Mateschitz: Words come cheap


‘Disillusioned’ and ‘ready to quit’ was rhetoric attributed to the Red Bull Ringmaster – Dieter Mateschitz – in the run up to the 2015 Austrian GP. Since then on a number of occasions, the faithful Red Bull minion, Christian Horner, has advised us, “Dietrich does not speak very often, and when he does you have to sit up and take notice.” The message being clear, ‘Unless I get an engine I believe appropriately matched to the cars we produce, I will bugger off and take my two teams with me’.

Yet what was the reality of that ever happening?

There are some 800 employees in Milton Keynes, when you include the couple of hundred self-employed contractors. Mateschitz capital investment in RBR has been in the hundreds of millions and the skills of the majority of the staff at the factory are not easily converted from building racing car prototypes.

Horner described the lack of engine decision early in October as ‘cricital’ for the design of the 2016 RB12 car. Then Mateschitz listed an end of October deadline for this matter to be resolved otherwise his teams would be pulled from F1 in 2016. Today is November the 2nd.

The RBR team principal was asked about the supposed deadline during the Mexican GP, he revealed that the deadline had been ‘extended’ and that Honda are keen to deal with Red Bull.

“I think the situation is, Honda are very keen but unfortunately they have a contractual status that is between them and McLaren and has nothing to do with us,” said Horner. “It’s for them to decide amongst themselves what they want to do.”

“I haven’t spoken to anyone at McLaren other than Ron Dennis, who is the one guy who has the right of say there. His views were quite clear.”

The latest wheeze is that Renault may be asked to supply Red Bull with unbranded engines for 2016, presumably to save face in Milton Keynes. This is a ridiculous idea because every F1 fan knowns the pool of possible engines for next year is finite and known. That said, if this request has been made by Red bull, it appears they have not learned anyhting in the ‘not looking stupid’ stakes this year.

Things were ‘critical’ a month ago for RBR and their 2016 car and Horner now reveals the new DEFCON status in Milton Keynes. “At the moment we’re right on the limit to be at the first test. The team at Milton Keynes have demonstrated their abilities to work to massively tight deadlines and I’m sure we’d be able to meet whatever targets we need to, as we come to a decision in the next couple of weeks.”

Red Bull tell us they still have no 2016 engine, except of course the Renault engine they are contracted to acquire. And yet both Red Bull teams have not been pulled from Formula One – as per the threat of the ‘man of few words’ – to whom we all MUST listen.

When great, great,great grand pappy judge was riding out in the days of the wild west, he always used to counsel – ‘If you pull out your gun – be prepared to use it, or look a fool and then maybe wind up dead’.


41 responses to “Mateschitz: Words come cheap

  1. Could it be they’re delaying their decision because the overlord that is Bernie is standing at the exit door with a sign saying…

    “To exit, you need to pay me £500m”…..

    • Didn’t Bernie offer Red Bull to keep their seats warm for a year if they didn’t find an engine? (Assuming with a lot less costs than having to pay the 500m exit payment)

        • I agree. Even if both Horner and Matteschitz have said that they make sure the guys don’t loose their jobs and that they will find something to do for them (perhaps WEC?) both teams and the people working there are all f1 racers so it would be hard to keep the staff around. But I suppose it would still be cheaper than completely leaving and maybe even devastating when it comes to their performance in 2017 (assuming they can get an engine for 2017) because if they are not in F1 they don’t have to follow the resource restrictions

  2. Great picture of Mateschitz, looks like a guy, who’s about to cry trying to look tough.
    Milton Keynes and Faezna are great race shops, Renault has always produced competitive engines and they have all gone about their business in a professional manner. Red Bull becomes involved and the two shops and F1’s die hard engine manufacturer end up with conflict and instability.
    Mateschitz is a spoiled brat who stumbled onto a pot of gold and his minions, who have become rich from the change falling from his pockets, think he can do no wrong. Mateschitz should sell the teams, take his money and go F**k up some other event, like golf.

