Red Bull Racing cancel 2016 Renault F1 engine contract



We have all chewed the cud with the Red Bullies for months now about whom they may persuade to partner with them for 2016 as an engine supplier. The consensus has always been the fall back position for Dietrich Mateschitz would be to continue with Renault as a supplier of F1 engines for the final year of their contract.

Mercedes and Ferrari have refused point blank to supply the Milton Keynes based team, giving a plethora of suspect reasons. The reality is that both these manufacturers are frightened they will be beaten by an RB12 chassis with their engine in the back.

Honda are apparently ‘very interested,’ according to Christian Horner, however he admits that given Ron Dennis’ disposition towards the ‘Bulls’, a Honda Red bull tie up is most unlikely to happen.

This leaves Renault, as the only possible partner for Red Bull in 2016. There was a deadline of the 31st October where we were led to believe Red Bull would decide on whether to stay or leave Formula One. This has been and gone. Speaking to Speedweek last night, the fizzy drinks boss Mateschitz made it clear that Renault will not supply either of his Red Bull teams with power units next year. Further, Mateschitz is emphatic, “We have cancelled the contract [with Renault for 2016].”

As TJ13 reported a number of weeks ago, Renault had expressed an interest to Dieter Mateschitz in buying the RBR racing team, with some sort of phased ownership transfer taking place over 2-3 years. When asked were there any other options for RBR other than being a Renault customer in 2016, Christian Horner said in Mexico “there may be something else [available as an option].” Now, Mateschitz has said there is no way RBR will be sold to Renault, stating this course of action is “totally unthinkable.”

Dietrich Mateschitx also revealed he has extended the deadline for his teams remaining in Formula One by a less than precise, “3-4 weeks”. What can be achieved in that time given his absolute decisions regarding Renault is anyone’s guess. Mateschitz’s behavior is of someone who believes the FIA or Bernie can shake the tree and get him a different engine for next year other than one from Renault. However, given the recent use of the Ferrari veto over engine cost caps, neither Mr. E nor Mr. Todt appear capable of forcing either Mercedes or Ferrari into doing anything they do not wish to do.

As TJ13 observed yesterday, Mateschitz is presenting now as a deluded individual – refusing to face the fact that Renault is his only option for an engine next year for Red Bull Racing. In his Speedweek interview, he blames Renault for the collapse of the Red Bull/Renault relationship, implying it was their decision to buy a team which challenged Red Bull’s premier status which caused him to seek a parting of the ways.

All this is clearly designed to up the anti with FOM and the FIA, though at present, there appears a lack of urgency for anything to get done as everyone awaits the European Commission verdict into what many believe to be Formula One’s darkest hour.

39 responses to “Red Bull Racing cancel 2016 Renault F1 engine contract

  1. ” In his Speedweek interview, he blames Renault for the collapse of the Red Bull/Renault relationship, implying it was their decision to buy a team which challenged Red Bull’s premier status which caused him to seek a parting of the ways.”…


    • I know, right? It’s just completely laughable.

      “As TJ13 observed yesterday, Mateschitz is presenting now as a deluded individual.”

      He really is. But on considering it all, I was reminded me of this this…

      “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking

      I’ve got a feeling he’s not ignorant, in the classical sense, but more that he has been fed erroneous facts and one-sided versions of events by his lieutenants, Horner n’ Marko. Thus, he’s talking shit, but from a place of his own truth.

      The shit doth now hiteth thy fan as his truth and THE truth begin to merge, eg. $500m exit fees etc.

      • Hes definitely not ignorant and I’d definitely go along with your assumptions. Just wished they had gone about this in a better way.

      • Come to think of it, I’d label him as being naive. Renault only started looking to buy a team this year, they’ve been blasting Renault since the first day of testing in 2014. Actually I’m lying, they’ve doing that since 2009 when they blasted Renault for the continuous failings of engines and alternators in Seb’s car.

        I still believe that had it not been for poor reliability and thus forcing Seb to sit out practice sessions, he would’ve won the 09 championship.

  2. i am 100% behind DM. renault have been nothing short of a disaster when it comes to building a competitive engine. three years haver passed and they still can’t make it work on a comparative basis. red bull are fierce competitors and are not prepared to spend mega millions chasing championships without, at the very least, being able to challenge the top runners. renault’s incompetence could finish up costing the jobs/livelihood of a great deal of people plus robbing us dedicated fans of some real racing instead of the ‘vanilla’ situation that exists today. hollow victories for mercedes. they are racing themselves. boring in the extreme.

