Renault: we’ll quit Formula 1 if we can’t be competitive
Their four titles with Red Bull didn’t bring them the publicity they sought; now troubled Renault consider exiting F1
Renault have admitted that they are likely to quit Formula 1 at the end of next season if they cannot make their engine competitive for 2016.
The French rm have a supply contract with Red Bull until the end of 2016, and are working out a strategy for the coming years. Their options are to carry on purely as an engine supplier, become a team owner again in addition to supplying engines to others, or pull out altogether.
Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul told F1 Racing: “What we have to do is bring the engine to a competitive level because there won’t be any future for Renault in F1 if we do not have a competitive engine. That is the rst step.
“The second step is to see if we can nd a way forward with Red Bull that can work for both parties from a strategic perspective. When I say strategic, it is very much marketing because we are in F1 for a commercial purpose, which is, at the end of the day, to sell more cars. And right now, what we see is that the Red Bull partnership is not really delivering what it costs to our organisation.
“Red Bull are well aware of that fact but if we manage to nd a way forward either nancially or from a marketing perspective there is no reason why our partnership won’t continue beyond 2016.”
Renault have been concerned for some time that they are not reaping the marketing benets they expected from their four consecutive title doubles with Red Bull. “The problem we had was that when we were winning championships with Red Bull Racing, no one was ever talking about us,” said Abiteboul.
He added: “It is a question of value for money. What it costs versus what it delivers. To deliver you need to be competitive, but as I said, we have won four titles with Red Bull and we see that the marketing value was not good enough.
“It is not necessarily the fault of Red Bull. Maybe it is a setup of being an engine supplier that just does not work in modern F1. We don’t know yet. We have not made our mind up or done the analysis.
“At the moment, everyone is focused on engine performance. Then we will start thinking about what to do next.”