Red Bull and Renault mechanics, Suzuka, 2015

Red Bull turns back to reluctant Renault as Ferrari decline engine deal

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In the round-up: Red Bull’s best chance for an engine supply in 2016 appears to be sticking with current supplier Renault after being turned down by Ferrari.

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GP3, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
GP3, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

How dark was it during GP3 practice at Sochi? These picture which have not been darkened or brightened – give an impression.

Comment of the day

Few people seem to have much sympathy for Red Bull’s position but @Clay says they aren’t the ‘bad guys’:

Renault if you recall were one of the biggest drivers of the new engine formula. They messed up monumentally. Twice. Even though their V8 was not the best it wasn’t far off the Mercedes so Red Bull could make up the difference with their chassis. However the turbo was rubbish. Still is. Ferrari have made massive advances this year on their engine package. Renault is still rubbish. All Red Bull have said is the truth.

Now imagine if the Renault engine was like the Mercedes, the best there is in F1. Imagine if Red Bull screwed up the chassis side of things as badly as Renault have the engine side. Would Renault remain silent? Would Red Bull remain the quasi-works team after two poor seasons? No way in the world. Renault would walk away, forming an works team alliance with someone else. Look what happened after two poor cars in a row at Williams in ’04/05. BMW walked away and formed their own team, fed up with Williams under-performing. From my recollection of that time ten years ago the situation here is exactly the same, just reversed and involving Red Bull, who many F1 fans love to hate now after their consecutive years of success.

I can understand why both Ferrari and Mercedes do not want to give their engines to Red Bull, however don’t for a minute think this is because of their fear of being publicly slated by Red Bull. It’s because they fear being beaten by their own engines.
@Clay

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  • 85 comments on “Red Bull turns back to reluctant Renault as Ferrari decline engine deal”

    1. I don’t want to be nitpick-y, but as an amateur (but still hopefully skillful) photographer myself I must say there being no edits to photos does not necessarily mean they represent light in a way the actual human eye sees it – a photo may still be (severely) under- or overexposed for artistic or other reasons thus becoming low- or high-key respectively. So instead of those photos actual TV camera snapshots would probably have been more accurate media to illustrate the situation at the end of the GP3 session.

      I’m not saying it wasn’t too dark out there, but I do think the above photos exaggerate the issue.

      1. Agreed – sillhoutted figures suggest metering was over compensating to try to retain detail in the bright lights in each shot.

      2. But TV cameras gather so much light they are famous for making twilight look like a bright sunny day.

        1. I’ve seen lots of photos on Twitter amateur and professional alike and they all look dark, also as HoHum says TV cameras are famous for making scenes look much lighter than they are (cricket coverage is a great example).

      3. It certainly wasn’t that dark to the human eye. If you look at the EXIF info for the first picture, it was taken at 1/640th of a second with the aperture closed down to f/7.1 at ISO1000.

        If this was what my eyes were seeing, I’d take a photo at f/2.0 at around 1/60 with ISO1000 to capture the moment as realisticly as possible.

        So yeah, these are a lot darker than reality.

        1. Wow, these pro cameras are indeed top notch to produce this low noise at ISO 1000.

          At the same time, yeah, TV cams indeed are perhaps indeed the opposite – they overbrightened Suzuka last year too. So the truth should be between these two.

      4. @atticus-2 True, getting a photo at dark is really tricky, and even TV camera usually pre-adjusted so people can actually watch what it shoots. While I think the real condition is not as dark as the photos may suggest, I still think it must too dark to drive anything at speed without lights.

        1. If you are gonna represent exactly what the eye see then yes its massivly tricky becouse the eye doesnt see a still picture. If you stare at the red light in Sochi like that that picture probably wouldnt be to far off (still not accurate though).

        2. @sonicslv Yeah that should be the case.

    2. Possibilities that Renault delay in finalising with Lotus are due to Renault flirting with acquisition of RBR/STR instead? If Dietrich wants out and Renault are only interested in works teams… could be a divorce made on heaven….?

      1. Wouldn’t have RBR+STR been better off with year-old Ferrari engines? That’s what I don’t get. They could still have made fun of Mercedes and Ferrari had they been close to a championship next year because everyone would know that they were only beaten by giving them slower engines.

      2. That could be a good deal for both. Renault gets a team with good resources and rbr can leave f1 without losing all the money. The people and the connections already are there and the team is a race winning team already.