    • What a crock of crap. Jobs will be lost because Red bull didn’t secure a engine, before getting rid of one plain and simple. Everyone know the Renault engine wasn’t up to much ( one of the reasons Lotus got rid of it without bad mouthing anyone). If Red Bull hadn’t been so vocal and just terminated it, perhaps they would be in a different situation now, and have their choice of engines.
      Renault to blame for Red Bull jobs, most stupid comment I have read today!

    • We are only coming to the end of the second season with this engine formula. Renault dominated the V10 era, then the V8’s, they will be competitive with this engine formula. Red Bull and Renault win 4 championships in a row and finished second last year, not exactly a disaster.
      Milton Keynes and Faezna were around before Red Bull and could easily sold. If anyone loses a job it is because of Mateschitz’s decisions.
      “RED Bull are fierce competitors”, that made me laugh. Red Bull is a marketing guy that fell into a bucket of gold, luck made Mateschitz rich and then he bought F1 championships. When he’s tired of playing he’ll leave.

      • really…you are both naive and ill informed. DM is an extremely successful business man and when you can lay claim to being on an equal level of business intelligence and acumen the you can level those kind of statements. what could you possibly bring to that table vis a vis facts, to support your ignorant response?

        • Exactly what am I ill informed about ? I didn’t mention any thing about DM, I just pointed out that Red Bull using all their business knowledge, the FACT is their dropped an engine before SIGNING a deal to lease another one!. Not Renault’s fault but their own.
          You can also blame Mercedes and Ferrari for job losses if you like, for not supplying them with engines.
          I don’t won’t to see Red Bull to leave the sport anymore than the next F1 fan, and I can see why they were pissed off at Renault, but they are without an engine because of bad business decisions on their on part.
          So I stand by what I said in saying what you wrote was a crock of crap!.

        • I’m naive, oh brother. kenji stumbling into opportunity does not require brilliance. Hiring good marketing people to sell a new product, aimed at kids, does not indicate superior intelligence. You see the glitter of his gold and think that’s his brilliance shining through. He didn’t invent the drink, he’s not even the majority share owner of the product. He didn’t invent anything, not even the marketing concept, he owns a company that markets a brand and uses sport to sell it.

        • The history books would be different if Honda had stayed one more year and it would have been a bought championship. Toyota being in Germany didn’t help recruitment of top Brits and it is hard to win without them even with wades of money. Red Bull bought Newey and the championship engine and then threw boat loads of money into the mix and viola championships. Merc are just as guilty but there company at least does something useful.

  3. This is the first time I have actually heard that Mateschitz has actually cancelled the Renault contract. Mind you have Renault actually confirmed this? It’s all well and good to send a letter cancelling a contract but it’s not cancelled till they accept the cancellation. But it would appear that if their was any burnt bridge to Renault left Mateschitz has now torched that little bit of hope that might have existed.

    Bernie must be getting worried, well as much as a man with that much money would ever get worried. There is a potential for Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Manor, and Lotus not to be on the grid next year. That would be too few cars, even with 3 car teams, so Bernie seems to have his back against the wall.
    I think Ron will be having some decent negotiations with Bernie and Horner negotiating how much they will pay McLaren to allow Red Bull to use the Honda engine. First time in a long time Ron is in strong position.

  4. In order to received unbadged engines to which RBR could attach branding of their choosing it follows that it would be necessary to cancel the existing contract. That option would require a new contract that did away with RBRs responsibilities re Renault branding. Also there would be extra costs for RBR; both money and face since they would not be running the ‘competitive’ engine they insisted was a requisite for their participation. WIll that really happen?

  5. Even if Honda were to supply RB – and McLaren have exactly the same reasons as Merc and Ferrari for not wanting this to happen – what makes them think they’ll be any better off with a Honda in the back? Even if they make a good step forward they are unlikely to be anything more than on par with the current Renault.

    • Maybe they are not better of, but because they don’t have a contract anymore, they have to find another engine. And Honda is the only other one available.

      Besides they cancelled the contract with Renault when being asked by Mercedes, so Mercedes was free to enter contract talks with Red Bull, which turned to nothing and thus leaving RB without an engine.

  6. i like the X instead of Renault – hmm, Red Bull X Fighters – maybe Kimi and Valtteri would be a good line up for the re-branded team 🙂

  7. My previous comments at were taken as sniping at TJ13, so I’ll be careful what I say.

    I do not expect Red Bull and Torro Rosso to be in F1 in 2016. Nor do I expect Renault to finalise the deal to buy out Lotus. Nor do I expect Manor to race in F1 in 2016 (under any name). That means four teams will be out.

