Red Bull Files For Divorce

The writing has been on the wall for an awfully long time, but now Motorsport Total reports that the Red Bull Racing Team will definitely not run Renault power units next year. The Red Bull F1 fraternity had to take yet another round of penalties at Monza with both teams being affected by expiring engines.

Of course, this was not the straw that broke the camel’s back as the decision to divorce Renualt was made many moons ago. The delay in resolving the matter has centred around how much Red Bull can mitigate its buy out fee because Renault are ‘considering’ buying Lotus. This would affect their status as the ‘works’ team in the Renault stable, so the £50m damages Renault could receive for the breach of contract will be negotiated down by Mateschitz’s lieutenants.

According to MST, Mercedes has not year agreed to supply Red Bull Racing with their PU’s for next year, though the resolution of Lotus future may impact on this. Lotus have a contract for 2016 with Mercedes and the FIA says the Mercedes engine customer stable is therefore at present filled.

Manor Marussia have been linked to both Ferrari and Mercedes for their 2016 engines, but it appears that with Nico Hülkenberg’s contract extension at Force India, Mercedes don’t consider them prime candidates any more – even as a place for current DTM championship leader and Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Toto Wolff confirmed yesterday that there had been no talks with Manor about Wehrlein yet, but definitely had been over the supply of power units. “Manor is a young fresh team, interested in talking to all suppliers to get the best deal for themselves. That’s why we’ve been in contact.”

The Austrian head of Motorsports at Mercedes also revealed these engine supply discussions were for 2016 aggregates. Manor this year have been using 2014 PU’s so a deal with Mercedes will see them using the latest engine technology in 2016.

Beside the obvious new rival, Red Bull has another problem in their hunt for a new relatively loud bit – to nail into the back of their cars. They have a contract with Infinity as their title sponsor for 2016 and the luxury brand of Nissan is a direct competitor of Mercedes in the consumer market.

Infiniti are not so much a competitor of Ferrari and Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has already confirmed earlier in the season that the Italian manufacturer would talk “to everyone with a serious intent.”

For Toro Rosso this may mean a return to the quasi independance they enjoyed in a former iteration as Minardi, and they were the only team ever to win a race with a Ferrari engine, except for Ferrari themselves of course.

Unless someone at Honda wakes up and smells the cordite, and recognises the need a second engine customer team to provide incremental data for development, it could be that all teams bar one in 2016 could be using Mercedes or Ferrari engines. Now there’s a sport in the USA called IndyCar….

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15 responses to “Red Bull Files For Divorce

  1. I hope Red Bull have a plan here, I can see them missing out on a Mercedes PU and Ferrari are not the most generous when it comes to sharing updates.

    The sport needs a strong Red Bull, if only they could tone down their winging a bit, get back to those friendly giant killing antics of pre 2011.

    • The winging cam in when FIA started to introduce rules to nerf them whenever they developed something the other’s couldn’t match (for instance EBD, double points, flex wings). Now they have to sit back and see Mercedes being allowed to run away with the championship worse than RB ever did and nobody does anything to level the field.

      • The issue is, how do you peg back Mercedes? They have a strong PU and chassis combination, and clean aero. There’s no visible clever tricks for the FIA to ban.

        They allowed season long engine development against Mercedes wishes this season, that’s about as close as they can get.

        Banning Mercedes from development whilst letting others carry on would make a mockery of F1, “the peak just below the pinnacle of Motorsport!”

        They tried to slow them down by banning the FRIC (was that the acronym, it’s been a while) but that didn’t do much. F1 will never be equal, that’s why teams do it, to be the best.

        But anyway, I want the cool Red Bull back, taking some wins to the tunes of AC/DC 🙂

        • There is no such thing as season-long engine development. PU manufacturers are limited by the token system. Several parts are frozen already so some of the initial Ferrari and Renault design decisions can’t be reversed anymore. It’s all in the name of ‘cost control’, which Merc made a mockery of by outspending Ferrari and Renault 2:1 before 2014.

          Drop the whole cost-cutting crap and let those run who can pay for it. Those who don’t will die and if it’s too few remaining, F1 should die as well. But now it’s more like a comatose patient with nobody daring to pull the damn plug from the lung and heart machines.