        Buying rbr team could make more sense than buying lotus which has big debts and bad car for 2016. Rbr 2016 car is probably very good and even with bad renault engine renault could drive around for couple of years in the mid field while they bring their engine up to date and competitive.

        1. I think that would be down to numbers. Methinks buying Lotus requires less capital cost

      3. Would make more sense than buying Lotus. Red Bull can become the Renault title sponsor.

        But I fail to see Renault acquiring Toro Rosso. We may only see 18 or 20 cars on the grid next year.

    3. Bernie should televise the meeting when Red Bull go to beg Renault to supply them with engines for next season. Put it on pay per view and they’d probably make enough to cover the cost of those Renault engines.
      Maybe call it the “Schadenfreude in Sochi” and release it as a 2 disc blu rey special with the season review.

      1. lol. The most brilliant thing i’ve seen over the web today.

    4. Poetic justice would be served should RBR be stuck with Renault in 2016. That is the only logical choice for for RBR and STR to realistically be able to field proper F1 teams for next season. I hope for the sake of all the “little people” and their jobs that the big bosses come to the sensible decision to work together and do the best they can.

      F1 should always be viewed as a long term investment where quick fixes usually do not exist. Do like many teams have already done over the years and take your time to get better the right way. It can be done. There are ways to change things by working well with others instead of burning bridges before reaching the other side. Red Bull have tried to embarrass Renault repeatedly and ended up embarrassing themselves far worse.

      So, I guess I would somewhat disagree with the COTD that RBR has done nothing but state the truth. Threads of arrogance and childish impatience run through nearly all of the RBR actions and words that have taken place with their working and prospective partners. Diplomacy and the spirit working together have been hard to find. Even McLaren and Honda have tried to maintain civility through times fraught with more disastrous results than Renault and Red Bull.

      Maybe, just maybe RBR and Renault can work hard together to get ready for 2016 and help each other solve problems rather create more trouble. It is the kind of redemption that could make for a compelling story for F1 in 2016 if the two sides can come together to recreate a semblance the winning formula they once had.

      1. The problem this time though is, Renault will have their own team and Red Bull beating them on the track won’t be such a good sight for them; more toys out of the pram.

      2. Bernie Ecclestone’s first rule of doing business is to always have other options in place. Every time he does a deal he will play two parties off against each other, preferably with some curveballs or threats to squeeze out the best result for himself.

        What’s interesting about the Red Bull engine saga is that, from the beginning of the troubles with Renault, they have completely ignored this principle. They have never had a back-up plan in place, and have therefore had no bargaining power. Why not?

        Perhaps Red Bull were stupid or naive: annoyance at Renault became a habit and eroded the partnership without anyone coming up with a masterplan of what happens next.

        Alternatively, and probably more likely given the business knowledge within Red Bull management, they decided they wanted to be shot of Renault, but knew they were unlikely to be offered engines from Mercedes or Ferrari without some extra persuasion. They therefore didn’t bother making private enquiries, they went straight for the nuclear option, threatened publicly to quit and pretty much forced Bernie to act on their behalf. However, raising the stakes only works if you are prepared to follow through on your threats, and it now seems Red Bull either have to quit the sport or be in a worse place than when they started.

        As a fan of the engineers and drivers at both Red Bull teams, I hope it doesn’t come to that, but they have so far backed themselves into a very tight corner and look like they might be waiting for the final blow.

    5. I just realised, if Toro Rosso get Ferrari engines and RBR have to stick with Renault then there’s a big chance that the junior team is consistently faster. So wouldn’t a driver swap be possible? RIC and KVY back at Toro Rosso to maximise points and who knows maybe some Red Bull engineers as well :o

      In theory they could move budget and resources from one team to other even swap the car liveries! That way “Red Bull” could remain competitive for a while and the average person watching on TV wouldn’t see any difference right?

    6. I find it funny, and fairly ironic, that people who tune in to watch ‘competition’ slate teams that present honest appraisals of their equipment. Meanwhile, Ferrari and Merc are destroying F1 in their ability to lock out the strategy group, and promote the Seb vs Hamilton show (yes, it’s coming, don’t you worry).

      Is this competition, or a sentiment that prefers people being told to shut up and do what they are told? What is the real theme in F1 these days? What do the fans REALLY want?

      Red Bull deserve a chance to compete, but this will never happen as long as Merc and Ferrari are allowed to dominate F1. This has happened before (MotoGP), and it will happen again, unless people start demanding real competition, and not manufactured hype/drama.

