Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Red Bull could use unbranded Renault engines in 2016

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In the round-up: Red Bull could keep Renault engines for 2016 but take the stickers off.

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A few more stats on Sunday’s race:

Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso and Ricciardo had won the last 54 races. This is the longest period of five drivers winning; Piquet, Senna, Prost, Mansell and Berger won the 53 races between Brazil 1986 and USA 1989.

First time in history, two countries win 24 races in a row. Before this season, Great Britain and USA had won 23 races from Belgium 1962 to Germany 1964

In the last 28 races two countries made the pole position. The record is 41 set by USA and Great Britain from Netherlands 1962 to Belgium 1966
Erivaldo moreira (@erivaldonin)

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Keke Rosberg scored his final F1 race victory in his last start for Williams 30 years ago today, in the first world championship Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide:

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  • 80 comments on “Red Bull could use unbranded Renault engines in 2016”

    1. Watch 0:39 of that Australian Grand Prix ’85 footage

      Bah, and we think that what Hamilton did to Rosberg in Austin was bad. If internet forums were around back then, I’m pretty sure that there would have been a war lasting weeks between Mansell fans and Senna fans. :P

      1. @kingshark And we have lot of people saying Senna is not worthy of being legend too ;)

    2. Christian Horner July 2016:
      I know we havent scored a point yet, it is because our new anonymous engine
      (which, however similar, bears no resemblance to our previous engine) is crap. The anonymous company isn’t performing as much as we’d like maybe it’s coz they are french.

      Reporter: but your engine is unbranded but everyone knows ita made by Renault

      Horner: I cannot confirm or deny that it is a Renault engine, but I can confirm that it is not a Honda, Ferrari or Mercedes engine.

      1. That sounds exactly like Horner.

      2. The Engine Which Must Not Be Named.

        1. Powered by Voldemort..xD

        2. Red Bull-Voldemort. Kind of has a ring to it.

    3. I can’t decide whether Arrivabene is being stupid or diplomatic…

      I also have no idea what Alonso’s issue with Vettel was; the closest car to Vettel was Alonso, and he was half a mile away!

      1. Don’t be fooled by the wide angle lens @raceprouk.

        1. I know exactly what I saw @hohum. And what I saw were two cars that were nowhere near other cars.

      2. @raceprouk regardless of the risk, I don’t see why he cannot follow the track… he went on the grass and put dirt all over the racing line at the esses too.

        Alonso was also in trouble and he followed the track. I really don’t see why Vettel chose whatever route he wanted… his car was drivable, even on 3 wheels. Ricciardo did a WHOLE LAP at Suzuka no less on 3 wheels and he hardly cut any corner, besides the chicane which he still tried to take.

        1. Alonso was also in trouble and he followed the track.

          @fer-no65 Apples and oranges, and you know it. Alonso had an engine problem, of course he was going to follow the track, he had zero reason not to. While I think Vettel didn’t need to cut the corners as much as he did, I think he was just trying to protect the floor of his car from bottoming out and suffering damage (we have seen that happening numerous times), which would have been very likely at the stadium hairpin.

          Regarding Riccardo and Suzuka, he didn’t leave the track because there is hardly any tarmac run-off there. If he tried to do that he would have been beached on a gravel trap, so again, appels and oranges comparison.

          At the end of the day, Vettel left the track because he could, and the stewards agree with his reasoning. Nothing to see here.

          1. @raceprouk @guilherme It is obvious that Vettel was cutting the track for one reason alone, to save as much time as possible. And as drivers have been warned about cutting the track in the past (Vettel was investigated in Korea 2011 during qualifying) to get back to the pits as quickly as possible, I’m surprised the stewards didn’t give him a reprimand.

