, a posher, more luxurious car made by the same company under a different badge. Renault and Nissan are in a longterm partnership, so if Renault pulls the plug on Red Bull, there’s no reason to believe another manufacturer under the same roof will make them engines.

          1. @gicu That is a very good point, thank you for pointing this out.

        2. @girts I’m pretty sure this is the last year of Infiniti’s Red Bull sponsorship. Unless it is renewed, I can more likely see Infiniti taking their sponsorship to a new Renault works team if it gets the opportunity.

    16. Nice photos and excellent journalism by Mark Sutton. Having done a bit of racing photography it is interesting to get his point of view especially at a top level series like F1. Many times the photogs get more access than the reporters do. Most drivers don’t mind photo ops, especially when they win, and don’t have as many inhibitions as they do around reporters where they might watch what they say.

    17. I don’t get it why people generally accept that Red Bull problem is only because Renault is underpowered. It has always been the case even in their domination era. Even last year they are still the second best team after Mercedes.

      It seems Horner and co still wearing their rose tinted glasses and believe since they have Newey then their aero/chassis is the best in the field, which I think that’s rubbish. They can’t accept the fact that Mercedes actually built the better chassis which is why they’re way ahead from their customer team even more than Red Bull.

      Granted this year Renault seem move backward compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, but if what Cyril said is true, then it’s also Red Bull fault to some degree.

    18. Quentin Cole
      25th March 2015, 4:14

      So Renault said earlier today that they won’t have a winning engine until 2016, but the fact that RBR can’t win is some how their own fault? Cmon Renault that’s bs

      1. …the lap time deficit between Red Bull and Mercedes in Melbourne was equally split between driveability issues, engine performance and chassis performance.

        That’s what Abiteboul said. He previously also said that RBR has pushed Renault for a unprecedented & aggressive development programme. It’s obviously Renault’s fault, but RBR has its fare share too.

    19. Horner is certainly a spoilt brat and worse of all an idiot when he opens his mouth.
      Then how comes Toro Rosso is doing better, it’s quite obvious eh.
      I pity Ric and Kvyat though with a team principle like Horner.

      1. @johnbt – I think that Mr Horner should have a responsible PR person filtering what he says to the media. He is outspoken but comes across as petulant and sullen. I don’t think he’s an idiot.

        On the other hand, in a world where chasing 0.1% performance gain is worth doing, it must be incredibly painful to see such a big engine deficit, with no direct power to affect it.

        We must remember that he has successfully run RBR during a period when eight trophies have come its way. He could easily claim to be the most successful team principal of his era.

    20. i think part of the chassis deficit must be due to the fact that newey cant package the engine as well as he would like due to dimensions of the engine and heat output etc. If you look at the mercedes not only the engine is very well packaged but also the area from behind the driver to the rearwing is very short which gives them an advantage

    21. I think Red Bull has finally reliced that this set of regs are about spending and they can’t keep up with the big boys. Merc and Ferrari is wiling to a lot more then them to win. The problem is Red bull can barely keep up with the team budget of Merc and Ferrari but Renault can’t do the same on the engine side.

      1. Redbull if wanted can spend even more $$ than what Merc/Ferrari can spend, Problem is not about spending they are whinging because they are not best team right now for 2nd year running. Which is the reason they are Crying like kids and playing the blame game and the same can be said about Renault.

        1. You’re joking right? There’s absolutely positively no way that Redbull can out spend either Mercedes or Ferrari. These are massively successful car manufacturers that probably spend the same amount on R&D than Redbull is actually worth on a whole.

          Last season was the first time since returning as a full factory team has Mercedes decided to flex their spending power and look what happened, Horner and the rest of the Redbull mob are crying foul play.

          1. As companies go, Mercedes is valued higher than red bull. Ferrari comes third.

            All three can spend massive amounts.

            1. Yes but ppl for get that Merc has Ferrari has Fiat behind them and Mer has Chrysler behind them. Then Red Bull Does this as an commercial exercise while
              Ferrari and Merc do get the benefit that some of the technology can be used on there road cars.

            2. @koosoos I think you will find that the ultimate parent of Ferrari is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the seventh-largest automaker in the world.
              Mercedes Benz is ultimately part of Daimler AG.

            3. Sorry, I should have also continued to write that Daimler AG paid Cerebus to take Chrysler off their hands in 2007, Chrysler then file for bankruptcy in 2009. Fiat finally acquired the complete holding of Chrysler in early 2014. But Daimler AG still seem to own about 10% of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group. So in some senses a bit of Mercedes Benz is racing against a bit of their cousins Ferrari.
              Chrysler ‘stand behind’ nobody. They were the weakest part of all.

    22. I don’t get all the ado about Adderly Fong getting a development driver role at Lotus. He is not going to drive for them in 2016 or anything. It is only like he is paying a huge sum of money to have some fun in life like Formula One simulator an F1 team can offer.

    23. Top drivers do attract huge backing. Alonso, Hamilton and probably a few others bring backing with them to the teams because businesses want to be associated with them.

