Marko says Red Bull F1 contract until 2020 is worth little


TJ13 has documented the troubles between Renault and Red Bull, and as yet is the only English site to report that Renault were forced by Red Bull to run an engine in Australia that the French manufacturer was not happy had been bench tested properly.

The public rhetoric between the parties is becoming increasingly confrontational and a divorce at the end of their partnership in 2016 looks inevitable.

Whilst Red Bull have threatened to leave Formula One unless their demands are met, when asked what the percentage chance of Renault leaving Formula One, Cyril Abiteboul of Renault confirmed “Not a chance, I would like to make sure we can find a way forward”.

Renault are the third most successful engine manufacturer F1 has ever seen. They have 168 wins and are just behind Ford with 176 engine-powered victories, most of which came from the DFV Cosworth engine during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Renault’s head of F1 Motorsport, Cyril Abiteboul, confirms: “We are also looking at overall situation of the sport, it’s not just assessment of the teams but also how the sport is doing from a business perspective, the TV figures.

“I don’t want to be out of F1, because it’s a great marketing platform for what we are aiming to do in countries such as China and India.”

The resolution is simple. With the threat that Red Bull will either withdraw from the sport or find another engine supply arrangement, then Renault must buy a Formula One team and run it as their own – if they are to remain in Formula One.

Since the FIA regulated to the effect that Adrian Newey could not design both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing cars, Helmut Marko confirms the Italian based team has been up for sale.

However, offers that have been made Marko says, “were not serious” and so the team has remained in the Red Bull family.

Clearly Red Bull owner, Dietrich Mateschitz is now even keener to offload at least one of his F1 teams, and Toro Rosso is the favoured child. Red Bull mouthpiece Helmut Marko now confirms, Mateschitz is happy to sell Toro Rosso to Renault, or even come to an arrangement with the French engine manufacturer where the Faenza based team runs “two cars in yellow livery.”

Despite Christian Horner’s assertions at the 2014 Abu Dhabi press conference that the Red Bull parent company was committed to Formula One until 2020, Helmut Marko has different ideas.

When challenged over the Red Bull guarantee to remain within the sport until 2020, Marko quipped, “Toyota and BMW had similar contracts”.

20 responses to “Marko says Red Bull F1 contract until 2020 is worth little

  1. Ms Monisha Kaltenbourn has proven in only the last 2 weeks that F1 contracts are not worth the ink they are signed with or paper they are written on, let alone the actual agreements they represent.
    RedBull have plenty of money and could buy their way out of pretty much any contract they wanted, should the mood take them.

  2. Who else out there would like to see one engine manufacturer who would sell the same PU to anyone (and is not competing with its own cars)? Ferrari would build everything itself, as always, but 80+ identical PUs would lower costs for all the others.

  3. One thing that baffles me is,what was a not “bench tested” engine doing in Melbourne?
    Or to prove a point,”well you won 4 consecutive titles without our help so here’s another freebie?

    • Redbull demanded it, even after Renault informed them that it hasn’t been tested properly, so they gave it to them.

    • We ran an article this week on this – Renault said Red Bull demanded their latest development version of the engine for Melbourne even though Renault said it was not fully tested. The engine broke. Marko and Horner blamed Renault.

      • This is the FIA Formula1 world championship, not Formula RedBull. Let ’em go if they want to, they are certainly no where near as important to F1 as Ferrari and if they have a contract with FOM until 2020, the only way out is to sell their teams, Bernie knows he can’t let the off the hook lightly as he will lose 4 cars, so hard ball and forcing RedBull to sell up would be their only way out. Bernie Ecclestone only looks out for his own interests and if RedBull push to hard, he will simply push back harder and for longer.

        • “This is the FIA Formula1 world championship, not Formula RedBull. Let ‘em go if they want to, they are certainly no where near as important to F1 as Ferrari”

          Ferrari’s importance to F1 is overrated. F1 is more important to Ferrari (their main marketing platform), than Ferrari to F1 (mostly a team among others, notwithstanding its heritage). I’d be curious to see Ferrari make good on its threat one day and quit F1: F1 wouldn’t even blink, but Ferrari would have a tougher time selling those cars…

  4. “Not a chance, I would like to make sure we can find a way forward”.

    Yes, and in November “Force India’s F1 future is safe” according to Vijay:
    “The bottom line is we’re OK. Our new car is almost ready – and we are here and we are racing.”

    and the poisonous dwarf is the nicestest persons in the whole wide world, always ready to give a hearty helping hand:
    “Mallya still has faith that Bernie Ecclestone will take action with F1 owner CVC to help smaller teams” [..]
    “I know only what he told me in the presence of four others: he said he’s going to meet [CVC chief] Donald [MacKenzie],” said Mallya, in response to claims that the small teams would receive no help.”

    And pigs fly, and sausage kerbs are safe, and Bianchi crashed on purpose, and the list goes on…

    If you did a modicum of Renault-speak, you would notice that Cyril Abiteboul means what he says:
    *He* (not Renault)
    *would like*
    “to make sure” to “find a way forward”.

    THAT, children, is a far cry from “We’re here to kick ass!” Such non-committal corporate speak is incredibly transparent.

    The truth is that Red Bull without Renault has no engine, while Renault without Red Bull (&Toro Rosso) has no chassis. The noises that Viry-Châtillon makes reek of desperation, not of investment spree. Viry-Châtillon has no raison d’être if they’re out of F1, hence the scared grimaces.