          2. Saying “Apples and Oranges” doesn’t mean anything, really. @fer-no65 makes reasonable comparisons between drivers who were struggling with the car and did or did not cut corners. Furthermore, you can easily compare apples and oranges, and in fact they are very similar: http://www.improb.com/airchives/paperair/volume1/v1i3/air-1-3-apples.html

            1. @flig It’s just a well-known phrase for a incorrect comparison, wether apples and oranges are similar really have nothing to do with my point. Or anyone’s point. Regarding Alonso, yes, if you want to limit your situation to the vague description of “drivers who were struggling with the car” then you can compare almost anything, but that won’t tell the whole story. I don’t think a comparison between a car that is just low on power – but has all of its mechanical grip available – and a car that has 3 wheels trying to navigate a tight hairpin is reasonable at all.

            2. @guilherme that’s my point. I know the expression, but IIwanted to point out that it is a kinda useless one. Using the analogy “apples and oranges” to argue against another analogy is like… Errr… Comparing apples and oranges.

          3. @guilherme Apples and Oranges, both fruits. Alonso & Vettel, both F1 drivers and WDC’s at that. Vettel should have got a penalty.

        2. he went on the grass and put dirt all over the racing line at the esses too

          It was either cut the grass or rejoin at right-angles, the latter being more dangerous

        3. I have seen cars with a puncture leave the track before when driving slowly back to the pits, particularly when the tyre is falling apart and eventually separates from the wheel, which is what happened in this case.

          From the stewards document

          Car 5 had a puncture at turn 1 and lost the rubber of the tyre at turn 13. After reviewing the video footage the stewards agreed with the driver’s reason for leaving the track.

      3. I think the issue is that he just cuts across the track, and indeed the racing line, with only a slight lift. If there were other cars around him it would probably be considered very dangerous. Plus Alonso is probably slightly annoyed that he lost points in Russia for supposedly track extending yet Vettel seemingly gets away with pulling a Mario Kart short cut.

        1. If there were other cars around him

          But there weren’t, making the whole argument moot.

        2. But don’t the rules say, if you cut the corners you are not allowed to gain an advantage. As I see it he saved time, and he saved his car from further damage at those speeds, meaning he should have lost more time by taking the corners much slower to protect his car. So his potential gain was “X” seconds on that lap plus 70 x “Y” seconds/lap for the rest of the race.

          1. But don’t the rules say, if you cut the corners you are not allowed to gain an advantage.

            Correction: a lasting advantage. Which you don’t get when you’re tootling around at 40 so you don’t shred the floor.

      4. How did Vettel not get penalised for this? He just kept taking shortcuts on the track to get to the pits quicker. It is dangerous and cheating if you ask me.

    4. Whatever engine RBR use next year, it will be criticized a lot less if it is branded RedBull. I hope that they take the basic Renault mechanicals and try to improve the turbo and electronics to provide better power, then we can compare the performance of the engine Renault builds with the engine RBR wanted Renault to build.

      1. @hohum
        Could possibly be Renault’s way of saying they’ll supply engines, but Red Bull will have to pay more as Renault won’t be putting their stickers on the cars ?
        And also a way of removing the works team status ?

        1. they were de facto works team, but never officially, don’t they?

          1. they were officially treated as such @matiascasali. Its even part of the contract (the one they cancelled earlier this year)

          2. @matiascasali, Red Bull was officially designated as the Renault works team when Renault sold off their own team to Genii.

      2. FlyingLobster27
        3rd November 2015, 5:35

        Could RBR manufacture some parts themselves, and spend their own tokens? This might be a silly question, but an unbranded engine could also be a typically F1 unforeseen loophole. If it is, cue the return of Ilmor for parallel dev for MB?

        1. Lets hope Horner and Wolff don’t read this message @flyinglobster27 haha. Ilmor also works with Honda on the IndyCar V6, that can be an interesting conflict of interest

          1. FlyingLobster27
            3rd November 2015, 10:22

            @tequesta, I mentioned Ilmor off the top of my head because they were the gateway for MB’s return to F1 as an engine supplier in the 90s IIRC. Of course, what goes for Renault & Merc also goes for Ferrari & Honda. The rules may have this covered though; even if RBR’s engines aren’t badged, they may be classed as Renault engines and therefore they will only have access to what Renault supplies. But a loophole is entirely possible. I mean, I don’t think the rulewriters anticipated such a crazy situation, in which an engine partner would be slated so hard they wouldn’t want their names to appear next to certain teams, while still supplying them!