      1. RBR have one real option, and that’s to go with Nissan (Infinity) in WEC, and find something real, get their foot in the door in to that more competitive series, and show the world how poor F1 is, in terms of technical innovation and competition. RBR would be better off trying to strike a deal with Macca and trying to achieve something politically, than risk being a customer for Renault next year. Renault is a dead end, they don’t have what it takes, and they won’t admit they are wrong, wrong about pushing the new formula, their power unit.

        The only thing that can save Renault are rule changes, and perhaps that is what will happen, once RBR can no longer threaten the Ferrari vs Merc show. #Predictable.

        1. @pcxmerc I would say the Seb v Hamilton show is already on, as Ferrari have gained, albeit not consistently yet. I’d like to think NR will remain in the picture and I continue to hope for gain from him.

          I think Horner has conveyed more than just an honest appraisal of their equipment, as most seem to feel he has indeed dumped on Renault abruptly. Not shut up at all. Want him to shut up? No I just think fans want him to compete. And express dismay at the regs, fair enough, but to slate Renault as they have, seems to have created the real drama for them.

          Just as Newey nailed aero for 4 years, all by each season’s deadline of pre-season testing, with incremental changes applied throughout the season, all the while them expressing great dismay at EBD being curtailed incrementally by the season, Merc nailed the new package by the deadline and Ferrari has, under the same rules Renault is subject to, gained where Renault hasn’t. Renault may be better to some degree or other next year too therefore.

          Horner’s gripe is consistent. Reduced development on blown exhaust, now reduced development on PU’s which is not Renault’s fault so they needn’t be blamed entirely, and I’m not sure Horner does that. He knows the restrictions are not helping, and is why Newey is bored, other than they are supposed to curtail the money game. But he’s (RBR’s) got money burning a hole in his pocket. But he has to maintain some level of diplomacy toward BE and F1’s regs, and can be more bold toward Renault, their ‘brethren’. And have.

          Deserve a chance to compete? Sure. And under the same rules so do Merc and Ferrari compete. And Renault and RBR may have a chance to get more respectable yet as I think they’ll have to bury the hatchet and put their noses to the grindstone, and no doubt all the while keep hammering at BE about the regs. Regs that might just as easily send Merc or Ferrari through the roof if loosened…no guarantees for Horner there, eh?

          It’s pretty normal in the modern era of F1, perhaps even earlier, right?, that a team dominates at times, for a stretch of some sort, until they need to be curtailed. If it weren’t for Ferrari gaining, Horner would have more legs to stand on with his gripe about the regs, but they had their run, and now it’s Merc/LH, with Seb coming, and that’ll do for now, as in, let’s all see what we have for 2017. The year I know you’ll find the real audience of F1 wants to see bring closer, more real racing, via tires, less aero, more ground effects, probably the rules tweaked a tad for a little more engine parity, and a new chapter. That’s what I think racing fans want today. No DRS would be a dream, as the majority of people decry, hence the fans indeed want closer real competition for all, for a better show. It’s a lot of what we talk about around here. But it’s F1 that will decide. I’m not sure people stopped demanding real competition. So if the people have control, then we’d have the real competition of which you speak. But F1 controls F1, not the people.

          1. sorry man, don’t have the time to read your book report, so I will respond to your last line, as it is the only one needing addressing.

            I never said F1 controls anyone. I said the manufacturers are dominating F1. Despite popular belief, nobody really controls anyone else, in reality, there is this thing called influence, and with some critical thought, you will realize that influence is something Mercedes has far too much of.

            Ferrari have not caught up to Mercedes, Mercedes will allow Ferrari to ‘catch up’ Mercedes, and allow this convenient relationship to keep people interested, entertained, and distracted from the sc**w job that is being done to the ‘lessor’ teams who are literally being disenfranchised by manufacturers like Merc who are actively pushing for “customer” teams.

            Go watch MotoGP for the last 6-7 years, and tell me if you see a common theme. Too much ‘control’ is a bad thing. The FIA, the manufacturers, and the TV heads as well as those who ‘profit’ by the spectacle own and operate F1, the future course was set a while ago, enjoy the ride. I got bored of watching ‘satellite teams’ and CRT bikes in MotoGP pretend to have a chance at winning, you won’t see a team like Sauber or guys like Pastor Maldonado fighting in a second rate car going for the win anymore. Electronics, factory kit, it’s coming to F1, and guess what, you will want it on your car, along with a million other things that can break and drive up the cost of production/maintenance/ownership.

