In an interview with Crash.net this morning, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says he remains none the wiser over whether Red Bull will still be using Renault engines next season as he is yet to clarify the team’s contract situation with the manufacturer; even if he believes a decision is now imminent.
Renault’s intentions for the 2016 F1 season remain largely unknown and widely speculated throughout the paddock and as we already know it has formally acknowledged interest in purchasing the Lotus team and reviving its role as a manufacturer entry, but there are conflicting views over how such a deal will be finalised.
In his interview with Horner Crash.net this morning, he has emphasised that Red Bull still has a contract with Renault – one that he is confident the French firm will honour if it has to -, he admits he is becoming frustrated with the time it is taking to come to a formal decision. Horner stated the following:-
‘Obviously time is starting to press on now. We’re now into September and everybody needs to know: What are Renault’s plans for the future? I would have thought within the next two weeks we should all know what Renault’s position is.’
Even though Horner is clearly frustrated by how long Renault are taking to see where their future lies in the sport; you cannot blame them for taking their time and making sure that they are making the best decision that they can. But I can understand Horner’s view as well as the team will need to know firstly what the decision is and also start preparing for the 2016 season as well.
But if Red Bull move to get out of its Renault contract for 2016, its options appear limited to a customer supply from Mercedes and Ferrari. However, there has reportedly been opposition to the former from within Mercedes, while Ferrari is already potentially stretching its resources by supplying four teams in 2016 with the arrival of Haas F1.
And I personally don’t see Mercedes supplying Red Bull with engines. Why do I think that you ask? The reason being that why would Mercedes who have the best car and the best engine on the grid by a country mile give one of their best assets to their rivals when they are dominating everything. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I would be very surprised if they did supply them but I don’t see it happening, I really don’t.
With Horner previously stating to the media that he fully expects Renault to continue prioritising Red Bull Racing as per its contract, regardless of whether it enters as a full manufacturer team in 2016. Will this be the case?
As we already know, the situation between the two parties already fractured with their “media war” about each other’s performance, has the damage already been done? Will Red Bull have no option but to create their own engines as it has been heavily rumoured earlier in the season? They have the resources and the personnel and it could be done and it could be that if they cannot find another engine manufacturer to supply them, it might be the only option that they have.
But only time will tell what Renault decide and ultimately what their decision means to the Red Bull Racing team in the near future as well.