    • “Renault has always produced competitive engines and they have all gone about their business in a professional manner. ”

      Except the last two years where they have failed to produce a competitive power unit and have gone backwards in progress. Not sharing your development schedule with your main customer is also about as unprofessional as it gets.

      Do you also think red bull bringing back a race to the European schedule and offering low ticket prices is ‘fucking up f1’?

      • Renault’s crappy engine pushed them to 2nd last year, this year, almost immediately Red Bull started publicly berating Renault. “Main customer”, because Red Bull wanted it that way, they sought out and tied down preferential Renault supply. There has been nothing professional about Red Bull when it comes to the power unit problems. Professionals don’t air their partnership problems in public.
        The race they promote, with “low ticket prices” doesn’t change what they have f**ked up in F1. Austria on or off the calendar makes no difference to F1, it’s just another dictators race, though this one doesn’t run a country, he flogs cans of crap.
        Good riddance Red Bull.

        • Red bulls chassis is the only reason red bull is where it’s at. Have you never watched a race and seen what happens to Renault power on the straights?

          In a very French manner, red bull should tie a little white flag to their DRS system that says ‘we surrender’ on every straight.

          Worst PU manufacture over the last two years, employees a pathetically small team of quite unqualified professionals seemingly unable to do anything without red bulls assistance.

          The last memorable thing Renault did without red bull was have #2 driver crash to give #1 driver a shallow win.

          Renault needs red bull, not the other way around. Imagine the Renault PU in the back of the lotus and that’s what Renault is capable of. What’s that you say? Lotus has a Renault PU last year? Where did they end up? LOL

  3. I do wonder what is the actual status of the Red Bull/TR – Renault Power Unit contract is. It is either cancelled or not. If not cancelled then Red Bull/TR may ask to have the PU unbranded but if that isn’t in the contract they may well have to stump up more money or advertise Renault. I can see this ending in a legal mess for Red Bull, if Renault refuse to rip up the contract then are Red Bull contractually obliged to run the Renault PU? I find it difficult to believe the Renault PU contract doesn’t have performance break clauses in. Then again Red Bull 3rd in championship might not be poor enough to trigger break clause?
    It’s all very interesting, can’t wait to see how it all plays out.
    Seems to me Renault have all the cards at the moment?

    • You’re joking right? You think Renault would have the ability to trigger a performance clause?

      You think when both RB and TR are on their tenth power units that Renault gets to say red bull didn’t deliver?

      Did you not watch the US go when the rain showed us what kind of chassis RB actually built?

      The only ones able to excersize a performance clause exit would be red bull, even if they are in third.

      • What I meant was that if there was a PU performance clause Red Bull may not be able to trigger it being they are third in championship, not that Renault could trigger a performance clause because, as you say Red Bull & TR have done very well with the dog of a PU. So RB/TR are stuck with a terrible PU and a contract that runs through 2016. I do think Red Bull and TR have performed well in spite of their PU not because of it.
        Renault have been terrible with reliability and no real in season developments. But I think part of this is because they are so miffed by the slating RB had given them last year, not that I think Renault didn’t deserve the slating they did.
        My opinion is Renault hatched a plan during 2015 to create so bad a PU that RB/TR would pull out/ buy themselves out of the Renault PU contract. Then Renault could use that money and Bernie’s historic payments to buy back Lotus at effectively zero cost to them. Then in 2016 they would come back with a great new improved engine and be beating Red Bull/TR. Thus suggesting the Renault PU was good it was just Red Bull & TR’s implementation that caused all the problems and going some way to restore their name.

        • my bad, misunderstood your statement.

          I have wondered how Renault screwed this thing up so bad. Red Bull plays dirty but generally speaking they arent the first ones to bite. This history suggests their behavior this year was in reaction to something – it could be that renault have intentionally done this and Red Bull has suggested the same.

          After all, when you know Merc/Ferrar/Honda are employing multiple hundreds (300-400-500) of dedicated PU employees, and your company hires under 200, thats quite literally intentional sabotage because nobody is that smart.

