Red Bull laments Renault-destroyed enjoyment

Reading a translation of a Dietrich Mateschitz interview over at AUTOSPORT, I was slightly caught off guard at the frustration of the Red Bull owner toward Renault just a few days after the French engine supplier asked for a cessation of the public rhetoric. The Austrian boss was full of venom as the team head toward the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend having to make yet another engine change on both cars resulting in grid penalties:


“Beside taking our time and money they have destroyed our enjoyment and motivation – because no driver and no chassis in this world can compensate for this horsepower deficit,” Mateschitz told Speedweek.

“In addition, our chances were so scuppered by aerodynamic regulations which meant that chief designer Adrian Newey could not weave his magic on front wings.

“Now we have used our fourth engine, which means we are penalised on the grid.

“How many more things have to happen before we lose all enjoyment?”


Those are some strong words from a very frustrated man who is in Formula 1 to win and having a partner who isn’t delivering is a real challenge. Before you get too snippy about the team knowing the rules and dealing with it, keep in mind that they are the only team left using Renault power as Williams and Lotus both abandoned the supplier in favor of Mercedes power units.

However, even this move isn’t a sure thing according to Dietrich:


“With a customer engine, you have no world championship chance, you will never become world champion.

“If we realise it, we have no chance of a world title because you have also lost an aerodynamic advantage.

“Then we lose all pleasure and we are bit-part players.”


The fact is, Red Bull have no other engine option at this point even if they were comfortable with customer engines. I know several fans are quick to say good riddance cry babies but I’m not one of them. I believe the sport needs Red Bull as a major, big-money spending privateer to balance the manufacturer domination.

The issue is that Dietrich is living in a F1 world reliant on engines and not aero and as he doesn’t make his own engines, he is reliant on others. He doesn’t like it and I am not sure I can blame him for the frustration. It may not be only Renault considering leaving the sport but Red Bull may leave too and contrary to many fans offering their salutation, I, for one, would really hate to see them go and take their F1 investment with them.


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Funny…Williams don’t make their own engine either…and they spent many years going backwards…just goes to show you the difference between a professionally run outfit and one that considers racing second to soft drink sales.

Geoff Peterson

The problem is that RBR aren’t interested in being a mid-table team, only able to reach second in season when Ferrari and Mclaren dropped the ball and weren’t competitive. They’ve become accustomed to dominating F1, and don’t seem to be interested if they can’t reach the same heights again.


Which coincidentally seems to be how they treat their drivers (I’m including lower series here)… unless you’re the best today, we’ll drop you like yesterday’s news…

Paul KieferJr

I’m sorry, but I’m having some difficulty being civil about both Red Bull and Renault. I’m very angry about their behavior right now, much as a father would be very angry at their child because they have misbehaved. I will pass on commenting until this feeling subsides.

Andreas Möller

I can sympathize with his frustration over the current performance, but saying things like “Beside taking our time and money they have destroyed our enjoyment and motivation” does not help. If you want to encourage a partner to improve, this is not the way. Saying stuff like that is what you do when you want to appoint blame to a partner. This is looking more and more like a nasty divorce in the making… I agree that the sport needs strong privateers, but I’m not so sure the sport needs team owners like Mateschitz. If he ends up pushing one… Read more »

Tim C.

I certainly understand the frustration of Red Bull (Dietrich Mateschitz) and also the frustration of Renault. Both organizations have a right to be frustrated. Neither organization is performing at a level they want to be at (or should be at for that matter). However, slinging mud at Renault will never solve the problem. Renault has dug themselves a big hole compared to the other engine manufactures and they need to find a way to get out of it. Unfortunately, digging out of a hole doesn’t happen overnight. It does take time. And, Mateschitz slinging mud doesn’t change that reality. I’m… Read more »


So here’s a question – If Red Bull hadn’t enjoyed the successes it has, if instead of winning a Constructors Championship (let alone 4), but instead ended up being a solid mid-pack team over the entire length of their time in the sport – would Dietrich & company be so vocal about Renault’s performance? I get needing to love what you’re doing and the need for financial returns on their investment (although financial returns from F1 is a fantasy in its own right) and I get that winning is the ultimate symbol of success in any sport. But why is… Read more »


RBR has every right to be pissed. At the end of the day Renault is a VENDOR, they supply goods for a price. They may work closely with RBR but at the end of the day they aren’t giving their engines away for free.

It’s no different than you or I being unhappy with a vendor. If the vendor keeps screwing up you leave them for another vendor or you do it yourself.

Can any one tell that I have way too much experience dealing with crappy vendors?


I agree that Formula One needs Red Bull and i understand that it’s very frustrating not being able to compete due to the engine they use. However, they should approach the problem in a more professional way as a championship winning team.

I discussed a similar topic on my blog: Hope you enjoy :)