Red Bull comes first for Renault in 2016 – Horner

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says Renault is required to prioritise Red Bull next year even if they take over the Lotus team.


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Horner: Red Bull still Renault’s focus in 2016 (Crash)

"Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner says Renault is contractually obliged to prioritise his team next season, regardless of whether the engine firm follows through on a plan to purchase the Lotus team and return as a fully-fledged manufacturer entry."

Renault decides not to adopt Ilmor prototype option (Motorsport)

"Despite initially encouraging results, Renault believes that its own design solutions actually offer a bigger chance of progress."

Honda preparing for ‘big step’ in Spa (F1i)

"We will increase the output power, but at the same time we have to check the reliability because if the power is going to go that high then maybe some areas are a little bit weak."

Merc told to remain 'careful' (Sky)

"You just need to be careful. We’re just 42 points ahead in the drivers’ world championship and you can see how quickly it goes."

Nasr: No sim will hurt with new starts (Autosport)

"I still feel a simulator is the best way to compensate for lost track time, and now we have these new rules from Spa with the clutch, which is something else you could try on the simulator."

The Essential... Pastor Maldonado (F1)

"What are the essential elements of great racing circuit? PM: Fast corners. Uphills, downhills, chicanes. I love chicanes!"

Big in the States (ESPN)

"Brand Hamilton is expanding across the United States, and Formula One is riding his coattails to mainstream awareness."

A life and times with McLaren (The Way It Is)

"I think a lot of credit goes to Jackie Stewart for pushing for safety in the late sixties. Despite the fact that he made himself reasonably unpopular at the time he certainly deserves a lot of credit. Nor did he ever give up pushing for the safety issue."


Comment of the day

An interesting point on how F1 has found it difficult to increase overtaking:

I attended a lecture by Gary Savage, then one of the technical managers at BAR. After the formal lecture there was some time ‘informal chat’ and that’s when the interesting stuff came to table. He showed a couple of graphs and figures (CFD or wind tunnel data I guess) of two cars following each other. They were researching two things: how to improve following the car ahead without losing downforce and how to break the slipstream to the following car as effectively as possible. History shows the latter part was much easier to achieve…
Leo B

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76 comments on “Red Bull comes first for Renault in 2016 – Horner”

  1. I think it’s quite naive to think that Renault would prioritise Red Bull over their own team (if Renault do buy Lotus), regardless of contracts.

    1. A petty threat from Horner. Drag their name through the mud AND expect them to do you favours?

      There’s no way Renault will look after Red Bull better than their own team and better still, there’s no way Horner could objectively prove they are doing so.

      1. @harnooo It wouldn’t be as much a favour as fulfilling a contract, though.

      2. “there’s no way Horner could objectively prove they are doing so.”


    2. Funny enough, this “exclusive” with Horner now being adamant on their contract (didn’t Red Bull mention they might walk away early if they wanted themselves, but were likely to stick with the contract for 2016?) actually might mean that Renault buying a team (Genii-Lotus higly likely) is getting more and more a reality, why else would RBR feel the need to even say so.

    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th August 2015, 8:28

      Horner forgot to read clause VIIb: “no disparaging remarks about your contract partner”

      1. @coldfly, presumably you’re thinking along the lines of the Ligier-Alfa Romeo deal and how Alfa Romeo cited the “reptuational damage” done by Arnoux’s criticism of Alfa’s engines to cancel that contract?

    4. i should think that the red bull legal department would be anything but ‘naive’ and secondly the reason why red bull threatened to walk would also be covered no doubt in a ‘fit for purpose’ clause in their contracts with renault. renault have performed disastrously and despite their heritage have made an amateurish apology for an engine. two and a half years have passed and they still haven’t been able to build a comparative engine to either ferrari or mercedes. just imagine if your were a client…….

      1. I rather think they while they certainly have looked at their options, its unlikely that they would be able to get out without paying for it Kenneth, otherwise Red Bull might have already done so for next year even.