        2. I actually really like the idea of teams being able to buy an engine with tokens left over. It could open up a bit of variety in performance and possibly even cost for the smaller teams. For example Williams could keep the current deal with Mercedes where they get updates throughout the season, but Force India could buy a stock of 2015 engines at a lower price and have 32 tokens for in-house development. They could even re-badge it as an Aston Martin and get their input if those rumors are true.
          And of course Red Bull could get the unbranded engines from Renault and then hand them over to Ilmor with 32 tokens to play with as they were keen to do earlier this year.
          The independent development may even open up opportunities for the customer teams to get one over the works guys. It was often said during the V8 era that Mclaren and Williams had better KERS packages than Mercedes or Ferrari.

      3. @hohum Would be funny if RBR put on Illien’s cylinder that they commissioned, and it did give the 45hp boost. Renault would then instead be using their own one, which was downsized from an expected 45hp gain (probably to dismiss RBR) to just 10-15hp for 11 tokens…

        1. It looks like you called it!

          TheJudge13 published an exclusive confirmed story today saying that is essentially what Red Bull will do… Mario Illien will be in Red Bull’s building 9, will be able to improve Renault’s 2016 ICE, and Red Bull will do their own EC as well.

    5. Arrivabene:
      “It’s an accident, it’s part of the show. I don’t want to blame anybody.”

      But it is still Kimi’s fault, and of course no one likes to blame his driver, and Kimi must still be blamed because he is ruining a good show by being a reckless driver in a very competitive car.

      In case Ferrari lost their constructor championship position to another team because of Kimi’s lack of good results then I am sure he will be blamed. Thankfully Vettel is extracting the best of the car most of the time.

      1. Lewisham Milton
        3rd November 2015, 9:33

        Vettel’s crash did more to Improve The Show – it gave us a nice fake close finish and lots of pit stops (which are, of course, way more exciting than racing on the track, according to Pirelli)

    6. That vettel corner cutting is disgraceful. How can he be cleared for that? The Manors should drive like that at all times if that won’t get you punished.

      1. @john-h To be honest I don’t see the problem. This way he didn’t put chunks of tire all over the track.

        I don’t get why Alonso is complaining either. Why is that dangerous, he wasn’t even close. Alonso has said some rubbish things lately, probably cause he’s annoyed with Mclaren and F1, but still..

        1. Perhaps Alonso’s famous distaste for Vettel was an influence?

        2. There is a principle involved here.

      2. Lewisham Milton
        3rd November 2015, 9:33

        Stevens should try it, he needs to do something if Rossi keeps beating him!

      3. The tyre came away from the wheel, you can see it rolling down the track, it is not unreasonable that the car left the track when that happened. The stewards are obviously making allowances for a damaged tyre/car, this is a different situation from an undamaged car.

    7. Red Bull Supertec?
      Red Bull Playlife?
      Red Bull Mecachrome?

      I like the sound of Red Bull Mecachrome!

      1. would be a lot cooler if it was Red Bull Megatron! do as i command! :D

        1. That would suit Red Bull perfectly.

        2. And the champions could rebrand themselves the Mercedes Autobots :D

      2. @fer-no65 You beat me to it!

        I was just about to say the same thing

        Red Bull Supertec has a nice ring to it! Supertec was Flavio’s company no?

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd November 2015, 9:10

        Actually I couldn’t care less what they call it. It’s a Renault engine.

      4. @fer-no65 Sounds good/most likely to me! What else could they use.. Alpine.. Nissan.. Infiniti :P, Dacia ;)

      5. Or maybe Red Bull Mugen Honda…. obviously not an unbranded Renault though. That Mugen gave the Jordan some thrilling moments.

    8. I hope Red Bull rebrand their engine as a “Can”.

      Or a Soapbox might be more appropriate.

      1. @neilosjames, If Red Bull’s chassi is a soapbox, then what does that make the rest of the field bar Mercedes?

