27 March 2015
F1 Malaysian Grand Prix: Red Bull rules out developing its own engine
Though its future with Renault looks increasingly bleak, Red Bull says it will not go down the route of developing its own engine.
Christian Horner says Red Bull is not interested in developing its own engine, despite the increasing probability of current supplier Renault severing its ties, shifting its focus or leaving the sport altogether.
Following several successful years as partners, including four world titles together between 2010 and 2013, Red Bull and Renault's relationship has become increasingly strained over the latter's failure to develop a power unit capable of challenging Mercedes under the new regulations.
However, following Horner's staunch criticism of Renault after the Australian Grand Prix, Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul struck back, levelling a portion of the blame for the team's struggles back at Red Bull itself.
With this in mind, Renault has made it clear that it is considering its options for the future now, which may see it leave F1 altogether or potentially go into a full factory collaboration with another team, most likely Toro Rosso.
Where this leaves Red Bull and its engine supply, however, is unclear. Unlikely to chase a deal with Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda, Red Bull's options could include more of a customer role to Renault, entice a new manufacturer altogether or develop its own unit.
However, Horner flatly denied Red Bull would consider doing the latter, emphasising that it will do all it can to help bring Renault up to speed.
“Well, first of all we have no intention of being an engine manufacturer. We have an amount of resource that we try to supplement and assist Renault where we can. We have a strong simulation group. We have strong facilities and cfd capacity within Red Bull Technology.
“Basically, what we're trying to do is work in co-ordination with Renault, to assist the areas where they're perhaps not so strong and it's more of a long term view than a short term view but hopefully the strengths that we have in Milton Keynes can be applied to helping Renault engineer themselves out of their current predicament. “
However, Abiteboul countered Horner's claim about increasing Red Bull's involvement in the engine developing process, jibing that there is already plenty of Red Bull input in there.
“I'm not sure that Christian will actually confirm that there is a lot of Red Bull in the engine that was in Melbourne,” he said, prompting a sharp look from Horner alongside. “ No, no, seriously, it's true that we are trying to improve the way that we are working together.
“I think Christian is absolutely right that we can complement each other very well. There are areas where we have been a little bit complacent in developing where we were extremely successful like in particular simulation and software development and so on and so forth. We have the opportunity to have a better collaboration.
“The culture is different, the mindset is different, working practice is different, so I think this is basically the change management that we have to drive in order to... and make sure that we align the interest of both parties long term and from a strategy perspective. If we do that, I'm pretty sure that we can be a very successful formula.”
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