Renault bring new lump, will Red Bull use it?

Are you a gambler? More to the point, is Red Bull or Scuderia Toro Rosso? You see, Renault Sport F1 have brought a new engine to the USGP at COTA this weekend but in order to use them, both teams would take grid penalties. That may not sound like much but in the grand scheme of things, it could be.

“We will have our new specification of power unit available to use in Austin,” said Renault’s director of operations Remi Taffin.

“The principal changes involve the internals of the ICE (internal combustion engine) to give improved power and efficiency.

“We know that introducing the new PU (power unit) will incur a grid penalty (for exceeding the season’s allocation) so the decision to use will be made in full consultation with the teams.”

Red Bull are 57 points ahead of Force India, who look quite resurgent in their new chassis, and Toro Rosso are only 21 points behind Lotus F1 so there could be some serious Constructor’s Championship points on the line here. Would you gamble and run the new engines? You also have to factor in the reliability concern into the equation as well.

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Paul KieferJr

Unfortunately, if you’re playing the Machiavellian game (and these guys are), if you go back to Renault, your prestige (or whatever you prefer to call it) takes a big hit. So, you have to also decide what’s more important, and the wrong answer can hurt you even further.


If you don’t compete at all you take even a bigger hit financially as there is no other sport with such a global exposure.

Paul KieferJr

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. :P


Pretty sure I read somewhere that the engine was only available to RBR, not Toro Rosso. If Red Bull are seriously committed to going through with the divorce then there’s no way they’ll upgrade for the rest of the season. If there’s still a chance of reconciliation, this is probably a good weekend to take the penalty – there’s highly likely to be plenty of rain, which means chaos & safety cars bunching up the field, so a good chance of making up plenty of places and getting into the points. Also by my count, both RBR cars have engines… Read more »

Patrick Chapman

As longshot has said, I have also read that only Red Bull will be offered the new spec engine and the article specifically pointed out that Toro Rosso will not be getting the upgrade for Austin. Over the last week, this has “morphed” into both teams will be getting the upgrade but I have not seen any definitive information confirming this so I am still under the impression that only Red Bull will have the new spec available to them. If this is correct, then the competition between Lotus and Toro Rosso is unaffected and I don’t see that Force… Read more »

Louis Jansen

I think that one should be positive and accept the new engine and grid penalty. So Max Verstappen, our countryman, should run the new version and we as Dutch fans will look forward to another charge from the back. The Austin track, having several high speed corners, should be a good track for the Torro Rosso, playing into its strength. Max has made it clear that he expects the Torro Rosso to be competitive on the Austin track.