      The other pay drivers bring money either through personal association with the backer or by being the best a country had to offer and so a national firm gets behind them.

    24. Didn’t Red Bull consciously change engine suppliers a few years back from Ferrari as the Renault engine was easier to package with greater driveability. That then led to their championship winning performance.

    25. Renault: “they made me do it”….Red Bull made you overlook your testing regime? Get real mate, is this the school playground? F1 is arguably the worlds most competitive sport, and you promised once of the most competitive teams in that sport the world to after a rough season in 2014. What’s more, the chassis saved you a lot of face last year, and it was designed by a bloke you just publicly called a liar. You’ve been caught with your pants down for the second year running, so don’t sit there with your duds around your ankles and have a cry and trying to blame everyone else. Pull em up, admit you messed and get on with fixing it, THEN have a sook that the chassis is the weak link.

      1. Exactly.

      2. It’s more likely Red Bull insisted on the new parts, Renault warned them they can have them, but they haven’t been tested yet – Red Bull took the risk and it didn’t pay out. Horner then petulantly blames Renault.

        I can’t argue that the Renault power unit is a bit of a dog. But Horner’s claims that the PU problems “affected our car more [than STR]” is frankly blatant BS. RBR have built a car for the PU they want, not the PU they have.

        RBR spent 4/5 years running with the big boys because the regulations suited their design style. Well, things move on, and the regulations have changed. You want to go down in F1 history as legends? Have a look at what the real legends of the sport have done when they’ve fallen off the top step. They’ve got their heads down, made changes, worked hard and kept on fighting. McLaren/Button in the last race is the perfect example of this. They were at the back of the field by a long way, and Button fought tooth and nail to try and keep Perez behind him. THAT is racing, not winning the trophy every year. Stop acting like you’re entitled to the championship every year.

        1. You discounting Redbull after one race? They finished second last season with there ‘dog’ of a power unit, the only team to take wins of Merc…. They not out for the count just yet…my money is on them to finish second best again…

          Secondly since when is this world so afraid of some honest straight forward criticism – do we need everything sugar coated in PR bull? Can’t someone not offer a honest assessment, when there has been no progress in over a year and they terribly disappointed? Seems everyone wants to be fed PR speak, lovey lovey….

      1. To be honest I expect Honda to be atleast in Renault or Ferrari level, yet it turn out to be the, worst by far. Probably its a terrible timing because Honda are absent by some years.

      2. Duncan Snowden
        25th March 2015, 20:13

        That’s an interesting piece. I noticed at the time that when he was fighting Perez he seemed to be able to pull out a gap in the relatively twisty S1 and S3, despite being totally outclassed by the FI on the straights. Of course there’s always the dirty air to consider, but it definitely looked like more than that. If Honda can get their act together, it could be a really good car by the end of the season. And even before then, Monaco will be worth watching.

    26. Red Bull always seemed really smug when they were winning, and now that smug attitude has led to a blame game . In Horner’s head, his team is so awesome, that there is no way that they could ever not make a championship winning car. Renault did drop the ball, but there is no proof to show that Red Bull have designed a car that would have taken a championship even with a Mercedes engine

      1. @todfod, oh come on. Whatever Red Bulls performance is, it’s about a couple of tents. The Renault PU on the other hand is massivly down on power, has terrible driveability issues, and worst of all it is massivly unrealiable. Now Renault tries to put the blame for that on RB, who “pushed” them into quick development. I say that’s pure BS, there wasn’t happening much in development terms anyway, so something had to be done.
        Besides a costumer is a costumer, they’ll always demand the best. If you can’t live up to that, either work harder or go do something else, not blame the costumers..

        1. Its true that Renault did not develop a winning engine, now the question is, why Toro Rosso caught Red Bull by a big margin (even almost jumped them) compare to last year despite using the same engine ?

    27. @keithcollantine 15 Years ago Prost had aready retired as a driver and Senna was already no longer with us.

      I assume you meant 25?

    28. Saw a news story yesterday Keith, don’t know if you caught it too.

      ChemChina buys Pirelli as new owner

    29. Some amazing acting by Kimi in this advertisement:) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xRFSJOxKdE

      1. Lol, great. Fascinating. He´s really the best when it comes to PR-vids, by a country mile.

      2. Videos like this one just damages the Kimi brand.

    30. Neither Razia or Bird have a that impressive GP2 record to say such things.

      1. @xtwl And both were handsomely backed even if not as much as many out there. Above all as Verstappen said the other day, careers get stalled in GP2, there’s only 2 or 3 competent teams and only 1 competitive team and this is DAMS, any driver on DAMS wins the title, if they can’t it’s probably their problem (Ericsson).

      2. I don’t know, they’re race winners and both came 2nd, even if it took 3 or 4 seasons to get there. I think they’re pretty well placed to have an opinion.