        Its probably not all that viable to get something like “performance clauses” in such a contract apart from more general obligations to do everything in one’s power to do the best job possible. A lot of it seems to be about money too. If you prepare a solid budget (also coming from the F1 operation, i.e. Red Bull) up front, like Mercedes did (and Ferrari most likely too) you have more scope to be well prepared, and it shows, because Mercedes had a good package, and Ferrari probably already had the “ingredients” somewhat at hand to be able to catch up for the second year of the new engine after making the wrong compromises car vs. engine last year.

    5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th August 2015, 10:19

      No Christian. Renault comes first for Renault. In 2016 and every year. If you think otherwise, you are living in a fantasy world. I’m starting to fear you really are. Markoland.

    6. @rgbargie I think Renault would fulfil it – but while doing so they would also be preparing to take over at Lotus from 2017 onwards. If the rules do change, they’ll focus all their car development on that, mate it to an improved engine, name the team Renault from 2017 and possibly replace Maldonado too.

    7. Well, Renault could prioritise Red Bull just like they have this season. ;-)

  2. Wonder how good the teams are with simulating starts.

    1. @stretch – Alex Wurz mentioned that it’s extremely hard. The basics are easy – meaning, all the procedures up until the clutch is released. After that it gets extremely complicated and teams are unable to simulate starts accurately for specific tracks. They can test generic starts in the sim but they haven’t found the proper models yet to do it for specific tracks.

  3. “… I love chicanes!” – Maldonado

    ‘especially when I’m playing with the little buttons and pretty lights on the steering thingy’

    1. COTD Surely

    2. Sounds like caption for the latest competition.

  4. I really hope that Renault give Red Bull terrible engines, and that Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda don’t offer to supply engines to them. I really dislike Horner and the other whiny people at Red Bull.

    1. With respect, I think its mostly the way Horner comes across that people react to. I personally would not like to see RB go down, since it is good having competitive and well financed teams in F1.

      1. I like to see them competitive as well. Horner is a bad loser but Red Bull is full of respectable people and I wish them the best.

        1. horner is not a bad loser at all. he is simply telling the truth when asked why red bull are doing so badly. the red bull name as WCC champions has been trashed because renault have failed miserably. what’s more, they still haven’t been able to match any of the ferraris/mercedes in any shape or form. would you pay them for non performance PU’s? i know what i would say…..

          1. But their chassis isn’t great either. When the engines do perform, their pace isn’t much more than Toro Rosso.

          2. @strontium That’s not true, at all.

          3. @strontium Well you say the chassis isn’t great, but with the significantly down on power renault power unit they were probably the fastest car in Hungary. I think the 2015 regulations hit them where is hurts in terms of aero and only at the last few races have they clawed it back to where it was before, and now the chassis is probably the best again. I’m pretty certain if they had a Mercedes PU they’d be the fastest car.

          4. @williamstuart, it is hard to tell where exactly Red Bull would be with their chassis if they had a different engine, as there have been conflicting reports on that front.

            Ricciardo was still raising criticisms of the current chassis only three races ago in Canada, and Red Bull have not made major changes to the chassis between then and now – furthermore, though Horner has thrown most of the blame onto Renault for the misfortunes of his team, even he has also made comments suggesting that the chassis itself is also slightly lagging behind.

            Whilst it is true that they were more competitive in the Hungarian GP, that could be for a number of reasons and it is dangerous to assume that form could then be extrapolated across the rest of the season.

            There have been times when teams have put in unusually strong performances in the Hungarian GP – for example, Renault were relatively competitive there in 2010 when normally they were only the fifth most competitive team – and the circuit has a reputation for throwing up abnormal results: the last time that the driver who won the Hungarian GP went on to win the title was 2004, and the last time that the winner of the race drove for the winning constructor was back in 2010, when Webber won the race.

            Overall, whilst there is evidence to suggest that the chassis is competitive, it’s hard to judge how competitive it is – after all, if we judged the situation by corner entry speed, you could argue that the MP4/30 is the best chassis in the field (they consistently had the highest corner entry speed into the faster corners in Hungary, but the slowest exit speeds through the acceleration phase of the corners).

