In a remarkable article published by the Red Bull mouthpiece website Speedweek, the fizzy drinks company sets out to justify its position on leaving Formula One.
Be assured, this article may well be the first coherent explanation from Red Bull as to why they have behaved in the manner they have towards their power unit partner Renault.
This does not mean their rationale is reasonable.
Firstly, Red Bull accuse Renault of not having spent enough money on developing their V6 Turbo Hybrid power unit and they reveal the price commanded for their engine is 54 million euros a year – for both teams.
Günther Wiesinger, the writer commissioned to pen this apologetic, clearly explains that Red Bull see themselves as unlike the rest of the Formula One competitors.
“Red Bull is a drinks producer, not a longstanding F1 team like Williams or McLaren, and not a car manufacturer like Mercedes, Renault, Honda or Ferrari.”
Well apparently, four championships in consecutive years is not enough for a company which views F1 as a marketing platform. And so Red Bull having no quick route back to the top, are set to leave Formula One.
“The cost/benefit calculation is no longer worthwhile”.
As some kind of justification of the Red Bull tantrum threats to leave F1, we are then given the examples of Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Cosworth, Toyota and BMW – all of whom withdrew from Formula One, based upon ‘economic considerations and not impulse.’
So in fact, despite trying to differentiate themselves from other F1 competitors, Red Bull are not so different from Mercedes. The German car manufacturer has admitted being in Formula One to market their cars – just not cans of fizzy pop.
And herein lies the fatal flaw with Red Bull’s F1 ambitions. In NO WAY do they desire to be associated with anything automotive, other than spending hundreds of millions on advertising their product and selling more taurine.
Maenwhile, Mercedes are both producing and marketing their product rather well.
The Speedweek article then treats us to details of Dierich Mateschitz’s emotional journey of disappointment, frustration and eventually anger as the Renault power unit progresses through 2014 and 2015.
An early criticism from Red Bull is the unreliability of the Renault PU in 2015. Yet earlier this year, Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul made it patently clear that Red Bull were pushing for performance upgrades to be delivered on track before Renault’s programme of bench testing for reliability was complete.
“Renault does not only drain us of money, but also of desire and motivation,” is the next dramatic claim from Mateschitz.
The Speedweek writer posits the notion that because Red Bull have an annual budget of 3-400 million euros a year, that this alone should see them higher up the pecking order.
Again, failure to deliver results given this budget is Red Bull’s justification for leaving F1.
Mmm. Tell of the disappointment to Honda and Toyota, who spent $1bn each in one year playing F1 – and neither won a ‘works’ title, never mind four.
Speedweeks’s article begins to wrap up by reminding us how when Dietrich Mateschitz became disillusioned with his NASCAR sponsored team’s inability to make progress – and he ruthlessly pulled the plug without any remorse.
Yes – we hear you Red Bull – you are leaving… and have been doing so for some time.
The rest of the article reads like an obituary. Red Bull has decided to remain committed to motorsports, DTM, WRC, Sportscars, MotoGP… bla bla bla.
But the good news is that leaving F1 is no big deal for the staff in Milton Keynes – who should have job security due to the ‘many foreign contracts’ Red Bull have for ‘aerodynamics work’ and ‘ENGINES’.
TJ13 has reported exclusively for almost a year about the goings on in building 9 with Mario Illien.
But in reality leaving F1 will surely see some MK redundancies, given that most sane organisations would not employ Red Bull to crash test a nose 63 times. (Exclusively reported by TJ13).
Red Bull have set the end of October as the date by which they must have an engine agreement – otherwise they are gone from F1 – ALLEGEDLY (Bernie you listening?).
Then again, Bernie’s too busy at the moment bull shitting the world that CVC are imminently to sell F1.
Others in F1 appear to be already facing up to life without Red Bull as Toto Wolff states F1 will survive if the fizz ‘hip brand’ company ups and leaves the sport.
“A a couple of years ago, within the space of 18 months, we had Toyota, Honda and BMW leaving the sport. They were three great constructors and F1 survived.
“So our emphasis at the moment must be on trying to keep them in the sport. If we cannot because it is taken out of our hands, then I think it [F1] is going to survive.”
Wolff identifies that F1 is cyclical and patience has always been required from its participants. “Have no doubt; give it two years and Renault and Honda are going to be competitive again.”
This cyclical aspect proven over Formula One’s 65 year history – whilst lost on Red Bull – is clear to the fans.
In a James Allen pole, readers were asked: “Should we feel sorry for Red Bull’s predicament or is it their own fault?”
Over 3,100 responded and the overwhelming majority said that there was little sympathy for Red Bull.
Some of James Allen’s readers commented
“It’s very hard to feel sorry for RedBull. While they have poured millions into F1 in the past few years, this has been to the detriment of F1 overall. They’ve blocked cost saving measures and wrecked FOTA, Just so that they can leverage the advantage they have (a massive budget) to win.”
“On one hand it is difficult to feel sorry for Red Bull because of the way they conducted themselves during their dominance and post their dominance also. They are a team who I find difficult to like with a certain disregard for some rules and certainly not playing within the spirit of the rules in a number of cases such also.”
“Finger boy didn’t do much for their plight either in my opinion. Coupled to that the attitude of we’re not winning anymore so we are going to kick and scream but as nobody is listening we’re going to leave isn’t the most enigmatic way to conduct yourselves either.”
For many, Red Bull have gloated in victory (balls in the pool comments) and been ungracious in defeat. And for this reason are not loved.
TJ13 will conduct a different poll from James Allen, and we ask the question: “Are Red Bull necessary for the future of Formula One?”