Red Bull came into the new Formula 1 season expecting to better last year’s three wins and have a genuine shot at the championship.
But, Milton Keynes-based team struggled in the first two races to keep up with pacesetters Mercedes and Ferrari.
Following the season opener Australian GP, the Renault clashed spectacularly with works partner Red Bull, indicating the pair are on the road to divorce.
After Malaysia, where Red Bull admitted Renault made progress, team official Marko now admits that Milton-Keynes also has work to do, and also they are admitted for the first time that Red Bull has issues that run deeper than the Renault engine.
“We are not interested in developing our own power unit. We are a chassis developer and a race team, and our priority is making our partnership with Renault a success again.” Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko told Formula1.com
He said more about the subject of Red Bull’s Renault power unit and exit threats
“We are significantly behind Mercedes. They clearly dominate. The complexity of the units: IC engine, hybrid, MGU-K, MGU-H, and bringing all these systems together, and then adding driveability to it – that makes the best product and that is clearly the case with Mercedes.”
“But because the rules are not open it means that you are only allowed to make changes on a very limited scale which makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to catch up.”
“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 have: their F1 involvement has to pay off! 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.” He added
“We have a contract with Renault until the end of 2016. A new engine manufacturer surely will wait to see what is possible within the rules in 2017. This decision of what is possible in 2017 has to be made soon as every new manufacturer needs lead-time for development. I would imagine at least two years.”