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th August 2015, 8:31

      Wouldn’t you rather see a good competition between many strong teams?
      I’m quite sure you can express your dislike in another way! Voodoo dolls? @ultimateuzair

    3. @ultimateuzair
      That’s a very childish thing to say.

      1. The anon comment that the last time the championship-winning driver won in Hungary was 2004 is VERY interesting to me. Not sure if it has any greater ramifications but it’s still interesting.

  5. I was very surprised to learn about Christian Horner’s dream team. He still picked Vettel for his line-up. And Mansell along with his FW14B. Not to mention Ecclestone as team boss.

  6. Kate Walker has been writing those embarrassingly fan girlish things about Hamilton for years now. I live in the States and all I can say is – Don’t hold your breath waiting for F1 to go mainstream here!

    1. +1. Almost no one I know or meet here knows what F1 even is. To put this into perspective, I named my son Ayrton, and nobody has heard the name before! ‘Ohh Ayrton, such a unique name! Where did it come from?’.

      1. Hahah, I can’t even get my wife to get her head around the name Michael should we ever have a boy :P

        1. @dragoll Nah, Michael or Aryton is unique case. Name him Sebastian if you want the (statistically) best chance for him. ;)

          1. That’s so true. Vettel, Loeb, Ogier, Bourdais. He’ll probably win something in motorsports.

        2. @dragoll Try Juan Stirling :)

        3. My wife had me give her a list, and Ayrton was the one we agreed upon. Enzo, Alain, Jean, Nigel, Roland etc. all didn’t make it through Q1 of child naming.

          1. Stuart Jackie.

            I like ‘Sebastian’ but not ‘Seb’, (that’s why our kid has a short name that can’t be make into anything else).

            The Thunderbirds Pilots were all named after astronauts.

    2. The article is gibberish. Look at the shares, there’s none.

      Big in the States, while partying in Barbados. Haa, geography classes.

  7. I’m surprised that Mercedes and Ferrari have said they’d be willing to provide RB with engines. We know RB can make a great chassis, and it would be awkward for either of those teams to suddenly find themselves struggling to beat a “customer team”.

    1. Maybe they expect that RBR will turn them down so they never have to fulfill their offer.

    2. Well just look at how those Mercedes engines worked for McLaren in the first year of the new engines. They had a different fuel / lubricant from Mercedes and the other customers, and got only minimum data up front, so it compromised their installment (that went for FI too) and the mobile fuel probably made a few % difference in performance too.

      I think that Mercedes would possibly keep an approach like that with Red Bull too.

      1. I’d be terribly surprised if either fuel or lubrication made even a percent difference. McLaren’s had over thirty years of experience with this; same with Mobil. Pulling up data for Monza last year, Ricciardo(!) was fastest in the speed trap, then Bottas, then Hamilton. Button was 2 kph slower. Not even a 1% difference at the king of top speed.

  8. Given the posturing from Christian Horner, who is only ever interested in the good of his agenda, and in this case, his teams agenda, I can only assume that Renault must be very close to announcing the buy out of Lotus. To my knowledge, I don’t think Horner makes these kind of statements without some action having taken place, rather than just responding to rumours.

    1. @dragoll

      Given the posturing from Christian Horner, who is only ever interested in the good of his agenda,

      It’s not like Horner’s the only such guy in f1! Far from it…

  9. So basically what keeps Red Bull and Renault together is just a contract, more specifically the reluctance of either side of the parties to pay the penalties for ending the contract earlier. Or maybe they hoping the other side to break it first hence the public insults here and then.

  10. So Red Bull has one or two bad years. Toughen up, Princess. Williams, McLaren and Ferrari have all had their dry spells. But they became legacy teams because they fought through it. Red Bull muscled it’s way into becoming a top team getting big Bernie handouts without putting in the decades of hard work.

    Red Bull is the spoiled brat rich kid, while the true legacy teams started from scratch, so it’s no surprise that Horner doesn’t respect the difficulty of winning as much as the others.

