As I stated in my article (where apparently I was the only human that found it shocking) about Renault pulling out of F1 as an engine supplier, there is every reason to be concerned regardless of if they acquire Lotus and become a works team or not. Namely, it supplying Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.
The issue at hand isn’t simply if Renault is quitting their engine supply program and if they actually leave Formula 1 altogether because they don’t acquire another team to become a F1 operation. It is deeper than that and is really a knock-on impact to Red Bull.
Now, it must be said that Red Bull is rumored to have already sought a early termination of the engine supply contract from Renault but regardless, this still leaves them without a power unit for 2016.
Could both Renault and Red Bull be leaving F1 in 2016? An article at AUTOSPORT does present some doubt as team boss Christian Horner said:
“That depends on the desire of other parties for us to be in Formula 1.
“If we don’t have an engine, we can’t compete.
“Dietrich [Mateschitz] has always made it very clear he wants to have a competitive engine.”
I also stated in my article about the F1 Strategy Group discussing the engine option by allowing some teams to run year-old power units in F1. Namely that has been Manor GP this year and three articles I read suggested this would be something Red Bull might opt for but as I wrote, that would be nonsense for a team with the resources to win title like Red Bull.
If they did run year-old power units, it would be out of no other options and they wanted to remain in F1 until such time as they could find a new supplier.
Red Bull might take on Ferrari engines if the car maker offers it but they wouldn’t be interested in running less competitive power units than the Ferrari team run. That’s not why they are in F1.
We have all been wringing our hands over the survival of the small teams like Sauber, Force India, Lotus and Manor but if Red Bull have no options for an engine supply, that is a massive blow to F1 should they leave. Red Bull spends millions on this series and more than all of the aforementioned teams combined most likely. So scoff if you must but I would hate to see the negative impact losing such a large privateer as Red Bull would have on the sport I love.
Hat Tip: AUTOPORT