Christian Horner on Thursday pinned Red Bull’s hopes on the fate of its current engine supplier.
For much of the season so far, the energy drink owned team’s chiefs have been scathing of Renault’s performance.
But Red Bull has ruled out building its own engine, apparently failed to woo a Volkswagen brand to the grid, and acknowledged that key rivals Mercedes and Ferrari are not viable alternative suppliers.
So in the past days, Red Bull’s vitriol has eased.
“In reality our best chance is with Renault,” team boss Horner told F1’s official website, “and vice versa.
“We have won 50 grands prix and eight world championships together — so sometimes frustration boils over,” he added.
Indeed, just before Bahrain, Horner met with Renault executives in Paris who he says have acknowledged the need to get serious about fixing the problems with the 2015 ‘power unit’.
Earlier, Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz had even threatened to pull out of the sport — and dared Renault to consider doing the same.
“Dietrich doesn’t talk publicly very often,” said Horner, “but when he does you have to listen.
“What he was conveying was: Renault should either do the job properly or not at all. You can’t be half pregnant.”
So while that sounds like a return to the old rhetoric, Horner says Red Bull and Renault are in fact committed to making their partnership work again.
“We have a contract with Renault for 2015 and 2016 and it is in Renault’s interest as much as in ours to sort the current issues out as quickly as possible.”
Dr Helmut Marko warned this week, however, that it may be the end of the season before Renault can match F1’s power pacesetters.
“To be realistic, our problems are not short term so there will not be any short-term fixes,” Horner agreed. “We have to take a bit of a pain at the moment.
“And if that is the foundation for a better future then you’ve got to take the pain.” (GMM)