During the Malaysian Grand Prix Friday press conference Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul reveals that, Renault is assessing its options in F1, which could either lead to it acquiring the Toro Rosso team.
Today Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko told F1.com, their sister team Toro Rosso to adopt Renault-inspired a yellow livery in the future.
“Renault are spending a lot of money on this power unit – not as much as Mercedes but a significant amount – and are confronted with the same issues that we (Red Bull) have: their F1 involvement has to pay off,” Marko told Formula1.com.
“Add to that that Renault feels under-represented on the marketing side so there are considerations to either buy Toro Rosso or more likely give them a yellow livery to have a better marketing platform. But of course the figures have to correspond.”
Asked how that potential change might affect Red Bull, Marko added: “Such a scenario would only take off if the close relationship between Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso stays intact, within the rules.
“Red Bull Racing’s headcount is much higher, the equipment of the team is more sophisticated – so without the know-how of Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso would be hurt in its competitiveness. So as I just said, a close interaction of both teams is paramount to such a scenario.”
During the FIA press conference at Sepang circuit following Friday practice, the Cyril Abiteboul said,
“We are looking at a lot of options, including getting out of F1,” said Frenchman.
”Honestly if F1 is that bad for Renault’s reputation, if we see that we struggle with the current formula, if F1 is not delivering the value of what it costs to Renault. Bear in mind that as a manufacturer you have no financial incentive to fund engine development.
“If we feel that we are a credible player in the sport, that we ares able to compete along the best brands and that F1 is good for our mid-term plan as a brand, then we need to think about what else we can do, other than what we are doing?
“It’s an open market and we have the possibility to have a discussion with lots of parties. But the first priority is to get the engine right.”
Participating beside him in the press conference, Toro Rosso F1 team boss Franz Tost confirmed that Red Bull is interested in a potential buyout by Renault and added,
“This would be a fantastic opportunity for Toro Rosso to make the next step,” said Tost.
“Because the team wants to be established in the future within the top five of the constructor’s championship and to be owned by a manufacturer would be exactly the step forward which the team needs.”