Renault performance ‘not acceptable’ says Horner as Red Bull fall flat at home
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  23 Jun 2014   |  12:56 pm GMT  |  147 comments

Come the end of what should have been a glorious homecoming for Red Bull at its own circuit in Austria and the only driver on the podium associated with the brand was the man doing the interviews, former driver Mark Webber. It was, to say the least, a tough day for the Austrian outfit.

Sebastian Vettel exited the race after 34 laps having suffered power problems as early as lap two. The team retired him in order to preserve the power unit and gearbox. Daniel Ricciardo, a grand prix winner in Canada a fortnight ago, limped home in eighth place. And with every finisher ahead of the Australian bar Fernando Alonso using Mercedes power, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner ramped up the pressure on engine supplier Renault in the wake of the race.

“The situation just isn’t improving at the moment. Reliability is unacceptable, performance is unacceptable,” he said. “There needs to be change at Renault, because it can’t continue like this. It’s not good for Renault, it’s not good for Red Bull.”

There have been persistent rumours that Red Bull might investigate the possibility of opting out of its engine partnership with Renault or taking the more radical step of producing its own engine, but Horner was once again quick to deny both possibilities.

“We need to work together as partners [with Renault], there will not be another engine in the back of the car next year, we want to be competitive, we want to run at the front, and these kinds of issues can’t and shouldn’t happen,” he said.

Speaking about the possibilities of the team becoming an engine manufacturer he added: “It’s highly improbable. First of all we need to see what the plans of Renault are. Obviously a team like Red Bull isn’t short of choices, but we want to make sure that we’re competitive for the long term. Obviously designing and manufacturing our own engine currently isn’t part of our plan.

“We’re specialists in building chassis. We have no desire to be an engine manufacturer, we want to work with a strong, competitive partner.”

“Something needs to happen, because whatever’s being done there is not working at the moment,” he continued. “It’s not our business, it’s not our responsibility; we’re the end user. It’s just frustrating that the product is just not working at the moment.

“It’s no surprise that there are eight Mercedes cars in the top 10. We haven’t been competitive this weekend, eighth was the optimum that we could achieve, and it’s frustrating that we’re nearing the half way point in the season and the situation hasn’t really improved from Melbourne.”

Speaking to the BBC after the race, Renault F1 deputy managing director Rob White said he understood Red Bull Racing’s frustrations.

“The anxiety that Christian feels and the frustration he feels after a result that is not at the full potential of the performance of car and power unit is completely understandable and shared by us,” he insisted.

“We are completely committed to making progress as fast as we possibly can and I think we have shown signs of progress before now, and we remain sure of where the expectations of Red Bull and Christian lie.”

The return of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring wasn’t just marred by the poor performance of Vettel and Ricciardo’s cars. In the end the Australian’s was the only Red Bull-branded car to the finish the event, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat exiting the race after 24 laps with a suspension issue and Jean-Eric Vergne retiring after 59 laps with brake problems.

Red Bull junior programme driver Alex Lynn did at least give the company something to smile about by taking a lights-to-flag victory in the first GP3 race of the weekend on Saturday to extend his lead in the championship to 13 points over Jimmy Eriksson.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

Last year most teams were saying – there is a good chance someone will get it wrong with the new regulations.

Guess what – Renault did get it wrong. Renault backed teams are suffering now and with the regulations in place they will continue to suffer for some time.

They only have themselves and Renault combined to blame.

Both Renault and Red Bull can now look at alternatives OR work together and slowly get back on their feet.


James, so the engines are all done and dusted in terms of power until Honda’s entrance next year which will only be exclusive to McLaren for 2015. Does this seal the ranking level for the next couple of years? Meaning to say if there are minimum reliability issues for all teams Merc will be sailing into the sunset like forever and ever?


The gaps will narrow as the areas to develop become exploited, so over three years the gaps will close, but yes I see Mercedes ahead again next year.


Exactly what I am thinking, and for that reason alone, I think the Red Bull officials should stop rambling so much. They should shut up, work and resolve the problems together with their technical partners.