          I’d give an arm to be a fly on Red Bull’s lawfirm walls. We should all assume there are a number of confidential lawsuits being slung between the two companies at this point.

  4. It appears that Dieter has talked himself into a corner and started laying bricks in front of himself. And found a few folks to pass him both bricks and mortar. And so…I await the Next Exciting Chapter of this serial!

  5. At the end of the day they are just a soda company. Nothing more. Their sense of entitlement just baffles me. If they leave F1 will survive. It’s not like they’re Ferrari!

      • The only Grands Prix I am concerned about are Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka, and COTA. The Austrian GP isn’t in doubt. Even if RBR pull out of F1, which isn’t likely, the brand will maintain some presence in the sport.

  6. I’m not of the belief that RBR stumbled or lucked in to good fortune, what they did was hire Adrian Newey. Paid him a kings ransom and tied him to the company.
    I’m not sure but is he there highest earner?
    So now they have possibly the foremost designer of F1 cars on their payroll while threatening to pull out of the sport.
    I agree with the above post, he needs to sell both teams and go away.

    • All they did was hire AN? That’s all it takes?

      You’re saying their success had nothing to do with the break through a they made in simulations via Red Bull Technology? They invested more in their server farms and simulation equipment than most other teams combined. They also have pioneered new carbon technologies as well, some years ahead of their competitor.

      They also have a few hundred expert coders in energy recovery systems and can develop their own hybrid units. In fact TJ-13, our favorite F1 website, has even reported that Red Bull is developing their own power unit along with a partner in building 9 – RB handling the energy recovery systems and software.

      We are in the first major software era of F1, and this is the place where red bull excels above all other teams. So tell me again, how hiring Adrian newey was all RB did in order to achieve performance.

      The fizzy drinks company is the one Honda wants to work with, not Mclaren, ask yourself why that is.

      Ron is quite lucky he has that clause in his Honda .

      • Yes, they hired AN.
        Coders, server farms, any other practitioners of witch craft you care to mention don’t design F1 cars, they won 4 championships with an engine that didn’t need to match the engines from Ferrari or Mercedes.
        I also believe the PU Renault delivered at the start of last season was created to the specifications requested by “their’ factory team.

        • AN’s big ideas (he doesnt actually design anything) dont get implemented in a time of restricted simulator time unless you have simulators a generation or two ahead of everyone else. The most important thing about a simulator is that it matches the real world – the more power you have, the higher your chances. Red Bull’s advanced simulator is quicker to correlate with the real world thus they can spend more time testing permutations of their designs and compare different design directions quicker than anyone else.

          Apparently that point means nothing to you but it means quite a lot to Adrian Newey, just ask him.

          RB’s software team along with Renault engineers created those engine maps that helped the weaker Renault V8 outperform more powerful competitors – again, were was adrian newey here?

          You believe the 2014 PU was Red Bull’s spec and not Renaults? Interesting theory. Did Adrian create this spec as well?

          • Maybe, if they have such powerful simulators, they can figure out what’s going on in MattersShitz’s head.

      • Red Bull did what all winning teams did – hired the right people and invested properly in all areas of the team, with the end result being 4 title winning seasons. Newey wise ? He’s a central figure in the success of Red Bull, but not the sole reason for the success.

        As for McLaren ? I would suspect Ron will extract a high price from Honda supplying Red Bull or he’ll just say no.
        As for the software ? It’s been a software era for a while now, from Williams active suspension system (complex for it’s time), telemetry collection, analysis and sharing to engine maps. McLaren are pretty good on the ERS and hybrid front themselves, alas Honda appears to have refused McLaren’s help in that area.

        Red Bull appears to have been banking on VW, that went pearshaped. So now they are scrabbling around trying to get a Power Unit supply to bridge the gap until they possibly launch their own power unit project with say Cosworth or another partner.

        • If you consider real F1 timelines at play, as opposed to the BS PR statements we get from teams, there are some interesting points to consider.