            1. Why did you censor the word screw? I stopped reading your comment after that as that was all that needed addressing.

            2. Criticises book report, replies with book report.

        2. @pcxmerc, so Red Bull should go and compete in a series that Nissan has just pulled out of this season because of restrictive regulations?

          The ACO has banned in season development because their Balance of Performance regulations has no mechanism to allow for incremental improvements in performance through development work. Porsche has had a locked in performance advantage from the start of this season – Toyota announced months ago that they are not trying to contest for the title this season, because the regulations block them from trying to catch up with Porsche – and even Audi is effectively giving up as well (development work on the R18 has noticeably slowed this season).

          Once Nissan homologated their car, they have to use that package – even though they have publicly stated that their powertrain is fundamentally broken (their energy recovery systems do not function) – or withdraw, and they have chosen the latter option for 2015.

      2. Red Bull deserve a chance to compete

        I actually disagree, not one team on that grid or manufacturer deserves a single thing. It’s that mentality of deserving something that has helped Red Bull into the situation it is in now.

        1. @woodyd91 : so do we have to agree to your logic?

          1. No. That’s my opinion, hence why I said “I disagree”. Have your own opinion.

        2. eureka! you are right, RBR doesn’t deserve the right to compete, they should be told what to do, and how to do it. Bark on command, and roll over so the manufacturers can get plenty of air time for their own interests. I completely agree. By George !

          1. Oh yeah that’s what I said wasn’t it. Why do people have to go over the top and make a performance when they disagree?

            What I did say was that NO team deserves anything, they don’t deserve a race winning engine (red bulls problem with being insulted Mercedes and Ferrari won’t give them basically an par engine with the works team) they don’t deserve a great chassis or aero package, great drivers etc. They as in ALL teams not just RB.

            The right to compete? Are they not competing in F1 now? Maybe I imagined them at all the races this year. The difference is, they don’t “deserve” to complete at the front, they have the right to compete on the grid because they paid their entry but it doesn’t mean they have a right or deserve to be fighting at the front for race wins and championships just because they once did.

            It’s very hard for Red Bull the play the victim card in this situation. They Tried to put the boot in by attending the 2013 tyre test case in Paris with Mercedes with the view of trying to throw the book at them because Mercedes had a quick car at that point, yet now they wanted to partner with them and get help from them? They repeatedly publicly slated Renault in public and while the performance of Renault should be criticised it should be done in private but RB decided to play it out in the media for added effect. So the poor red bull not be given the right to compete at the front of the grid doesn’t particularly wash with me.

            1. Michael has the truth of it in my opinion. And well put too.

      3. I’m afraid Red Bull have a consistent history of slating their engine in public even when winning world championships. They also destroyed FOTA, never tried to make a RRA work and look like whining little children that can’t get what they want all the time.

        Maybe fans want team heads to behave with integrity and with respect to their partners, however boring that may sound. Perhaps some of the Red Bull staff want their team head to behave similarly so they can earn a living long term.

        Renault have suffered enough with this team. Time to take matters into their own hands. Good for them.

    7. I know what will happen next. Hamilton will be beaten by his -probably a couple of years younger- next teammate. You heard it here first.

      1. I’m not sure who you are referring to but considering Rosberg has a contract for next year I very much doubt any change will happen at Mercedes. for 2017 though, maybe VES will be pulled away from Red Bull/ Renault (who knows his contract) and put in the Mercedes family, which I still believe that’s who he would of signed for originally if he hadn’t of been offered a Toro Rosso seat if he signed on the dotted line with Red Bull/Renault. Mercedes couldn’t offer that.

        However even if that did happen, I don’t think VES would beat Hamilton on a consistent basis for a while because while he shows some supreme skills behind the wheel he still has much to learn. He actually reminds me alot of Hamilton when he arrived on the scene in 2007 in certain ways, very exciting to watch and alot of buzz around. Hamilton also has supreme skills behind the wheel however he also has the experience of the up’s and down’s of F1 life, the winning, then losing then winning again, politics, developing a car, developing a team etc. More importantly he now has the maturity to have become the driver he is today, which I still don’t think is his best, and while Lewis certainly has his “detractors” to put it…nicely, there really is no sensible way of denying the amount of success he has had in this sport and why his name will carry on in F1 long after he has left it.