    9. I think an independent engine for the future of Formula One is a no-brainer. It’s important to have a competitive, economical engine.

      Sorry, but “competitive” and “economical” are mutually exclusive, at least they are in F1 anyway. You can have one or the other, but not both.
      If you want an economical engine (which I’m guessing you mean one that costs less than $100,000) then any old racing engine will do, but you won’t get on to the starting grid with it because it won’t comply with the current regulations. For example, the engine has to meet the fuel flow requirements, it has to use the standard F1 engine management system that lets the FIA peek into the software you wrote for it, your car has to have the prerequisite energy recovery systems, it has to last a minimum of 5 races (+ practices, qualifying, and crashes), it has to be a 1.6 litre engine with just 6 cylinders, and it has to be able to accelerate your car up to 300km/h in about 1 km (and even then your drivers will complain it is too slow). Oh, and don’t forget it has to be homoglated and have tokens.
      If, on the other hand, you want an engine that is competitive (i.e. an engine that will get the car on to the starting grid), that will cost you about $1M per engine. Sorry, but you cannot make an F1 grade engine cheaper than that (note the “even then your drivers will complain it is too slow” bit). A proportion of the cost covers the manufacturer’s need to do research and development. Something like half of an F1 team’s budget is related to the engine, meaning the $1M is just one part of the total engine related costs. Even if one was able to obtain a hypothetical “under $100,000” F1 grade engine (which doesn’t exist), the other engine related costs alone mean that the actual engine itself is just a small portion of the total engine budget.
      If you want one from an independent engine supplier, well for the manufacturer there are advantages and disadvantages to that, but at the start of this year there was Renault, they were independent, but it seems the disadvantages of being independent outweighed the advantages, so now they are acquiring a team.
      Some would argue that Renault powered cars don’t beat Mercedes powered cars, but the person speaking didn’t actually say that, they implied they would prefer a “lower cost” engine (which doesn’t exist) that was capable of getting their car on to the starting grid, and they were happy with taking their chances in getting to the podium. What they are arguing for is what the status quo is at the moment.

      1. @drycrust, the proportion of the budget that the engine takes up is a lot less than half.

        The figures that Sauber released last year suggest that an engine and transmission deal come to around 20-25% of the budget of a typical midfield team. Aerodynamic development work, on the other hand, took up around 55% of the budget, with the remainder being spent on the administrative side of competing (staff wages, travel and accommodation costs and so forth).

        Comparatively speaking, even if you did knock a few million off the price of the engine, it is unlikely to have much of an impact – mainly because most teams would then simply plough that money back into aerodynamic development instead of banking that money.

        1. I was basing my comment upon an article on the F1-Grand Prix website. This article is headed with a picture of a pie chart showing the expenditure of a team in percentages, and exactly half of that (50.0%) is called “engine”. When I had read the article I hadn’t paid much attention to the date, but it seems to be dated around 2008, so it is obvious that some things will have changed.
          The article also states that then cost of an engine is around $161,000 each, and that you were allowed to use a maximum of 10 in a year, which would be an expenditure of $1.6M. This amount was not 50% of the expenses of an F1 team in 2008, the total budget would have been far higher, so my guess is that most of the rest of the 50% was engine related expenses, e.g. wages, travel expenses, shipping, software, etc.
          Whether the engine related expenses is 25% or 50% of a team’s budget, the fact remains the wider costs associated with an engine are significantly more than the engine itself. As such, an engine that requires less administrative work could well be cheaper than one that requires more.

          http://www.f1-grandprix.com/?p=23009

          1. @drycrust That’d put engine costs in 2008 on par with what is was 6 years earlier (that graph looks more like being from pre-engine restriction) when engines were still under unlimited development and that makes absolutely no sense despite Lehman Brothers.