I have never ever seen or worked in any company where playing the blame-game, finger pointing and putting down people that work with or for you has made anything better. Neither has putting on so much pressure that people started working in panic mode. In fact all of this has always made things considerably worse.

You keep calm, keep a low profile in public, work to solve the problems and praise yourself and your partners when you have made the turnaround. And if you don’t see that happening, you try to change your partners without blaming the old ones. Or as my granny put it: “You don’t shut a door so that you can’t open it anymore”.

Why isn’t RedBull saying something like: “We’re working at it together with Renault, but our possibilities are limited by the regulations on engine homologation, so we’re pushing to improve the reliability for this year, while getting the work done for the 2015 engine iteration”.

And: “Yes, that failure was unfortunate and we haven’t had this problem before, so we will try our best so it doesn’t appear again”.

And: “You know we didn’t have the best start and the only thing we can do at the moment is trying to optimize the fuel, lubrication, cooling and aerodynamics, so we’re concentrating on that, besides preparing for the next season”.

They should keep Renault out of the line of fire, so they can do what’s necessary.

But at the moment all Red Bull are doing is damaging Renaults reputation – and their own by talking like a sore loser and bad partner.

kenneth chapman

@ manonwheels…….red bull are not damaging renaults reputation. renault is damaging renaults reputation.

for too long this season the renault PU has been sub standard and red bull have endeavoured to help renault to solve the myriad of problems even going so far as to move a team of red bull software developers into viry to help sort out the mess.

rob white is now saying, in the midst of the verbiage, that there wont be anything more apart from a few minor bits and pieces prior to season end! jalinier said, less that a week ago, that renault will be on a par with mercedes in the not too distant future!!! can you believe that? renault don’t even know what renault are saying?

since the beginning of the season red bull have supported renault in a partnership to improve the PU and what have they got to show for it? if it wasn’t for the excellent chassis and daniel riccardo they would be languishing down with the bottom feeders.

renault should be hung out to dry for taking the money off teams who at least should’ve been supplied with a PU that was at least a lot closer to the MB’s.

if the season is somewhat boring due to the vast differences in performances between mercedes and renault then blame renault not red bull or any of the others who installed the renault PU in their cars. considering the vast amounts of money spent by the teams to get cars onto the grid, the teams[s] have every right to complain long and loud.


Leftfield idea but how about Red Bull buy Meccachrome? If they see no future with Renault, they will struggle to go somewhere else unless they go with someone new which is possible for 2016 but that still leaves next year and chances are hte first year of the new engine in 2016 would be a write off too.

If you were Renault, you might say “We won 4 titles with Red Bull and didn’t get much exposure, and now we’re just getting bad publicity. If Red Bull (and presumably Torro Rosso leave us) we’ll have Lotus and Caterham, who we don’t know will even survive, let alone win, and we don’t like anyway as there are payment issues.”

Red Bull get a 90% developed engine and then pump their own money, decisions and Austrian tech into it, and it given them a potential le mans and road car engine for specialist low volume cars like the McLaren F1 for Adrian Newey to design.

kenneth chapman

@ Phil R………horner has publicly stated that they are,ATM, dedicated chassis builders and they consider the PU as simply a unit buy in. it would not be too far a stretch to extend their range by adopting this approach but it would require a new groupthink. RB are a vital forward thinking team of innovators and it would certainly be a refreshing change of scene to have them as F1unit developers. there must be a lot of talent out there just waiting to get a decent project in their hands.

maybe adrian newey in his ‘new technologies’ remit is already having a look at it.


