Renault have admitted they are in negotiations with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso to terminate their contract to supply engines to the two teams ahead of schedule, and have declared their role as purely an engine supplier in Formula 1 is over.
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn spoke at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and insisted the contracts with the two teams is likely to end at the end of 2015, and not after the 2016 season as previously announced, with the team still in negotiations with the Lotus F1 Team about buying a majority share to return to the sport as a manufacturer entry.
“We said very clearly, it’s finished,” said Ghosn. “We already alerted the Formula 1 authorities [saying] that ‘Don’t count on us as a provider of an engine. It’s over.
“We will honour our contracts, no problem, but the occasion of Renault as a developer and supplier of engines stops. I think we are today renegotiating the contracts, so it’s too early to say what’s going to be the conclusion of the contract.”
Ghosn has also admitted his unhappiness about the way Red Bull have treated his company, insisting that when the team were winning, Renault were never mentioned, but as soon as they began to lose, the engine supplier were heavily criticised by the team.
“Unfortunately when we were winning championships the Renault name was never mentioned,” said Ghosn. “It was the team that was winning. So we started to feel the return on this investment was very weak.
“It was intensified by the fact that when the technology changed and we moved from the V8 engine to the present technology, some of the teams using our engine did not fare well, and the reasons for which they are not performing became the engine.
“So you are in the game that when you perform very well you are never mentioned, and when there is a problem with the team you are the first guy to be pointed [at].
“Are the criticisms fair or unfair? I don’t think it’s a question of being fair or unfair. It’s a sport. You can’t just say ‘I lost, but my team-mate was really…’ you know?
“I think it’s a question of sportsmanship. We are expecting, that when we are in a sport working with other people, we win together and we lose together.”