Engine supply contracts announced…Red Bull anyone?

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The FIA has received a list of supply contracts from Mercedes for the 2017. Perhaps not surprisingly, they list Force India, Williams F1 and Manor Racing as their customers. This information is due to the FIA by May 15th according to an AUTOSPORT article.

For Honda’s part, McLaren boss Ron Dennis says he’s not keen on the Japanese manufacturer supplying anyone else until success comes to his own team in the form of a competitive power unit. Honda says they are not strong enough to supply another team yet. Wonder what they would say if the 2017 mandate that a supplier must be able to supply multiple teams was in effect now?

Renault says they would be happy to continue supplying Red Bull for 2017 as well as return to Toro Rosso who are using last year’s Ferrari engines. Renault’s managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, said:

“As we have always said, the bridges were never burned with Red Bull.

“From an engine manufacturer perspective we are open for business, open for expanding our collaboration.

“Part of Mercedes’ success has been based on having a portfolio of partners, customers in the paddock. You cannot work in isolation.

“Red Bull is a very strong body in Formula 1, and we have all the reason in the world to continue working with them. It makes sense.

“If they are happy, the product is competitive, then we have no reason to stop working with them.”

This is an interesting turn of events from a relationship that was strained but perhaps the best antidote for this kind of sour relationship is performance delivered on track. Red Bull secured the second row for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix and perhaps this is a reason that Renault, who will deliver the Austrian team a new upgraded engine in Canada, is willing to continue.

Red Bull eclipsed Ferrari in qualifying in Spain and perhaps this is the most tangible example of the reason that Mercedes and Ferrari were not willing to supply Red Bull Racing an engine supply such is their chassis design and ability.

You have to hand it to Renault, as a full works team, for having the guts to supply Red Bull.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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8 Comments on "Engine supply contracts announced…Red Bull anyone?"

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jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

Bernie says “RBR are Ferrari’s best chance at winning a title. “

sunny stivala
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sunny stivala

Bernie woke-up and found that his balls were stolen, he believes that they were stolen by the red bullies who dropped and lost them when they jumped from the Renault plane and tried to get hold of a parachute on their way down.

longshot
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longshot

No I think Danny Ric’s got them, as evidenced by his last qualy lap. Apparently there were problems at the weigh-in as his balls were too heavy.

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

pretty sure little toto has one of them.

Andreas Möller
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Andreas Möller

Well, it might have been a different story if the works Renault team had been running at (or anywhere near) the front… This year, they knew they’d be learning on the job, trying to adapt a car that was designed around a different PU for the Renault package. But if Renault were to end up at the front, I suspect they’d want to see a similar supply scheme as the other two (with their own team as the front runner, and two or three customers spread out across the midfield and tail end).

longshot
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longshot

That was never Renault’s philosophy though – even when their Lotus Renault team (as distinct from the original Lotus which soon became Caterham) was running well & scoring podiums with Kimi & Grosjean, they still supplied engines to RBR.

And unlike Merc/Ferrari, they’ve always supplied software and engine mappings to their customers that are identical to their works team. I see no reason why they should change their longstanding practice in this regard.

Andreas Möller
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Andreas Möller
Well, it depends on how long a period one looks at. Looking at Renault’s history as a works team, both the 1977-1985 and 2002-2010 periods (2011 if we count the Lotus-Renault season, even though Renault had largely pulled out at that time) started and ended the same way. In 1977, Renault came in as a works F1 team, running Renault 1.5L turbo engines which they kept to themselves until 1983, when Lotus (who previously had finished behind Renault in the WCC) started running Renault engines. In 1984, Lotus beat Renault in the WCC, and in 1985 both Lotus and Ligier… Read more »
jakobusvdl
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jakobusvdl

After the grief Renault got from RBR and STR over the last two years, and the fact they are back as a full racing team, it seems a very magnanimous decision to keep supplying RBR, and offer to supply STR again.
Perhaps Renault are going to get a bit of chassis and aero engineering support, to help them regain the competitiveness that Lotus Renault managed in 2013 & 2014?