    The brutal truth is that going chassis constructors would require a significant, radical change in approach from Renault, and a *significant* financial commitment. Renault are currently proving that they’re unable or unwilling to financially commit themselves to simply sorting out the engine. Sinking cash into the chassis at levels of Merc, Ferrari and Red Bull is clearly not on today’s menu for Renault, certainly not given their current body language. So without a radical shift and change in position at the Renault HQ, the more likely outcome is Renault finding itself out of F1…

    • It’s not clear why you’re angry, but you appear to be misreading Renault.

      The move to buy a team is a business decision (to help their engine business), and not a sporting decision (it’s not to win the WCC).

      They’ve been a low budget (reasonable budget) F1 (PU) manufacturer for many seasons. When Briatore drove Enstone into the dirt, the Renault board dropped them, they decided to continue as a limited budget F1 engine manufacturer.

      They’ve been successful in not spending gobs of their own (limited) money. Their considerable recent successes were achieved as budget underdogs.

      This is what drives them now to investigate purchasing a team to ensure they have a solid reliable customer for their motors, because that enables them to continue supplying their motors to other teams and maintain some economy of scale as a F1 manufacturer.

      • Still jetlagged, I guess… 🙂

        Your points make sense, even if I’m unconvinced by the conventional analysis. To my understanding Carlos Ghosn was always particularly unenthusiastic about Renault’s involvement in F1. He has long looked for a way to pull the plugs on the F1 works team, and conveniently used Singapore 2008 to do just that. Then he put Viry-Chatillon on a short budgetary leash, and even so they achieved incredible success in collaboration with Red Bull.

        This low-cost strategy has however clearly backfired with the revolutionary 2014 engines. From 4 clients Viry-Chatillon lost 2 over the course of one year, among incredibly negative PR partly coming from the Spice Boys. This has real-life consequences, whereas they can now hardly spread the development costs over a sufficient number of clients. They can hardly attract new clients, either.

        So what is their outlook? They can’t properly sort out the engine, being 2 steps behind Merc and it seems 1 step behind Ferrari. Even with the incredibly efficient RB chassis, they don’t appear nowhere near winning form this year. With the Toro Rosso outfit they have never done anything of note, and Toro Rosso’s win in Monza with Vettel was a fluke insofar they were recycling a Newey chassis at the time. Bottom line, Toro Rosso hasn’t proven potential other than at times decent midfield form…

        Now what can Renault do? They could go with Enstone, but since they’ve just switched to Merc engines there is no way they will entertain another iteration of the French fondue. That door seems wide shut, and it would be too expensive, anyways. So no Enstone, then.

        Red Bull? They could buy RB, but I couldn’t hear any noises on that, so I infer that they cannot even entertain the cash for such a move. RB are making all the right noises to drop Renault, but since without Renault they are left with no engine and no realistic alternative (a switch to Honda, anyone?), this can only mean Mateschitz is bowing out. So no Red Bull, then.

        Toro Rosso? There’s been a lot of noises on that, but such a move would make very little sense. TR is in Italy, Viry-Chatillon in France, and much of the serious F1 engineering in the UK. TR is unproven, to say the least. Renault can’t really win with RB nowadays, so what hope would they have to win with TR? Of course I can entertain that they would buy TR, or at least significantly scale up their collaboration with the team including sponsoring them.

        But again, for what purpose? If Renault want to win, TR is unlikely to be useful to that end. (And given Renault’s pedigree, they clearly want to win.) If Renault want to turn TR into a world-beater, significant investment and at least 3-4 years and a hiring spree will be needed. Yet short budgetary leash and significant investment don’t fly together. If however Renault want to happily trundle around at Sauber’s and Force India’s pace and results, then yeah, Toro Rosso sounds like a good candidate for a works team. If that’s their ambition nowadays, then such a move could make sense. But that’s kinda their default option, with no alternatives left.

        Even with such a move, I’m still wondering who will be financing all that… Ghosn for one isn’t known for bold inroads into F1… And how will they be spreading development costs, as they would have only one client (by the looks of it RB won’t be there), which they would somewhat own? And how long will the Renault board accept a Renault-branded F1 team (“two cars with yellow livery” they say?) trundle around picking up places 7-13? Especially given the negative PR coming from 2014 and 2015… I remember Toyota, BMW and Honda didn’t stick around for too long last time round. And don’t forget that soon place 14 will be pretty much be the last on the grid.

        My point being that Viry-Chatillon have found themselves in dire straits, with few realistic options to entertain. I fear that Ghosn will conveniently use this latest PR disaster, and simply fold down the operation as its negative PR and cash costs would far outweigh any positive image the marketeers would hope for at Renault HQ. And this, of course, is the last thing F1 needs today.

        I may of course be misreading Renault, but that’s not where the tea leaves are pointing me to…

  5. One could say Renault is the most successful F1 engine maker, as they’ve won a greater percentage of races that they’ve entered as engine maker, among all engine makers to have contested at least 100 GP’s. They’re soon to be passed in those stakes though, by Mercedes, if Mercedes win the next 3 GP’s.

  6. I’m tired of this bunch of cheaters and crybabies, The worst group of people that has ever entered F1. If not winning all the time isn’t enough for the they must just f******g leave to a more convenient place for them. The world doesn’t need to listen to their lies everyday. And sincerely is annoying to read men moaning like little girls every other day.

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