Agreed, but they wouldn’t publicly admit to such a move at this stage, and my thoughts are if they are pumping in $250 million a year into Red Bull, all of that is undone by their lack of control with the engine. Surely an extra $50-100 makes sense at this stage, and there are other ways of justifying the money as well as previously discussed.


here is the answer to the problem, dyno all the engines, and which ever brand has the lowest output is the one that the FIA uses to limit everyone else to ? kind of like they have done with the fuel flow sensors.

that way its a bit more of a level playing field.

then the reliability issues can be worked on as reliability issues.

of coarse all of this goes against what I believe in but its something better than what we have now


I dont think its necessarily a case of who spent what. I have read articles suggesting they all spent €50million a year each over the last 3 years. Its all about innovation and Mercedes were able to innovate with the split Turbo/ MGU-H – this and the packaging / cooling advantage are tremendous.. Ive also read that in fact Renault units are the most expensive to buy so I dont think its just a case of money. At the end of the day Mercedes have come up with something special & I agree with others it was a really silly move to feeze PU development this year especially when you consider the amount of spend each team had on aero, mechanical updates at each race. Save on one side and spend on the other.. F1 constantly shooting itself in the foot!!.

kenneth chapman

i have absolutely no time for any of the RB management but what horner has said is fine by team principal he needs to to fend off any undue criticism of the team results in austria.

renault have been promising that there are massive improvements in the pipeline and that they will deliver in the very short term. jalinier said not 48hrs ago that in the immediate future they will be on an equal engine/PU footing as MB [or words to that effect].

forgive me being downright sceptical but to date each and every projection has not come to pass as and when it was forecast to. i may be wrong here but i simply don’t believe that renault are within a ‘bulls roar’ of getting up alongside the MB.

as everyone here has asked, what are the alternatives? very few i should think. i simply cannot see a new supplier being ready at such short notice unless they have been beavering away for at least 12 months knowing that they will get the telephone call sometime about now.

if red bull were actually up front dicing for wins with mercedes then that would be fine as most people/fans et al would understand the nature of the racing as all to do with the new engines but providing some close racing. what we are witnessing is the total annihilation of the last 4 years winners. that is not only embarrassing it is humiliating to all and sundry within the red bull/renault household. not acceptable by any means.

i would however be surprised to see anything other than a renault PU in next years car.


I’m surprised by this outburst and the majority of views on this thread Renault are themost successful engine suppliers bar none over the past 20yrs since 88 or so in fact.

RB, Horner have some neck blaming them for their current problems – considering RB have been unable to build 2 competitive cars for the majority of their current partnership.

The engines have always been drivable if not the out and out fastest down a straight. Something Newey has exploited over the years with now legendary success…… Crazy.

RB really need to be careful what they wish for.


“if not out and out fastest down the straight” usually meant the slowest by FAR. You even admin RB made the difference, not renault themselves, because otherwise all renault teams would be winning, and yet they weren’t.


You misunderstand me – Renault engines have powered dominate cars over the past 20yrs many of them being Newey designs.

They were winning titles long before RB entered the sport.

But look at the RBteams performance over the past 4 seasons – 1 bullet proof car the other crap.

What’s upsetting things is there is a new order – all with New Merc Pu but the dominate cars of the past 4 years McLaren, Ferrari, Redbull are now the midfield – not so much Pu but poor car design (or maybe drivers who cannot get the most from these cars)

Torro Rossi look on the brink of stepping forward Renault engine. Caterham is Caterham…..

Lotus need to sort their @?!t out.

They need to be carefully Renault have the option to dump them and fully support Lotus if the choose or even Caterham

But the post have moved


Horner says they are going to have a Renault engine in their car next year, but he makes no statement beyond that.

If I was Red Bull I would already be exploring options to switch. It is unlikely they would get a Mercedes engine so that would leave Ferrari or Honda or a new manufacturer. The smart money would be on letting Mclaren iron out all the problems with the Honda engine next year then making the switch when its underway if Renault are still under performing. At that point they can say they gave Renault a fair stab at sorting it and still switch without loosing much credibility.


Surely Red Bull couldn’t make a better engine then Renault. They have years of experience and equipment and people. They have been a flop this year but does it mean that 2015 will also be a flop? Can’t they develop their 2015 engine and change both hardware and software as much as they like? I don’t understand? If engine manufactures like Honda have all the time they want to develop their engine wouldn’t that put them at a massive advantage since the current ones are frozen? This is both a question and statement, Why can’t Renault be strong next year? Are they limited on what they can develop or is it just the presumption that they just won’t be strong again?


Interesting that Horner is describing himself as a customer rather than the works team which I believe is the status that they have from Renault. So they win together and lose individually, it appears.

