Red Bull F1 team has recently confirms that, “no plans or intentions” to leave Formula 1 by the end of the year as has been widely speculated.
Red Bull has signed a contract to stay in F1 until the end of 2020 but that commitment has been called into question after the team reportedly severed its agreement with Renault leaving it lacking an engine for 2016. Red Bull Racing’s rivals gave the red light to F1’s other manufacturers – Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes – supplying it with an engine as they did not want to support a team that could beat them.
Red Bull is now confident it will be in formula one beyond next weekend’s 2015 finale.
It is believed Red Bull’s plan now is to plug the 2016 season with unbranded Renault power before switching to F1’s new ‘client engine’ supplier for 2017.
Renault wants to keep Red Bull
Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul says he would be happy to continue with Red Bull Racing next season.
“I’ve always been clear that there was no appetite to burn bridges with Red Bull,” Abiteboul told FOX Sports.
“Clearly, I’m not going to confirm anything for now – when we will be in a position to announce something, we will do so, obviously.
“In my opinion, it’s clear that we want to change things, and we want to be pragmatic and opportunistic also in our approach. If there is a continuation of the Red Bull relationship, it will be for a good reason, and there can be a mix of very good reasons.
“I would encourage everyone to look forwards rather than to look backwards to look to the positive impact that it could bring Renault, rather than the negative impact that it could have had in the past.”
One clarification suggested recently is for Red Bull to use unbranded Renault engine blocks for next season and continuing development themselves. However, a decision on whether Renault will allow that is believed to be stuck with the company’s boss, Carlos Ghosn.
“As long as it good PR, and you could argue that both from a product quality perspective, but also from a PR management perspective with our partners,” Abiteboul said.
“But, I don’t want to go further than that.”
Christian Horner still pushing for Honda
According to F1 journalist Adam Cooper, Bernie Ecclestone remains convinced that his agreement trumps any between Honda and McLaren, and he confirmed in Brazil that he was “still talking to Honda” on Red Bull’s behalf.
The poor performance of the Renault upgraded engine used by Daniel Ricciardo was just the latest frustration for the team.
However, Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says it is ‘too late’ to secure a deal to supply engines to Red Bull for next season
“I think it’s too late. Even if we got the offer right now, it’s too late,” Arai said. “Always we concentrate on McLaren-Honda as the works team and there is no change.”
McLaren are currently in an exclusive partnership with Honda and, having endured a nightmare first season troubled by engine problems, do not want another team to step in and benefit from their hard work when things improve.
“Clearly there is an issue in Red Bull which was created by Red Bull, not by anybody else and we are not a charity foundation,” said McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier. “So we are not here to help.”
At last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Christian Horner confirmed to Sky Sports that although the team has not yet finalised its engine supply, it has officially lodged its entry to next year’s championship. “We’ve entered the world championship,” he said.
“So as long as we sort our engine predicament out, absolutely we’ll be there next year.”
Red Bull has won four consecutive F1 championships but was throw out last year by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull Racing’s results reversed when F1 switched from using a 2.4-liter V8 engine to a more environmentally-friendly 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 hybrid.