What? No love for Renault?

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Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares is not happy with the lack of recognition he feels the group has experienced after all the success they’ve had recently in Formula One. Point well made if you consider that Red Bull have given them the championships and yet they are now sporting “Infiniti” badges on their car. Sure, Renault has an alliance with Nissan but in the end, Tavares says more recognition is deserved for dominating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. Tavares explained via AUTOSPORT’s Mr. Noble:

“We are frustrated by the lack of recognition we get for beating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes,” said Tavares.

“But part of that problem at least must lie with our global marketing team. It is clear that we must create a bigger buzz around what we do.

“We are world champions. We are able to sell our engines to the teams because of that, but we do not get enough recognition beyond that.”

You can’t blame him for being a tad miffed at the lack of love or at least press and media presence they’ve had as world champions. then again, he is right to look internally as they haven’t made the most of their efforts via marketing. I’ve argued for a long time that the sport as a whole doesn’t do much to market itself and the teams are left carrying the bag to trumpet their accomplishments.

It can come across as rather boorish when teams or tire makers do that and this is why they should be working strongly with sites like F1B or other blogs by terrific people (there are a lot of them out there). Regardless, I am biased, but perhaps the next bit will tip you off to a slight frustration with their partner Red Bull.

“The relationship with all our teams is warm, emotional even,” he said.

“Frank Williams himself is highly respected within Renault, not just for the championships and races we have won in the past together, but also for his humility and personality.

“Lotus we have historic ties with, through the Enstone operation, while Caterham is our joint venture partner on the Alpine sports car project.

“All three of these teams have a specific link back to Renault, and that counts. Perhaps one day we can reach the same point with Red Bull.”

Ouch! Seems maybe Red Bull’s disparate marketing and branding has Renault a little concerned. I agree with him and I’m equally miffed at Red Bull for personal reasons (don’t get me started)  lately so I’ll join Tavares in piling on some criticism.

If your partner is Infiniti  then brand the engine Infiniti and be done with it. the Renault and Infiniti branding is confusing and it does come across as Infiniti is co-opting the success without having much to do with the shove or performance of the car. Red Bull is not as upfront about their partnership with Renault as the other teams seem to be or maybe that’s just because the other teams have a history with Renault in which to bed their emotional pull.

In the end, Red Bull has been very good to Renault Sport and they would do well to remember that. Having your engine in the back of the best car on the grid never hurts. It is up to renault Sport to make the most of their success and it isn’t the best theory to lay a large portion of the blame at Red Bull’s feet. In the end, they pay Renault for the engines and win… Renault should make use of that partnership the best they can.

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