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      12th August 2015, 8:49


      Strong words but on the whole I agree.

      Brand ‘Red Bull’ is a parasite that has attached itself to some of the greatest sports in the world. That’s not to say that RBR is not a fantastic racing team with massive talent both past and present, Horner included. It doesn’t however disguise their overarching ethos which is domination for the sake of brand awareness and profit. The exact opposite of what sport is meant to be.

      1. @ blade runner…what a total load of verbal garbage. every team on the grid is there to maximise their ‘brand awareness’ whether it is ferrari to sell cars or a team to run as a billboard for sponsors to exploit the sales of their products. williams is a brand like any other and they hawk it around to all and sundry in order to finance their racing. there is no difference between red bull and any other team when it comes to brand awareness. FYI red bull racing is a fully fledged highly professional F1 racing team that is separated from the red bull drinks company who happen to finance the team and most likely write the expenditure off as a fully justified marketing expense. i don’t know, but i would imagine, that mercedes has a similar arrangement given that it has outside minority interest shareholders. wolff and lauda.

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          12th August 2015, 10:31


          We’re all entitled to an opinion and you and I clearly disagree!

          As I said above, RBR is “a fantastic racing team”. Consistently one of, if not the best over the last 5+ years. They’ve both acquired and nurtured some of the greatest talents in F1 during the last 10 years. That is however very different from Red Bull the brand and I stand by my “parasite” comment; something I’m sure fans of Red Bull Salzburg and others swallowed-up by the Red Bull machine would agree with. RBR’s outpouring of negativity during the last 2 years – with talk of pulling out of the sport and with barbed comments towards partner in former glory Renault – appear to reflect Red Bull the brand’s stance rather than RBR themselves. Compare these comments to Mercedes’ in 2013. At that time it was suggested that Merc might consider leaving F1 if their fortunes did not improve (just as well they didn’t!) Their language and attitude couldn’t have been more different to RBR.

          Your comparison of Red Bull to the likes of Williams does not bear scrutiny. Williams are and always have been a racing team. Same goes for McLaren (yes, they make road cars but that started 25+ years after racing). Ferrari of course manufacture road cars but have been involved in F1 for so long that any suggestion that the Scuderia is not its own red-blooded animal seems tenuous. Of course each team is vying to massively raise brand awareness for both itself and its sponsors. The latter will be a contractual necessity. That doesn’t put them in the same category as RBR whose owner requires only dominance in order to achieve a maximisation of the brand’s awareness.

          1. @bladerunner Personally I think you are being overly critical by calling Red Bull parasites and by insisting only dominance for maximization of brand awareness is their only concern. The fact is they are not dominating and yet are in F1. Seems like they are going to be in F1 next year, and I don’t think anyone, including likely RBR and Red Bull thinks they will be dominating next year.

            Any brand maximizes their marketing impact by being involved with a dominating team, but that is not to say brands do not still get marketing impact just for being in F1. If that wasn’t the case, F1 and all racing series wouldn’t exist. Dominance implies one team is the best ahead of everyone else. That doesn’t mean other brands simply pull out then. No, they stay for years and sometimes decades without dominating.

            I simply don’t see how Red Bull is any more ‘parasitic’ than any other brand. All brands, including Mercedes, are free to constantly assess their return on investment for being involved in anything they do from a marketing standpoint and will pull out when they see it is costing them rather than earning them. And while RBR are not dominating, Horner certainly is still keeping Red Bull in the headlines.

          2. The Blade Runner (@)
            12th August 2015, 14:27


            I guess my opinion isn’t solely based on F1

          3. @ bladerunner…..sorry, but you still don’t get it. your use of the derogatory term ‘parasite’ simply lists you along with all the other ‘parrots’. i say this as clearly you either don’t understand the actual meaning of the word or simply want to join the endless streams of ill informed/illiterate posters. williams is a brand and it always has been. this myth that they are just there for the racing is just that. williams are not supported by a benevolent benefactor but they go racing on other peoples money/sponsors. red bull, the energy drinks company, are ‘sponsors’. i doesn’t get any clearer. red bull are well within their rights to bag renault. the engine is a fail and red bull have suffered as a result. end of the story, ATM. they were promised diamonds and were given dross.