        1. Verstappen and Kvyat both reminds me of Vettel actually.

        2. I’m talking about overhyping the driver who’s currently winning the championship. That is not to say he’s not brilliant. But it is what it is.
          Who knows who will be his next teammate and how experienced that guy/girl? will be.

    8. Re cotd, I don’t believe it is a given that Renault would walk from RBR if they failed to come through on the chassis side, nor do I believe BMW went through all it takes to form their own team strictly because Williams was underperforming…they had to have been poised already for such a big decision from several fronts, not just because of Williams.
      I also would not use the word ‘fear’ when it comes to Merc and Ferrari not supplying RBR…more like wise, and it being a sign of respect that RBR can be formidable, and having proved that why would a competitor help them when hundreds of millions are at stake. Teams in all sports don’t fear each other so much as respect their abilities. If they fear opponents they’re already set up to fail.

      1. Completely agree. Doubt Renault would have simply pulled out and they also wouldn’t be so publicly vocal about their dismay.

        BMW wanted their name on the team. Williams didn’t want to sell. So they bought Sauber instead. Simple.

        BMW later pulled out because they wanted a budget cap and said they would pull out if that didn’t materialize. They felt that spending 400 to 500million per year on racing two cars was too much and “only” spending something like 200 to 250 million should suffice. Ferrari and Red Bull didn’t agree and the FIA lacked the backbone to force them to compete on more normal and equal budgets to the rest, so out BMW went.

        Ferrari and Mercedes spend hundreds of millions on developing their engines to get a competitive edge. Red Bull has no such costs and their budget is still the same if not larger. It’s not just “fear of” or “respect for” the Red Bull teams, but supplying them with their own better engine would mean they’d have to spend a few hundred million extra on their aero as well to get aero budget parity with them. It all just makes no sense economically.

        1. @patrickl

          Ferrari and Mercedes spend hundreds of millions on developing their engines to get a competitive edge. Red Bull has no such costs and their budget is still the same if not larger. It’s not just “fear of” or “respect for” the Red Bull teams, but supplying them with their own better engine would mean they’d have to spend a few hundred million extra on their aero as well to get aero budget parity with them. It all just makes no sense economically.

          Sorry this is wrong. RBR has an equal budget and they pay for the engines, they don’t get them for free. As an analogy: Apple spends millions on developing iPhones, yet when you buy one for a few 100 quid, apple is getting this back and more.. You would’net argue that Apple is making a loss there…

          If that actually were the problem, then the RBR Ferrari deal would have blown up because RBR wasn’t willing to pay the price Ferrari asked them for to make the budgets equal, but that wasn’t the case obviously, was it?

          1. @skylien, No it’s not. Red Bull don’t DEVELOP an engine. That costs at least 10 times more than simply purchasing them.

            If you think “sponsorship” is a net loss then indeed Mercedes and Ferrari are losing money.

            Perhaps in the future they will recover their costs, but for now they sure don’t and development hasn’t stopped.

            1. @patrickl

              Just look up the budget figures 2015 for all F1 teams, those are the totals eacht eam has for the total car + team, travel, tires etc.., and that includes having an engine no matter if you buy it or develop it. That is a fact.

            2. Yep, so there is 200 million for Mercedes and Ferrari engine development in that budget and only 20 million for Red Bull for the customer engines. That’s a fact.

            3. Where do you get these numbers from? This is for sure wrong.

              1: There is absolutely nothing that would keep a manufacturer of asking of its customer 200 million over a year as well (for all engines and support etc!) if that is the actual value of the engine. Again the deal between RBR and Ferrari was no problem over money!
              2: If that were true Williams would have nearly the same budget (corrected for engine) as Mercedes and Ferrari. That is ridiculous to argue. And even most other customer teams wouldn’t be that far off budget-wise.
              3: If that were true you are in effect arguing that it is the manufacturers that are choked by costs and can’t compete with their own customer teams because they have not enough money to have a proper aero, drivers etc. Obviously that is far from the truth.

            4. @patrickl

              Sorry forgot the “@patrickl“. Can’t expect you keep checking manually.. See above post.

            5. @patrickl

              Another point. How high do you actually think the budget was for Renault to develop the engine per year? And what do you expect Red Bull was/is paying them? Do you think they paid only 20 million to Renault so they would develop for 200 million/year? Or do you really think Red Bull paid 200 million to Renault, but if they switch to Ferrari it would suddenly be only 20 million?

