Renault F1 future announcement, imminent

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Renault are close to announcing their future in Formula One. There has been much debate over the French engine manufacturers response to finding themselves behind the curve on developing the new V6 Turbo Hybrid engine they pushed the FIA hard to introduce.

Both Renault and Red Bull have been at public loggerheads over the performance of their power unit, and both parties have threatened to quit F1.

Despite being offered the opportunity to buy Faenza based Toro Rosso, TJ13 has learned that Renault’s historic links with the Enstone team has become the focus of their future F1 aspirations.

Genii investors in Lotus have refused to fund the team further and Gerard Lopez, once ever present at F1 race weekends, has been conspicuous by his absence this season in the F1 paddock.

The Lotus team is facing a creditor winding up order at present, which could see Renault play the role of savior and at the same time receive a heavily discounted acquisition price back into team ownership.

Red Bull billionaire owner – Dietrich Mateschitz – earlier this year offered Renault the opportunity to buy Torro Rosso for around $300m.

TJ13 has also repeatedly reported that Red Bull Racing have been developing a facility at their Milton Keynes base which will facilitate F1 engine production.

Both Renault and Red Bull have apparently decided the end of their partnership is nigh – and it is now a matter of time as to when they announce the end of their current engine deal.

Red Bull are committed to purchase Renault engines in 2016, however if Renault complete the deal for Lotus this will mean another year of ‘second best’ treatment for the quadruple winning F1 constructor.

Staff in Milton Keynes are said to be expecting an imminent announcement as to the future direction of their employer’s F1 ambitions.

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37 responses to “Renault F1 future announcement, imminent

    • That would be perfect for renault. Build a chassis, run it with a mercedes engine for a year and secretly work on their own engine… because that thing they supply now isn’t any good and won’t be any good next year either. And by 2017 have a chassis and a (good) engine.

      • @bruznic

        perfect for renault. Build a chassis, run it with a mercedes engine for a year and secretly work on their own engine…

        That is an impossible scenario. A Renault works team cannot run a Merc engine; they’d more readily withdraw from F1 than go this route…

        • Not to mention that in such a case Enstone would be getting the exact same treatment as McLaren in 2014, with no access to the PU unless the cars are running…

        • I believe that everything is possible. Who says that when they buy lotus they won’t race an other year as lotus. And I believe it is possible to make a chassis and to put an other engine, which they didn’t build themselfs, in the car. McLaren did if for years and years now. If this is a way for renault to prove they are as good as they say come 2017 this is one way to do it.

  1. Nice scoop TJ13 crew!

    Red bull with merc (badged Aston Martin) and Renault quitting would be my guess. And a guess is all that is

  2. A friend in the UK with some links(mechanical engineering) to F1 told me that he heard that the Red Bull deal would be similar to the Tag-Porsche arraignment McLaren had, except now Red Bull would be the primary, not exclusive funders as Tag were, and the other partner would get naming and some technical rights for their participation. And who was the partner? Rolls-Royce – which would be a backdoor way for VW to enter F1.

    • I like the sound of that – but didn’t BMW get Rolls-Royce and VW Bentley? Toro Rosso-Lamborghini is obvious – for Red Bull, that leaves Audi, Bentley, Bugatti or Porsche. Audi and Porsche are in WEC – Bugatti and Bentley GP and Le Mans successes pre-war. Maybe an F3 solution: Red Bull-Volkswagen?

    • Volkswagen did manufacture both Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars until the end of 2002.

  3. I wonder where this leaves Maldonado, I can already imagine Renault planning an all French line up, maybe Grosjean and JEV with Pic in the background! Sad to see the Lotus name go, but Renault makes up for it.. Plus, if they were smart they would recruit Leclerc for the future as the development driver.

    • If Renault buy Enstone, as a manufacturer looking for credibility they are unlikely to entertain the idea of keeping as overt a pay-driver as Maldonado is. However, as long as Maldonado has Venezuela’s support he’ll be of value somewhere on the grid. It’s likely he’ll move further back down the food chain; perhaps to a Sauber.

      • @WTF_F1

        I’m not sure Venezuela’s support will continue trickling in if Maldonado slides down the food chain… And his recent records (cheering 2 straight points-scoring finishes) speak by themselves against him.

      • Sauber’s a good call, there should be an opening when Nasr goes back to Williams to replace retiring Massa. Their aim must surely be Bottas/Nasr or Hulk/Nasr medium term to keep Brazilian sponsorship flowing.

    • I am sure nobody would miss Maldonado if he just disappeared from F1 scene, but I think his Venezuelan sponsorship package is so good that some other struggling team would probably hire him. I am thinking of Sauber or Force India.

  4. An additional pieces to this story is that their gearbox supplier is trying to get a court hearing to collect money owed. The hearing was put off for 2 weeks. Will be interesting to see:
    1. If Renault hold off until this is settled.
    2. What happens to the long term contract Lotus had with Merc

  5. So if renault don’t buy lotus and quit, lotus will go bankrupt, the two redbull teams could potentially quit, force india are low on funds as are sauber and marussia, Bloody hell, that might not leave much of a grid come next year. I think F1 is closer to the brink than it has ever been before. And how many would lose thier jobs if this happens, and i think most of this can be laid at Bernies door.