          1) VW and RB were on the brink of annoucnment when ‘diesel gate’ broke. I’m pretty sure they were going to announce a PU partnership for next year.

          2) This would certainly mean that the PU was far along in the development schedule and this aligns with the building 9 story.

          3) Diesel gate might not have killed the partnership, but I believe it would have been wise to pull back on announcment, thus the VW/RB partnership is probably moving along quietly while the most opportunistic time is used to announce the project. This would actually be a positive spin for VW right now and believe me, they need to change the story.

          4) lamborghini vs ferrari on track is something we all want to see right?

          • I can’t see any company wanting to develop a new power unit until the rules have been relaxed and tied down in 2017. It would be corporate suicide to pour millions into a design that only has one year to go

          • Maybe they can introduce their VW engine a year earlier (’16) as, if they’re going to have a shit year, they’d have a year’s testing / ironing out any issues.
            And to avoid any tainting of their respective brands they could badge it as Skoda!

          • VW’s luxury brands appear to have been dragged into the scandal now. So who knows ? I think the main aim for VW will be to limit the damage as far as possible to keep the company intact. F1 will probably not be high on the agenda in the short term, it might well become a priority in the future as a means to rebuild trust in it’s brands through motorsport excellence.

        • McLaren are pretty on the ERS and etc etc…..
          Seems reasonable to assume that by now they should have gone this very route? Apparently not so?

          • No it’s a hot air balloon as used in that record breaking space/sky diving madness/PR triumph.

  7. Speaking of cheap words and Red Bull. Does TJ13 have any updates on the building 9 story? After all that breaking scoop you reported would have direct ties to this story correct?

    If you actually believe your own writing, why no mention of building 9 here? As a faithful visitor and I speak for all of us, shouldn’t you back up your scoops or admit error by rushing to print a story that was false?

    Just trying to weigh you wanting us to believe these editorial hit pieces are facts against scoops that completely contradict stories like the above.


    • That has been touched on recently I believe, by the Judge. The word has become somewhat diluted, unfortunately.

  8. Building 9 exists, with a full scale VTT in there. Renault has allowed RB only a V8 to use on this rig due to the ongoing uncertainty of their future relationship.

    As reported previously, building 9 was conceived when VW were looking likely to partner RB going forward. Then there was the emissions scandal and Winterkorn – VW’s advocate for F1 – departed from his new role of VW boss (having ousted Piech a long time Bernie hater)

    • Thanks for the update. I think it’s safe to assume this building is still be used… hopefully with a bunch of VW staff hunkered down in it.

      If anyone can learn from the massive mistake by Honda, it’s Red Bull. If they are working on a PU with VW they will be doing unlimited testing – perhaps even having VW build an F1 spec chassis (under contract of Red Bull Technology) to run unlimited mileage on.

      VW as an outsider can build and test what they want, the FIA cannot stop them – this is where Honda failed to capitalize. They could have hit the ground running in 2015 with more mileage than mercedes had in 2014.

      I dont think the VW story is over – Diesel Gate just changed the timeline. A bunch of F1 victories is actually just what they need.

      I still think this is THE story of the year if true, keep us posted Judge!

      • I share your optimism about VW entering F1. All the benefits you say they have for testing also applied to Honda. I thought Honda would be the top, or near top, engine this year, to make the racing more interesting, but it wasn’t to be. I hope VW learn from Honda’s mistakes

        • honestly I understand the capabilities within Honda BUT the fact they were unwilling to cheat for free shows the lack of competitive spirit.

          In F1, if you’re winning, you’re cheating, or reaping the benefits of previous cheating.

    • How does “Renault has allowed RB only a V8 to use on this rig” tie up with “TJ13 has been informed that Red Bull Racing will use the lower part of the Renault V6 engine and fit on top a Mario Illien head” and the report that the RBR engine just needs “harmonisation”?

  9. I like the story with the gun and the fool! We have enough arrogant people in F1, some of them actually very much so, If Mateschitz quits, then we have one less. Hooray!

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