              Sorry to assume this is ridiculous.

            6. @skylien,

              It’s a bit useless if you just keep stating out things as pure fact and then come around and say that you actually don’t have an idea of what budgets are. Quite ridiculous yes.

              The Mercedes engine development costs for 2014 have been widely discussed. It was around 200 million. Ferrari said that they increased their engine development budget by 100 million to match Mercedes for 2015.

              Red Bull has stated that they pay Renault a customer fee for their engines. Didn’t say what that was, but it will be in the tens of millions.

              So whatever Renault sunk into developing their engine is not relevant. Apart from the fact that if you would ad that on top of the already huge Red bull budget you’d come out a lot higher than Mercedes and Ferrari.

              You seem to mistakenly assume that everythin in F1 is done to make money. Is is NOT. It’s all a huge waste of money. They do it to get marketing exposure. It’s like an advertising budget.

              Mercedes reportedly received 2 billion worth of marketing exposure from their F1 team. So that’s money well spent/wasted.

              I hope you get it now, but if not tough luck.

            7. @patrickl

              It’s a bit useless if you just keep stating out things as pure fact and then come around and say that you actually don’t have an idea of what budgets are. Quite ridiculous yes.

              You stated things as pure fact without giving a source. At no point I came around saying I don’t have an idea what budgets are… That is ridiculous..

              You just avoided most questions and think you are right just because you ignore them and state some other facts not having anything to do with what we were arguing. Ferrari increased its general budget by 100m, not just for engine development..

              Of course F1 is to make money! By making marketing for the main brand as you state yourself, and that is what many people criticizes in F1. However that is beside the point what we are arguing. You argue that Merc and Ferrari spend on net 10 times the money on engines from their actual F1 budget annually than RBR, or McLaren. That is plain ridiculous.

            8. Why would I give a source for common knowledge?

              Bu I guess you can’t comprehend the difference in budget between developing an engine and manufacturing 10 per year. Tough luck.

            9. @patrickl,

              First I want to say sorry. We obviously disagree but there is no need to be rude. I shouldn’t have used buzzwords like ridiculous etc. I still think I am right though of course, as you are, in my view, not making a substantial argument but more or less just keep saying “you don’t understand xy”.

    9. I struggle to see the urgency sometimes with some of F1’s politics as the rules get torn up every few years depending how dominant a team is anyway. Merc will be allowed 3 years of dominance before major rule changes for 2017 designed to shift the balance away from them again so the likes of Red Bull may aswell sit through 2016 and lobby/develop for what’s to come in 2017 and try to get a jump on everyone else as happened in 2009 and 2014 with Brawn (who didn’t sustain it due to Honda pulling out) and Merc respectively.
      The problem with F1’s approach is that they tend to rip up the rulebook just when teams approach diminishing returns and the racing becomes closer which I’m sure will happen again in 2016 as it did in 2008 and the first half of 2013 when everyone bar Red Bull gave up to work on 2014 midseason.

      1. Actually Red Bull just complained and complained (nothing new) about the construction of the tires in 2013. Which led to change after the farce that was the British GP that year. Which basically ended Ferrari and Lotus’ year.

        Ferrari also introduced a terrible upgrade at Canada that year, if I recall, that took them in a bad development direction, and Lotus ran out of money (also nothing new).

    10. Thank for the COTD Keith. Although I did have my own Murray Walker moment with the “the situation is exactly the same, just reversed” comment.

      And the RBR/STR engine drama continues to roll on…

    11. I must say that i don’t fully blame Renault for the situation they are in, but the regulations.

      Yes, they have made a poor engine, but the regulations will not allow them to rectify the situation due to this stupid Token system.

      What will be next for F1, Tokens for bodywork to limit aero development??? For a sport that is meant to be the pinnacle of technology, they really like to shoot themselves in the foot. If it were not for these pointless “cost saving” regulations, Renault and Honda would both be a lot closer to Merc and Ferrari than they are now.

      1. Actually I do. I had no problem with 2014, when huge changes to regulations come in, someone always end gets it wrong and I could live with that.

        But to turn up to testing in 2015 (after having a year to work on turning it around) with a worse package and then to be almost through 2015 with not one single token used to me demonstrates a group that has a serious lack of commitment to F1 and its customers.

        Let’s see if the Lotus deal actually goes through. Personally I think it’s just a smokescreen to cover their intention to abandon F1 completely when it falls through.