Wasn’t it part of the point of the new regs to increase the engine’s importance within the formula, and therefore stop aero being the deciding factor?

You’d have to say that they have done just that.

Maybe, cynically, it is a good thing for the sport that RBR and Vettel aren’t winning everything. Similar to the 2005 championship with the one “set of tyres” for the race rule. It effectively stopped MSC winning world championships from being completely dominant.

I for one think that the current regulations and technology are making for interesting racing and developments both on and off track. The fact that RBR are doing as well as they are is amazing, and I certainly respect them for that.

The first half of the Austrian GP was really enthralling.

We have more overtaking, we have drivers making a difference, we have greener technology that is relevant to everyday motorists and we have a bit more unreliability to mix things up. I think that with the introduction of Pirelli a few years ago, this current formula is excellent.

Give me a few more tracks like Austria, a bit more volume from the engines, The ability to download races and content so I can actually watch everything and not miss it, and a better car for JB and it will be perfect for me.


I remember Webber getting Kers issues every weekend last year aswell as reliability issues in qualifying and races. Vettel got a share of problems too.

Im always wondering if it really is the Renault unit thats to blame. Maybe Redbull designed a car thats too tightly packed for effective cooling. Or thier staff are’nt ticking all the boxes when they’re putting the car together.

Red Bulls are no strangers to unreliability. Vettel Did have a good run last year but Webber wasnt so lucky, this year Ricciardo’s getting the good run.

Would Mercedes or Honda consider even giving Redbull engines after slamming thier current suppliers in public?

For all we know it could be the mechanics messing up and Redbull pushing the blame onto Renault.


Considering that all Renault powered teams performed dismally at Austria, I’d say it is the power unit that is lacking. Certainly this season.

David Selway-Hoskins

I may have missed it but has anyone done an analysis of where we are with regard to front runners running out of power unit components before the half-way point in the season? Vettel retired in Austria to conserve power units, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red-Bull had ERS failures early on. Are we going to see the back half of the season dominated by grid penalties for the championship leaders?

As an image builder for hybrids in road cars, the current F1 merely serves to demonstrate how inappropriate the very complex technology in the ERS systems would be for a road car – what would be the chance of a $20,000 hybrid family hatchback making it through the warranty period? OK, I realise that the power units in the F1 cars are highly stressed and running at their maximum but you get my drift?

PS If only GP2 was televised live in Oz I could watch some real (as against stage managed) racing!


Renault deficiencies in reliability department is clearly seen here. Vettel is due for loads of penalties not “before the end of the season” as james nicely put it, but after a few races already at the current rate. Possibly even before summer break. He’ll be at the back of the grid more often than not, no matter where he qualifies.


Vettel was on engine 4 in Austria, but they re-use engines of course

I suspect he will have a penalty before the end of the season and Caterhams too

Merc drivers were both on number 2 in Austria

David Selway-Hoskins

Thanks James.

I would not really expect the base engines, not revving above 10,500, to give too many problems but aren’t the individual ERS components (battery, turbocharger, dynamotor (or whatever its called) also individually under the 5 per season rule and some of these have been problematical and could lead to penalties?

Also thanks for your reasoned analyses, I wish we could hear more from you on Oz Channel 1/10


This just shows how ill thought out the introduction of these new engines was. If F1 wants to go hybrid then fine, but in real time, they’ve had about 2 years to get these engines ready. That is nowhere near enough time. Toyota started their Le Mans hybrid programme in 2008. They’ve started racing this year. That’s 6 years, compared to 2.

Mercedes have only done a better job because they’ve thrown an obscene amount of millions in man power, time and development at their engine department.


Are you suggesting that all rule changes should be given 6 years notice? And as Bernie said re poorer teams elsewhere if you can’t afford it then get out. Clearly Renault and RBR could have thrown an obscene amount of millions in man power, time and development at their engine department (much as RBR has done with AERO in the past), but in this case they didnt. Maybe they should just shut up and get on with it.


Because money is not unlimited and people have to do their jobs with the resources they had available. Renault didn’t.


No of course not.