    31. That article from Auto Hebdo really shows how little Renault gains from the relationship with Red Bull, it’s absurd that they can constantly moan about the engine and expect Renault to carry on providing their best work… Sooner they get a full works team again the better.

    32. I just wish all of the teams and everyone involved in F1 would stop airing their dirty laundry in public like this. Nobody comes out of it looking good.

    33. I’m with Renault, Redbull are clearly lying, they already have a couple of whining engines ;)

    34. This is something that has been constantly on my mind in the last few years. Why should Renault invest into F1 or even why should they not pull out of F1 when all they get is bad publicity. Especially now that Lotus has moved to Mercedes, what is the point?

      They constantly got mostly bad publicity due to RBR when they were winning and it’s even worse now. What is the upside? That kind of constant bad publicity is very bad for a small brand.

      If I ran Renault I would be getting things done to wrap this project up. They now have the history in F1, so they can market their products with pictures of F1 cars even without them actually now being there (like some Asian electronics companies do),and they can do without the day-to-day bad publicity.

      Is RBR trying to make Renault quit by publicly trashing them all the time? Do they have an alternative supplier? Since the recent driver and management changes, the absurd hypocrisy and the showing of their true – non-racer/marketing colors, RBR is the team I hate like the plague and I’am now warming towards Ferrari.

    35. What’s the point of letting people take a look in the pitlane if they hide everything?

      But they had opened the pit lane up to the public for the walkabout. By the time I got to Williams there were a few TV crews there but that was it, but Williams had put screens up to hide everything.

      (from the ESPN article about Lewis’s hair)

    36. I have been and am surprised by Christian Horner’s apparent lack of intelligence. The days of successfully motivating people through fear are over as Renault are clearly showing. The gloves are off and quite frankly good for Renault. I admire CH for his achievements with Red Bull but his credibility as a measured intelligent leader is severely being undermined as this Red Bull / Renault war evolves.

    37. Re COTD – there is a reason very poor drivers seem to have a lot of financial backing.

      Most pay drivers get their money because of their nationality – them being “Very poor” is in a global comparative sense. Which Venezuelan deserves the seat ahead of Maldonado?? Are there better Swedish open-wheel racers than Ericsson?

    38. @keithcollantine, the link for the John Watson piece in the guardian is faulty (it includes the name of the round up pages) – correct link here

    39. “I think it is no secret that Red Bull in particular is very aggressive in their development strategy. They try to get us to apply in the engine world what they apply in the chassis world.”

      maybe renault should quit if they can’t play in the big league?
      How weak is it to say the try to get us to develop aggressively? How do they want to develop slowly, 5 year plan?

      Red Bull is political and very harsh, but from last year and this year it is very obvious that it’s not the car that is hopelessly behind, it’s renault

    40. Cyril is even less of a character than Horner, RB told Horner to knock the wall down that’s his job and Cyril your job is to stay calm, you failed, I don’t think you ever done anything useful in F1. Watson I can’t agree with you, we live in a democracy based on an liberal economic system, the major problem in F1 lies with the absence of a democratic vote by the teams. I agree that teams make up F1 and therefore should mould F1 rather than the commercial owners, this endorses transparency, that said for a while now since ever really, this right is overpowered by the manufacturers which are monopolizing the votes. I trust in Bernie, Bernie needs to break down this fallacy of a 3 partied system and sped up the changes in F1, I believe that Bernie like a Roman tyrant (Romans nominated tyrants to rule through crisis) should be able to get F1 through the bump whilst maintain a fair level of parity in the sport. This sport is becoming more and more like LeMans, Audi owns the event. Some people love the brand power of LeMans this day but beware there’s no racing or whatsoever it’s almost solely a commercial event a show.

      The only positive and sensible news/arcticle today is that Nicholas Hamilton is racing on the BTCC, I didn’t know this was physically possible let alone allowed which is great in my view

      1. This sport is becoming more and more like LeMans, Audi owns the event. Some people love the brand power of LeMans this day but beware there’s no racing or whatsoever it’s almost solely a commercial event a show.

        You know that Toyota won the WEC last year and were clear favourites at Le Mans? Audi’s competition has typically shot itself in the foot in recent years.

    41. I think Red Bull will be in big trouble if Renault takes over torro rosso and becomes again a factory team, Red Bull will become a simple customer team no matter how they invest.
      Williams and Mc Laren are the best examples, if they don’t shut their mouths they will build there own failures for many years to come.

    42. From the conspiracy theory desk: Dietrich Mateschitz wants RBR out of F1, now when they don’t dominate the field. Creating an untainable situation with Renault can bring even more chaos in the circus. It could be used to leverage a penalty-free departure or force FIA to act against Mercedes.

    43. Geez RedBull are good. Another year of staying top of mind in the media. It has felt like RB buys the drama to maintain profile even when its not winning. VET vs WEB and all the drama that created, then RIC vs VET, the rookie upstart wiping the world champ and now Renault vs RedBull with barbs seemingly flying everywhere. All the while the brand is getting editorial – BRILLIANT!!!

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