          4. The Blade Runner (@)
            13th August 2015, 7:13


            Having just read your latest post I think it’s pretty rich of you to call anybody else “illiterate”!

          5. @ bladerunner… from someone who labelled the red bull racing team as ‘parasites’ to calling me ‘illiterate’ and you still want to be taken seriously? sorry pal, massive fail. it matters zippedy doo dah what each team represents when lined up on the grid waiting for the lights to go out. it is all about the racing.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        12th August 2015, 9:40

        Sorry @thebladerunner, Red Bull ‘attached itself to some of the greatest sports in the world’??
        Red Bull Big Wave Africa
        Crashed Ice
        Red Bull Drifting World Championship
        Red Bull Flugtag
        Frozen Rush
        Red Bull New Year No Limits
        Red Bull Paper Wings
        Red Bull Rampage
        Red Bull Art of Motion
        Red Bull BC One
        Red Bull Cape Fear
        Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
        Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament
        Red Bull Road Rage
        Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye
        Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix
        Red Bull X-Alps
        Red Bull X-Fighters
        Looks more like sponsoring new extreme quirky sports/events. Red Bull has probably done more for sports (and built it own brand through that) than sports has done for Red Bull!

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          12th August 2015, 15:38

          I agree. With extreme sports Red Bull has been an absolute godsend. They help to grow and promote these sports, and in turn their growing success promotes and grows the Red Bull brand; its a win-win, and they should be commended for it.

          @bladerunner is right in a sense though. With the F1 team, the NY Red Bulls etc… Red Bull are sort of ignorantly forcing their way into mainstream sports where they dont naturally belong.

          I there is any sort of ‘natural’ place for Red Bull in F1, its to keep doing what Toro Rosso have been doing, bringing the exciting young talents into the sport, like Max V, the kind of guys who are likely to drink their wares. In terms of promotional value for money, this has way more bang for its buck than running a top-nd F1 team.

          The fact that the toys have come flying out of the pram this last year and a half since they havent been on top demonstrates this. For it to be financially viable, they need to be winning. They aren’t here to race, they are here to make money.

          I think Red Bull should stop pretending to be a serious racing team, and remember they are an energy drinks company, and re-evaluate and downsize their F1 project.

          Perhaps just let Toro Rosso rebrand as Red Bull and be done with it. A youthful exciting race team for a youthful exciting brand.

          1. I think Red Bull should stop pretending to be a serious racing team

            Apparently one of the characteristics of a serious racing team (like Williams) is that they are NOT serious about winning. While teams which are serious about winning (such as Mercedes, which was thinking of quitting F1 before it hit the jackpot in the last round of rules changes) are not “serious about racing”!

          2. Red Bull is a serious racing team. It’s not a serious ENGINEERING team. Williams has built F3 chassis and sold/licensed out its hybrid technology to a bunch of teams. McLaren sells actual road cars and its electronic systems are required in several racing series, and its road cars are being bought up by rich Asian youngins who in truth could care less if McLaren comes first or fifth in the F1 championship (fact). What does Red Bull produce? Energy drinks.

            Perhaps a better point is this: Enzo Ferrari famously said he sold road cars so he could go racing. Does Dietrich Mateschitz sell Red Bull cans so his teams can go racing? No. When they were gradually-improving midfielders who carried out antics like Horner jumping into a swimming pool with just a cape on after Coulthard’s podium in Monaco, we all thought they were cool. 2011 was general admiration/awe for the Schumacher-esque domination Vettel displayed. Red Bull was at the top and able to deflect all the potshots aimed their way. Now that they are no longer king of the hill, they are revealing their pettier side.

          3. It’s not a serious ENGINEERING team.

            @wushumr2 Oh man, don’t tell Adrian Newey…

        2. Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix

          @coldfly – Aight.

