Red Bull Risk Losing Engine Offer from Renault if No Answer Comes by France


Renault - Red Bull - Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Renault say they cannot wait until the Austrian Grand Prix for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing to decide on their engine situation and could withdraw its offer before then.

Red Bull had until May to decide whether to stick with Renault or move to Honda engines, currently used by sister team Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda. Their deadline was extended until the summer as team principal Christian Horner said he was going to make the call in the summer break, before that deadline was moved forward with Renault wanting an answer before the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Milton Keynes based team wanted to use Canada and France to gather data to compare the Renault and Honda engines, as both manufacturers brought their latest updates at the latest round in Canada.

But Renault’s Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport.com that Austria is too late to make a decision and wants an answer before the French Grand Prix.

“I guess they have all the information that they need now,” said Abiteboul.  “I don’t see why they are going to further delay the decision. As per the regulations, was May 15, and then we accepted to extend that a little bit on the back of 12 years of good collaboration.

“But past a certain point, the offer we made, and that they requested, will not stand.  It was Montreal that they wanted to wait for: our new spec, Honda’s new spec.  They have all the information, I see no absolutely no reason to delay that any further.”

When asked if Renault could wait until the gap between France and Austria for a decision, Abiteboul says that he doesn’t believe so.

“I don’t think so. It’s simply because we need to source the components,” said Abiteboul.  “We’re already behind, and it’s Renault deciding the timing, not Red Bull.

“Usually we speak after a weekend, we don’t do that on Sunday evening, with all the emotions, we let all the testosterone go down a little bit, and we will discuss.  But we will not be able to wait for the sort of timing that they’ve mentioned this weekend.”

Abiteboul has made it clear that he wants to work with Red Bull, even believing that the pair can win a championship together again within the next two years.  The pairing won championships together between 2010 and 2013, before the switch to the modern V6 hybrid power units, where their winning partnership ended thanks to the domination of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.

“We’re trying hard, but that must be under conditions that are acceptable to us, starting with the timing,” said Abiteboul.  “I don’t want to start mentioning a date, otherwise you’ll start calling me that day.

“I have a date, they know the day, but we are not talking about Austria.  Austria, we won’t be here, and they will be talking directly to Honda.  They wanted an offer, we’ve made an offer, that offer has to be accepted in the next few days.”