After completely getting dominated by Mercedes at the last round in Australia, plus having two engines fail, the Red Bull team shocked everyone on the day after the race by announcing that unless different rules were made to make formula one racing more closer, then the Austrian team would leave formula one altogether.
Their biggest blame is on the engine that they use, which is made by French company Renault. Despite using the regular v-8 engine that won them four world championships with Sebastian Vettel, the new rules for engines in 2014, saw a different v-6 turbo hybrid that was a problem for most of the season. The team though, won three races, thanks to Daniel Ricciardo, and saw a frustrated Vettel leave for Ferrari.
But already Renault has made a huge step backwards with their new engine for 2015, and considering the unit has gone through major changes, work now has to be at a heavy pace to repair what is causing the engines to have trouble. Red Bull is pointing the finger at Renault, and as Team Manager Christian Horner, has complained much, now the legendary Adrian Newey has also stepped in with his opinions and in addition, so has Director Dr. Helmut Marko, who now has hinted facts, not rumors, that Renault themselves are negotiating a contract to find only one team to use for a sole works squad, or do what the unit did in 2001, and use a team for one year as an engine supplier, followed in the following year, by taking it over altogether as a works team.
The idea for the French company is not a surprise, as Renault has not achieved much success with Red Bull as far as publicity. Hardly anything has been mentioned of the product, and to make things worse, Infiniti, which is a Renault subsidiary, is plastered all over the car, with Renault in a smaller shadow, hardly on the car and the team’s overalls. To make even more of a sucker punch, the team has put the Infiniti label on the front of the car when it is obvious that it is powered by Renault. Whether this is because the team has permission to do this or not, is unclear.
The idea of attempting to get a works team together might have come from former four-time winner Alain Prost, who suggested to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn that as far as publicity for the brand, a works unit is better than an engine supplier. But who would it be?? The prime target is Toro Rosso, especially when it seems it has no connection with Red Bull, outside of the young driver’s program, and the team has no debt. If it was Lotus, Force India or even Sauber, the works engine would be good, but it has to be one team, since Renault seems to have a habit of treating their teams all the same way. And with this fact even murmured by Marko, it might be that selling part of his second sponsored team would have it concentrate more on just Red Bull.
But for the moment, Renault need to dig deep and find this problem. Red Bull have offered to help, but Renault has pride and does not want to have someone lurking about, which could head for a takeover; something that the French do not want for a proud company as theirs. And if their problems are solved, hopefully things will be better than it currently is. However, the idea might be too late and things probably would be better for both companies if they went their own ways.