    UNLESS Bernie (i.e. CVC) agrees to pay millions of dosh to McLaren, Honda, Renault, Lotus and Manor.

    (I trust the above is within the rules of posting comments on TJ13)

    • I think you are closer to the truth than anyone who loves the sport would like it to be. I was really rooting for Manor this yr as they pulled the team out of the ashes but looking back its starting to feel like a ACE (arse covering exercise) with the sole aim just to get last years prize money but I could be very wrong,and I really hope I am.

    • It could have been that Renault was waiting for RB to formally cancel the contract. It might have resulted in breach of contract as Renault would have bought Lotus as a works team. But like everything else, this is speculation.

      I am still very confused as to RBs strategy. If you build an empire as Mateschitz did, you are either yourself gifted with a sound feeling for strategy or you found some gifted people to care of that aspect for you. Is there something we are missing ?

  8. I know RB leaving would be bad for F1. the sport can’t lose 2 teams but I’m getting a warm feeling thinking that I may never have to see or hear spice boy on the telly ever again…

    • Reading Mark Webber’s book taught me that spice boy is only mimiking what Marko and Mateschitz tell. So now he has nothing to say at the track, as well as at home. Poor boy…

  9. Did we ever hear what the penalty was for RB to cancel their Renault contract?

    Enough for Renault to buy Lotus? 🙂

    DM may have rebuffed Renaults attempts to buy RBR but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens after all – saves them two penalty payments as well as a lot of redundancy money.

  10. ‘deluded individual’

    TJ13 called me a deluded individual. Now I’m considered in the same class as DM! This is starting out as a very good day.

    In all seriousness, if you don’t realize this guy plays chess and anything DM said to the press in the last few days is specifically a negotiation tactic and probably has nothing to do with the truth then there is only one deluded individual between the three of us.

  11. Red Bull’s engine contract policy is inversely proportional to Sauber’s driver contract policy. Both approaches are massively more entertaining as bookends to the 2015 season than the actual on-track ‘show’ inbetween has proven. Watching this carefully, as for once I get the feeling Red Bull may have run out of luck and will emerge from this bag of nipples sucking only their thumb.

  12. I would like you to see the Infinity-Red Bull publicity used this weekend in Mexico. It was cheap and conducted to make people believe -and they mostly succeeded- that Infinity is the engine supplier of the team. Why would anybody supply engines to such “partners”? I believe Toto also pointed that if they were at risk of being beaten on track they at least wanted to take part in Red Bull’s publicity machine and they said no.

  13. All smoke and mirrors.
    The, what is it called, shed 9(?) is their way out a-la TAG with McLaren. Things are running behind sched but all will be announced in due course. So, they will be on track come 2016.

    • This entire hit piece is based on an interview DM gave to speedweek, guess who owns speedweek?

      Pretty much means any journalist running this story without considering the fact DM owns speedweek is being played.

      Kings and pawns.

      • I think it common knowledge to everyone who owns Speedweek and its for that same reason why many are calling bullshit on his comments.

        • Really? You don’t think TJ13 readers unaware of this, or new followers of the site, or new fans of the sport deserve a little bit of insight on this subtle but crucial aspect of the story?

          What you’ve really said is that it’s ok to run hit pieces like this without context and that you really aren’t interested in ‘journalist’ on this site including important details because they fall under some made up ‘common knowledge ‘ clause you’ve invented.

          • The only people who aren’t aware that he owns Speedweek magazine, are those who’ve only begun to watch F1 this year.

            As for TJ13 readers, If they’re continuous followers, they sure as hell are aware, because there has been various articles written where it has been mentioned.

          • Now that you mention it, I remember it was mentioned before.

            Forgive me for having forgotten about this. I am more interested in the racing than Red Bull marketing.

  14. I am looking very much forward to this. These past few weeks gave us the impression that Carlos Ghosn had forgotten about his intention to tear up his contract with a spoiled billionnaire. I sincerely hope that some belated words of apology of the very very wise Dr. Helmut won’t change Renault’s attitude towards that bunch of bad loosers.

    • I’m not sure Carlos said he was going to tear up the contract, only that he wasn’t going to supply any more customer teams. I took that to mean he was under the impression RB had – or were going to – cancel the contract.

      There is no reason for Renault to cancel – there is bound to be some penalty payment due from the side which cancels and they are more than likely being paid for their engines. The need money to buy Lotus so them cancelling doesn’t make sense…

      • There is a reason for Renault to cancel. RB has insulted their long time partner for 18 months every day.

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