          • Both Mercedes and Ferrari brought updated PU’s to Monza, sounds like season long development to me. Maybe we should inform the FIA, have another pointless investigation haha.

            Ferrari have hugely caught Mercedes this season, Renault is holding back huge amounts of tokens. Honda is…. well.

            We’ll have to see what happens next season, eventually teams will tumble and others will take their place. You can try and artificially create equality but that’ll only put off teams in the long run, maybe that’s a good thing?

          • That development is restricted to certain parts though, so it is not free and the tokens restrict it further. It’s a silly idea in a sport that calls itself the highest category of motorsports, as are testing bans, number of engine limits or penalties for gearbox changes. It’s all ridiculous.

      • What sort of ‘trickery’ are Mercedes using that’s in anyway similar to what Red Bull have used in the past?

        • The EBD wasn’t trickery for instance. It was just a clever solution developed by Lotus, but RB perfected it so much, nobody was able to take the fight to them in 2011, so they banned it. The Ferraris of the early noughts were perfectly legal as well, yet in 2005 new tyre rules were introduced to disadvantage them. Sure if FIA really wanted, they would have found a way to make it a little harder for Merc. But they don’t want to and rather see F1 descend into complete boredom. They nerfed RB after 2011 and it worked – we had an interesting season. I don’t see any attempt at that now and while I don’t agree with their incessant whinging, I can understand why RB feel just a trifle bullshitted. They had to spend a lot of money to claw back in 2012, while Merc is allowed a second and most likely third year of unprecedented domination. They have literally no opposition.

          I’ve always said they should just cut the crap and let everyone do as they please, but FIA set the precedent, so either keep doing what they did in the past or open development freely.

          • F1metrics just wrote that 13-15 is the most dominant period in F1 history.

            I.e., post-Silverstone 2013, which matches the TJ13 article on letting the genie out of the bottle (Brawn tyre test).

            RBR got 2013, but Mercedes then got 3x longer!

            He also said, swap Sauber and Merc drivers in 2014, the likely WDC order is Sut-Ric-Gut.

            Only the sharknose Ferrari is a
            more dominant car than the current Mercs.

          • This season is looking very dominant one for Hamilton victories. In 2004 Schumacher got 13 wins out of 18, in 2013 Vettel got 13 wins out of 19. Hamilton needs to win all but one of the remaining races to equal this total.

            As for Mercedes as a whole? If they can win every race for the remainder of the season they can beat Ferrari’s 2002 win % record, but would still be short of McLaren in 1988.

  2. But it will even itself out, maybe McLaren Honda will have the rules changed to suit them. The Mercedes dominance is just like the Red Bull dominance (their car is on rails) a few years back, just like the Ferrari dominance before them. Each time the rules were changed for the ‘interest of the sport’ as audiences got bored of the same team winning (especially if they’re not fans of the team/ drivers). It’s obvious it will happen again and someone else will dominate. Kind of boring but that’s F1, I still somehow watch every race, and fall asleep after the start

      • Que Bernie, enter stage right to come to the rescue of Formula 1, agai! He’ll call in a couple of favours, get a couple of new ones in his pocket that he can call in the next time he has to ‘get things done’, RedBull get their engines, Merc get the ’16 title, then come ’17 when we go extreme Aero again and beef the chassis and tyres up some too, RedBull will hope Newey has a rekindled interest and then it’s game on between Merc, Ferrari, Renault, McHonda and RedBull with a bit of luck, with Williams, Force India and Sauber, Haas and hopefully Manor, keeping them all honest, it could be freakin’ epic.
        Anyways, feet back on the floor and head out of the clouds,
        -And they all lived happily ever after…………

  3. Martin Brundle said that Toro Rosso are definitely taking Ferrari engines for next year. It’s a done dealwas the impression he gave and Brundle, unlike Jordan, only says on tv the whispers and rumours that he is really sure of. So I believe Martin Brundle that Ferrari engines in the back of the baby bulls for the ’16 season is set in stone (as much as anything in F1 can be set in stone anyways)

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