        1. @dbradock

          Whilst I don’t want to defend Renault too much given that they have obviously underperformed, i think their token strategy this year is wise.

          Had they spent tokens early in the season they may have gained a small amount of performance, but it would never have been enough to catch Mercedes.

          Instead (i hope) they’ve spent the season evaluating various solutions and will spend their 12 tokens at the end of the year to maximise the potential of their 2016 tokens, much like Mercedes did with their last upgrade.

          1. Their delayed use of tokens wasn’t the original plan though. Red Bull had urged Renault to not waste time on dyno testing the engine. They would simply test the engine on track. Or so was the idea apparently. Of course the result was a complete and utter fail with engines failing every race.

            Renault couldn’t very well start working on performance enhancements if the engines weren’t even surviving a race weekend. So they had to sort that out first. Which took very long.

            Otherwise the plan would have been to have a performance upgrade half way through the season.

      2. And yet you ignore the fact that Ferrari did just fine catching up. Blaming the token system at this time when the token are still more than enough to change almost everything is ridiculous.
        Anyone who things Renault will be beating Merc or Ferrari without the token is dreaming. They will still be behind them.

    12. I wish Torro Rosso could just go and fix their part of the problem themselves. If it was up to them they’d have engines by now, in fact, they probably never would have lost them in the first place.

      1. Torro rosso exists coz of redbull so the point of them existing independent is not valid, it’s because of redbull arrogance they are suffering, redbull can’t will all the time.

    13. Mending Burnt Bridges: How to Save a Relationship Damaged Beyond Repair

      By Red Bull GmbH

    14. Way to cock it up Red Bull….true genius at work. Publicly humiliate your engine partner, who was good enough to help you win 4 drivers and 4 constructors trophies on the trot, then have to crawl back to them with your tail between your legs because you had no back up plan before the lambasting began. Incredible. Renault should increase engine supply fees for their trouble. Substantial increase at that. Take it or leave it.

    15. Ilmor are rumoured to be building RB engine parts on the quiet. Whatever they do for next year is nothing but a stop gap for their own, self-funded engine.

      1. Lets hope so. I’d really love to see them do their own engine.

        They already paid Ilmor to do a complete test design (one cylinder) which he claimed was promising and then Renault said they could do better anyway. Ah well.

    16. Conspiracy theory incoming; purely for academic reasons. What if… Red Bull and Renault created this entire drama. A bit of distraction while they work out the bugs in their PU… Keep Mercedes and the fez thinkin that they will only be battling themselves, all the time they make dramatic progress of course, they’ve pretty much been guaranteed a terrible season from the outset, so why not just spend the year focussing on 2016, or next year Renault will power 3 teams, one their own works team. All rising from the ashes. Just a thought.

    17. Given all the huffing and puffing of Deitrich throughout the year about how bad the Renault engine is, I’m still left wondering how anyone could entertain the thought that RBR would go back to Renault? If this comes down to RBR’s only engine available is the Renault, then given the type of individual Deitrich is, ie a megolamaniac businessman, he won’t swollow his pride and pickup the Renault engine, instead, he’ll stand defiant and either sell the team or dissolve it.

      Given that RBR has so many facilities and still a fairly good name, not to mention Toro Rosso, I’m sure someone will buy the team out, and Deitrich might actually get some money out of the team. However, if this does occur, I cannot see the team running at the front of the grid as this would require a serious backer like another Deitrich or even manufacturer. I also wouldn’t imagine Horner would be running the team, as I think he has proven himself to be a front running team principal, one which I’m sure that someone the likes of McLaren might be looking for.

      1. Oh, I forgot to mention a 3rd option, Horner himself takes a leaf out of Ross Brawns’ book and buys the team off of Deitrich.

      2. @dragoll

        I agree. However at the moment it really looks like one of the biggest U-turns I have ever seen. If Dietrich doesn’t follow through now with his threat and withdraws from F1 then I am really disappointed of him. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I want to see RBR leave, but then they shouldn’t have made this threat in the first place. Just do what you say, and think hard before you say something like this…

        1. @skylien You are right, if he doesn’t leave, it will just make him look like he threw a tantrum.

    18. Why is there a witch on a broomstick on Alonso’s celebratory biscuit?

      1. @mike-dee It’s supposed to be a samurai.