RE: the poorer teams, with that approach, in a few years there will be hardly, if any, teams left on the grid. Caterham, Marussia, Sauber, they’ll be gone. Lotus we know have huge amounts of debt. They’ll be gone. Force India, play thing for a multi-millionaire. He’ll lose interest because the show will be rubbish and therefore not worth the investment. Williams, probably go the same way as Caterham, Marussia & Sauber. McLaren, part owned in the Middle East, again, another play thing. Still don’t have a title sponsor. Ferrari. I wonder how much their heart is really still in it anymore. Mercedes, engine manufacturer. They’ll disappear as soon as the reg’s don’t suit them, again. No loyalty. And then finally Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Again, another play thing for one of the world’s richest men.

And from the business perspective, what’s the point of having multi-million pound investments in a team, in a sport, that hardly anyone watches? We already know TV numbers and race attendances are down, that is only going to continue. It will simply get to the point where the money vs return doesn’t add up, and let’s not beat about the bush, that’s the main reason these people are here. They aren’t racers.

Are you getting the point yet? If F1 carries on the way it’s going, the above is the road that lays ahead. And don’t think for a second that Bernie, or CVC, or the engine manufacturers, or the owners of these teams, will lose any sleep over it. They’ll move on without a moments hesitation.

And what will be left? An empty shell of what F1 once was. Maybe, in the big scheme of things, this is exactly what’s necessary. Maybe F1 has to go full circle in the same way Champ Car and Indycar did, and drive itself almost to the point of extinction, before it realises what’s important, and why F1 fans loved the sport in the first place.


It was agreed in June 2011


3 years then, it’s still a ridiculously small amount of time. And let’s not forget, the teams had already spent millions developing 4 cylinder units which then got shelved because Ferrari decided they didn’t want to use them anymore.

It’s been atrociously poor planning and foresight from the start.



Which only amplifies my previous post.

RB have stayed with Renault for good reason… they have picked up the 2012 and 2013 championships as a loyal partner.

So far, Renault have not delivered… but I do not expect this to last long. I think the engine homolgulation restrictions in an introductory year have been punitive.

So, in the cat bird seat… maybe Honda did the right thing waiting one year. It cost them nothing except for the tactical fact that Porsche also have been waiting and developing in the wings too!

I would not be surprised to see an American engine (Chevrolet/ Corvette) built for the Hass entry coming soon.


Andrew C.


If your son loves these new hybrid engines, tell him to have a look at the headline power specs of the Toyota TS040 Le Mans car, compared to the Formula 1 cars.

Toyota wins hands down.

And they’ve had an entire F1 season out of it in testing, without it once breaking down or needing replacement parts. F1 components get changed every 5 races, if they even last that long.

It puts the current crop of F1 cars to shame, it really does. They are so far inferior. Especially for a formula which is supposed to be the pinnacle of technology and motorsport.

Essentially, what F1 has done, is re-invent the wheel, and then make it square.


Renault were in the right car at the right time with Red Bull, nothing more than that. Fact of the matter is you could have put a Merc, Ferrari or maybe even a Cosworth in the back of that car and it wouldn’t have made much difference.

The fellow Renault engined cars are proof of this.

On what basis do you expect Renault to deliver? Because at the moment, as I see it, they are 60-70hp down? And I think it’s reasonably clear that Merc aren’t running at full chat yet. So Renault first have to make up the known horsepower deficit, then catch up with whatever Mercedes are sandbagging on, and then keep pace with Merc’s development rate into the future to stand any chance of being competitive. I don’t see that happening to be honest. But I hope I’m wrong.

If I were a team boss I’d be figuring out how I can get a Merc engine for next year, especially with the amount of money at stake.

Indeed Red Bull may be stuffed here, because why would Merc want to give their engine to a championship rival?

I’m with you on the Honda front. You can test an engine so thoroughly in a lab nowadays by putting it on a hydraulic rig, the drivers role essentially replaced a computer, and introducing outdoor conditions (ie: wind, rain, cold etc.)