        3. Yes you’ve made a good point, but at the same time only cherry picked the extreme sports. The list is vast at what the sponsor that isn’t extreme, and in the end it all has ties to motor racing (there is the NY Football Club but let’s stick to the racing) which is what @thebladerunner seemed to be getting at.

          Problem is RB seem to stick it’s fingers in every jar/flavor and see what works and for how long. They’ve done this with NASCAR, Rally Racing and other off road sports, DTM, V8 Supercars, various Motorcycle racing on road and dirt, boat racing and on and on. But they do so with already proven teams that were championship winners. For example the Repsol Honda Red Bull and Triple 8 racing Red Bull, one being a champion moto gp team and the other being a champion V8 Supercars team.

          The point is Red Bull seems to only plaster their brand on what is a sure winner, and when it isn’t or they can’t get title sponsorship of a winning team like their NASCAR endeavor, the money gets pulled.

          It’s not like the F1 effort nor will it ever be that way cause this is different. However, at the same time it’s slowly becoming like the others where RB as a brand need to stay on top all the time or at least keep themselves in the public view if they aren’t winning…you see?

  11. I just hope Lewis doesn’t have a performance blip at Spa because critics will come down on him in full force.

    We are living the time of pay drivers, and because F1 is so desperate to be relevant in US, I think any driver dating a Kardashian will easily qualify for a drive. Take note drivers!

    1. I have a very strong feeling the season Mercedes’ form declines, Hamilton is retiring. That is, when his stop becoming competitive, he’s not lingering until he’s 35-36 through a trough waiting for his car to return to competitiveness. He’s off to make music or whatever he wants to do.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        12th August 2015, 12:50

        I can imagine a return to McLaren once they hit form again

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          12th August 2015, 14:15


          1. Assuming they ever get there. I’ve been a McLaren fan since I started watching F1, but slumps can be long: Benetton took ten years from Schumacher’s 1995 triumph to win again as Renault with Alonso; Williams last won a championship nearly 20 years ago, Ferrari spent 21 years in the doldrums before winning the championship with Schumacher, and the Team-formerly-known-as-Tyrrell took 36 years from Jackie Stewart’s win to win again as Brawn (yeah, I’m counting that :P) I’m going to be pessimistic–I think McLaren might be in a slump for much longer than we think.

  12. Honda cranking up the power for Spa? Something tells me another double DNF is in order

    1. Sadly I couldn’t agree more

  13. Autosport reckon (as do motorsport-total) that your number nine driver will be in red come 2017.
    Weird how theyre not going for Sainz, ey.

  14. Quite a silly article from ESPN imho. I guess what they are saying is Nicole is no Rihanna, lol. It wasn’t enough that LH and Nicole even went to the White House when they were together, no, now that LH is single and possibly perhaps maybe rumours have it has been seen with Rihanna, that now means that teenage girls are interested in F1 and will take it mainstream in the US.

    Maybe Haas (remember him ESPN?) should just scoop everyone and hire Rihanna to drive one of his cars.

    1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
      12th August 2015, 16:34

      @robbie better David Guetta. He has already “driven” an F1 car alongside RoGro and beat him! Quite an accomplishment to do it, isn’t it?

  15. The Gordon Kirby article is a very good read. “A life and times with McLaren (The Way It Is)”

    A life and times with McLaren (The Way It Is)

    The history about Tyler Alexander and his achievements in F1 and all kinds of racing. His book looks quite interesting and it would be great to read a review on it here.

    His mention of Sir Jackie Stewart and his quest for safety is enlightening. The fact of how unpopular he became in some circles seems hard to figure looking at it in the world today. It is one reason Stewart is one of my favorite racers ever, for his accomplishments on track, and with his campaign for safety. As Alexander said, it took someone with his clout to get it done.

  16. It looks like there will be no calm at them.

  17. When Vettel was winning in RBR it was all due to Newey. Now they are not, it’s all because of the engine.

    Horner has to learn to take the rough with the smooth. Williams, Sauber, Ferrari, now Mc have had a bad patch but no whinging, they will bounce back with further development.

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