    19. Reading the Force India Tweet about Williams tyre mixup reminds me about something in F1. It’s meant to be fun.

      Amidst all the drama it’s getting like watching a reality show where everyone is at each other’s throats. I do wonder is it the media skewing our perception with constant click bait about the impending doom of the sport or are things really as miserable in the paddock as it seems?

      I watch it because I enjoy motor racing, but all this political, reality show esque garbage on court cases, technical blunders, sour grapes and so on and so on is really grating.

      And that brings me back to the Force India Tweet. Williams messed up, but there is a funny side to it.

      1. @philipgb You’re right F1 supposed to be fun. I also watch F1 to admire whatever technological marvel they bring to the race. I guess we could still do that if we just ignore all F1 site and news aside from drivers silly season and just watch the qualifying and race without the pre-show so we ignorant of what happened in the back. I guess it’s not really F1 fault since all competition this big will always have politics behind it. We know it because we actually actively search for F1 news. For me, I never like football so I don’t know what happened there, but I’m sure for football fans, there’s always story of how dirty politics in FIFA or national league ruining the sport.

    20. But if Renault will have their own F1 team starting 2016,… will they supply RBR the latest engine anymore?? I say this because they demanded specifically the latest engine package from Mercedes and Ferrari. Did RBR made the biggest mistake so far by having in 2016 not only the worst engine from F1, but a dated one too?!

    21. I’m thinking Bernie will be bargaining with the Historic Team status to try and make Renault supply an engine to Red Bull, as a stopgap. Dietrich will at last have worked out that he has to make his own engine in this era of F1.

      I don’t think Renault would supply Horner any sooner than they’d supply Mateschitz. And it would mean a massive budget cut (which Brawn didn’t have).

      But Renault may be thinking seriously of pulling out altogether. I would. BMW are doing okay without F1, after all, and they’re up against Mercedes who are so rich and formidable atm and Ferrari who will always have the dice loaded in their favour.

      Mateschitz may really not want to make an engine, or not believe he can make a good one.

      We have to savour not knowing, I think. But I reckon the nuclear options are real possibilities.

    22. Every up to date engine is better than last years version. Period!

    23. The icing on this Red Bull flavoured cake would now be Renault only offering 2015-spec engines….!

    24. “I can understand why both Ferrari and Mercedes do not want to give their engines to Red Bull, however don’t for a minute think this is because of their fear of being publicly slated by Red Bull. It’s because they fear being beaten by their own engines.”
      I partially agree with the COTD and at the same time find the conclusive words very interesting. If Renault guys don’t know how to benefit from this situation then no one in the universe is capable of helping them. I’d give PU to RBR with no fear at all demanding transfer of some RBR aero dept staff to Renault’s works team – which is by this moment non existing. It seems that both parties in this situation are at least equally problematic. Obviously drama continues.

    25. I really don’t get the “Hamilton improved over winter” stuff from Lauda. Hamilton was destroying Rosberg just as much last season as he does this one. It’s just that last season his car kept breaking down costing him tons of points.

      If Hamilton had had two DNF’s extra this season too then he and and Rosberg would now be on similar points. I’m sure Lauda would be saying how closely matched they are. Or perhaps he never had the time to actually watch the races in 2014.

      At best you could say that both drivers learned to prioritize their setup better. In 2014 Rosberg was focussing too much on qualifying and Hamilton too much on the race. Now they have a more similar focus somewhere in the middle which results in them having a similar pace difference in quali and race pace (ie Hamilton slightly quicker in both).

    26. If Red Bull can’t sort anything quickly they should agree for Ferrari to supply Toro Rosso. They would be safe, at least, while Red Bull may be forced to do a gap-year still with Renault, if the French manufacturer wants to continue. Toro Rosso can be spared from this mess, and even though it may end up beating Red Bull if the car is good, Red Bull will find an engine partner for 2017 and it would be better to “sacrifice” 2016 by remaining on 2015 levels than to pull the plug.

    27. That’s the thing about burning bridges – you need to make sure the others don’t spontaneously combust.

    28. I think probably after VW the biggest loser of the Diesel engine scandal is Red Bull. There is no virtually no possibility that with a gaping multi-billion dollar hole and shaky management they would foray into F1 now. Given that Renault would have its works team they are pretty much screwed (granted to some extent self-inflicted: if they were not so scathing Renault might not be forced to decide on all-in or all-out option rather than being merely engine provider).

    29. I hope Torro Rosso will help with the problems. Red Bull have a consistent history of slating their engine in public even when winning world championships. Time to take matters into their own hands.

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