    • @Jamie Norman

      most of this can be laid at Bernies door.

      …most of this can be laid at CVC’s and Donald Mackenzie’s door.

      There, fixed it. Grandpa Bernie was merely the henchman, and the CVC’s chosen tool.

    • Red Bull, Toro Rosso, and Lotus are very attractive teams for the right price. Red Bull threatened to quit only if it doesn’t get a decent engine. Considering the “progress” of Renault, this could just happen with or without renault quitting.

    • It all makes me feel a bit sad, F1 has been very much a part of my life for the last 20 odd years, going to test days at Silverstone (getting my car stuck in the mud there) and once a fortnight I would get ready to enjoy qually and the race, look at the warm up times (remember those), but it’s got to the point where I’ve started to fast forward through bits of the some of the races, and also F1 may not be around much longer if carries on down this path.

      I’ve properly followed the sport since 94, when i became a massive Hill fan, and from their a full blown F1 nut, and i haven’t missed a race or qually since, even when abroad, i’ve managed to find somewhere to watch it. Over the last 20 years F1 has been through so many changes, some good, some bad, and this maybe one its poorest incarnations, half the grid is either on the verge of going bankrupt or just quitting. I know we just had an ok race, but on the whole the last couple of seasons have just lost something, and if i missed a race now, would i be that upset, probably not. I can guess the how the race report would read most of the time;

      A victorious Hamilton is pushed hard by Nico, followed by Seb and the two Williams. It hard to be excited when you already know the script. Even when Redbull were dominating, it wasn’t that bad, you had a good driver in a great car, and two great drivers in good car, and that meant at least every weekend wasn’t a given. And Mark always added a bit of spice. Trouble is now you have a great driver in a great car, who by general consensus isn’t even giving it all and still dominating. And there is no end in sight. I think its rivalries and personalities that get most us excited and capture the imagination, and we just haven’t got that right now.
      Senna/prost
      Hill/Schumacher
      JV/Schumacher
      Mika/Schumacher
      Alonso/JPM/Kimi/Schumacher
      Lewis/Alonso
      Lewis/Vettel
      Alonso/Vettel
      Vettel/Webber

      I appreciate I got a little of topic, but it is the eventual conclusion of what could happen if Renault leave, followed by a few others.

      • @Jamie Norman

        I appreciate I got a little of topic, but it is the eventual conclusion of what could happen if Renault leave, followed by a few others.

        If Renault stay, Carlos Ghosn will need to stomach a significant, continuous financial commitment, whether they get Enstone on a discount or not. Just like Singapore 2008, Ghosn may use this opportunity to finally rid Renault of F1 once and for all (in the foreseeable future). When Ghosn starts publicly talking about ROI and F1, things look bleak…

        • Don’t believe the headlines. Ghosn and Renault got an incredible ROI from their partnership with Red Bull. Remember that from the moment of Red Bull’s involvement with Renault, engine development was partially frozen. All of the hard work and investment to make the wins happen was done by the Red Bull team. While Red Bull apparently did not give Renault as much marketing exposure as Renault people thought deserved, Red Bull Renault did have five very solid seasons from 2009 through 2013, including four consecutive double championship wins 2010 through 2013. Red Bull is the one who should have gotten most credit for the wins in those seasons, because their engine partner was probably inconsequential. They would still do just as fine with Ferrari or Mercedes engine.

          • @Jacob

            The engine mapping tricks were ultimately a Renault execution. Among other things, it was a Renault technology from decades before. So Seb’s blown rear was largely thanks to Renault’s engine and competence…

      • What we need to see now is more Ham/Vet/Ros, but while Williams had the pace in the dry, Ferrari had the pace in the wet. Mercedes had both.

        In the future, we should see Ricciardo/Bottas, and if in top cars Grosjean/Hulkenberg, while on the horizon is possibly something like Verstappen/Leclerc in the 2020s.

        Vandoorne/Kvyat could fire up if McLaren-Honda get competitive, while Wehrlein/Kirchhoefer etc. depends on them actually getting into F1 as seats become harder to come by (same for Vandoorne and Leclerc).

      • I empathise with your comment.

        At some stage, there might be a Vettel / Ferrari v Hamilton / Mercedes proper, epic world title battle – or two. It will be a titanic rival-driver and rival-team war; like the ones you mention. It will be a battle that will also carry the exquisite and delicious burden of settling the “best of this generation” question. I think that’s not too far away.

        Hold on, friend. Hold on. The night is darkest just before the dawn.

        • 2012 promised much but let us down with reliability! This is definitely what we need to see in the next five years.. but with Rosberg keeping Hamilton honest, Ferrari’s no.2 choice could really help them, or spice it up even further..

    • I agree.. if someone bought Force India (not the slims) then that’s what I’d rename the team to. Maybe Manor could ‘do a Caterham’? 😛

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