          2. Go back a decade more and engine costs were around 80% of the total budget. Nowadays it’s down to 20-25%.

    10. I thought drivers were supposed to be smart.
      Mercedes did not deprive Hamilton of a chance for a very simple reason. Rosberg was ordered to pits on safety grounds, not for a faster strategy. He did not do it willingly, he was ordered. So if Hamilton wants his team to let him go to the end on his current tyres, he must also allow for Rosberg not being called to the pits either, leaving him in front. So where is the chance and race position Hamiton is talking about?
      When the team decides to call cars in as a preventive measure, knowing well that it will cost them some seconds, but also knowing well that they can safely spare these seconds, then it makes sense to call both, or none. Anything else would be putting one driver at disadvantage. Now how hard was that to figure out?

      1. I think we have to realise that all of those interviews and “soundbites” are based on talking with Hamilton before he had a chance to get briefed more in detail @ph.

        Its pretty clear that Hamilton was under the impression that Rosberg had to pit for immediate concerns and they only called him in to make it fair, not knowing that the team called both in more as a precaution and both might have been able to get to the flag on that older set of tyres.

        1. Ham is a bad looser, and acording to him, nobody who is a good loser can be a champion.

    11. Unbranded engines from Renault should cost a pretty penny methinks.

      1. The engine has to homoglated. I don’t know if that means the word “Renault” has to be on the engine, exactly like every other Renault engine being used in the season. Of course, Red Bull just need to put some sort of cover over the engine and then no one can see it.
        At one time Renault could have made an F1 engine just for Red Bull, but now with homoglation and tokens that could be difficult.

        1. Of course, Red Bull just need to put some sort of cover over the engine and then no one can see it.

          Don’t they have one already? :)

          1. Its called the blanket of shame…

    12. I don’t understand this well, but why would Renault agree to to provide PUs to Red Bull? And what are the perks of selling unbranded engines over a simpler one/two year deal?

      1. @praxis : RBR can’t blame Renault anymore

      2. I think supplying Red Bull engines is one important piece which helps Renault get the historic bonus payment from Bernie.

        “We save your two teams, you pay us extra in return” is what Renault is saying to Bernie now, I believe.

      3. Include in contract Renault brand is not to be mentioned or tarnished in any way or form… there are 20-30 milion reasons why to sell them engines.

    13. In Austin and again in Mexico I watched Sky carefully tee Horner up to say something helpful and positive about Renault, and even in the midst of the crisis he could not bring himself to do it. The best he could manage was to bitch obliquely.

      Perhaps Ghosn is extracting some massive concessions from Bernie? Otherwise I don’t see the unbranded concept working at all, because Christian will make it quite clear whose fault everything is.

      1. Also the engines will be of high cost you can be sure of that. No more free engines.

    14. Not slowing down despite dangling front wing is far more dangerous Fernando (Malaysia 2013) :)

      1. @antoine-de-paris : That was the Ferrari’s decision, not Fernando’s

        1. Not exactly ;)

          “Despite the fact the car was damaged, it didn’t seem to be too bad and, together with the team, we decided to keep going, because if we’d stopped immediately and then again on lap three or four to fit dry tyres, we would have dropped too far back and definitely lost the chance to finish up the front.”

          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/24/alonso-defends-decision-change-broken-wing/

        2. Ever heard of the adage ‘you win together, you lose together’.

          When the driver is part of a team, every decision they take reflects on both of them together, whether good or bad

      2. Vettel (or Rather Red Bull) got penalized for driving on with a 3-wheel car Australia 2009. Guess the FIA does appoint blame to the team in cases like that.

        Vettel got a penalty too, but that was for plowing into Kubica.

        1. Red Bull Racing, Vettel’s team, also received a $50,000 fine for letting him continue with a damaged car, for over a lap.

          The key part being over a lap; had he pitted, the team would not have been penalised.

          1. Lol, f1 so slow in 1985, must be pirelli rubber… But just look at Senna dance, its unbelievably pretty. Take a look at one lap. Maybe not greatest but most artistic representation of F1 car comes from his hands… Magic.

            Isnt unbranded Renault still a Renault? I guess that works. Give engine X in da back and put in contract, that they are not allowed to mention supolier in any way… Then ask for 20M£ from each team. Perfect.

    15. Osella in 1987-88 have unbranded Alfa romeo engine ( in similar situation )

    16. Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Infiniti it is then?

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