Do you have a link on that Porsche story? The last I read back in March, now being part of the VW group with Audi, they were going to come into F1 if VW blocked their participation in Le Mans, so as to avoid Audi and Porsche competing against each other. But since VW were fine with it, Porsche dropped the F1 programme. It would be great if that were no longer true though :).

In terms of Chevrolet/Corvette, again I’d love to see a new engine manufacturer join F1, but since there’s no real green movement in America and fuel is so cheap, I don’t really know if hybrid technology would be their bag.

Again I hope I’m wrong though.


Agree,I’m having a family feud with my son over the new regulations.

He loves them, I think they they have made some mistakes but are to proud or stubborn to ulta them.

It could also be political,Mercedes would be looking for a return on the huge Investment they have made.


I’m suprised that he has gone public with this.

I would have thought they would prefer to keep it in house and work threw problems.

Perhaps they have already made the decision to change engine suppliers and are trying to narrate a picture to the fans so they understand why they have come to this discussion.

I wounder if this is also why Newey is stepping back as he prefers Renault engines.


“Perhaps they have already made the decision to change engine suppliers and are trying to narrate a picture to the fans so they understand why they have come to this discussion”

Possibly you’re right, but the alternative is that after months of trying to keep it in house Horner and his gang are fed up with Renault’s assurances and so are now trying to apply a little pressure to get things moving.


I can understand Horner/RBR frustrations. I can’t understand why RBR contracted to use Renault engines this year. I never felt Renault (and Ferrari) would match Mercedes.


Sometime during 2013…

Red Bull: “We think Renault’s power units are going to suck in 2014.”

Mercedes: “We think so too.”

Red Bull: “Can we use yours?”

Mercedes: “No.”

Red Bull: 🙁


4 consecutive world championships (using Renault engines) would have been the reason. There was no way to foresee what has happened.

Horner and Marko should calm down and stop trashing their supplier (partner) in public. They are not helping anything and this season is already a write off (for everyone outside of Brackley, not just RBR) anyway. I suspect that by 2015 Renault will have this under control, especially since the ‘design freeze’ regs appear in practice to allow essentially unlimited development.


Is it true Red Bull tried to switch to Merc back in 2012 but were blocked by McLaren who had a pull over which other teams they could supply? Probably a good thing that this didnt happen because a red bull chassis with a merc would walk away from the field.


It was at the end of 2009, going into 2010. with the introduction of 18k rev limit on the V8s renault found themselves -30bhp compared to mercedes. They also haven’t been extracting as much performance during the freeze area as merc and ferrari under “reliability” purposes.

Red bull wanted to switch to merc power for 2010 season, but got blocked by mclaren and brown (now boss of merc GP at the time) who knew very well RB without an underpowered engine would be unstoppable. In turn, renault negotiated “engine equalisation” which allowed them to partially close the gap to merc and ferrari for 2010.


Honda, 2016. Mclaren isn’t delivering with a Merc engine, so why would they with a Honda engine…

P.S.I love it how Mercedes call “The A1 Ring a Monster of a track”


I’ve followed Alex Lynn for a while, he’s a good driver and deserves his place on the red bull program


if you swopped the two drivers form was danny suffering vettel’s unreliability and vettel was out-performing danny and won in Canada, I bet horner wouldn’t be as vocal on Renault’s problems as he is now. I think he’s having such a public rant to ease the tension that must be building up in seb. saying Renault hasn’t improved since Australia isn’t true either.

they’re 2nd in the table and the only team to beat Mercedes for a win, life isn’t too bad.


If you recall, Renault was put under notice a long time ago that there would be a review or reevaluation after the Austrian race, and Renault numerous times said they’d have their engines on par, or close to the AMG Mercedes.

Well, the Austrian race has come and gone and Renault had one of the poorest performances of the season at the Red Bull owned home circuit. (Massive FAIL!) Can you think of anything more embarrassing? CH is simply following up on previous comments made by himself, Mr Red Bull (DM) and Dr. HM right after the fact. No need for anyone to get their panties in a twist. Renault was under notice. It’s a business, put-up or shut-up. Renault has not put up. Time to look at real alternates, but the way the rules are currently written, with frozen engine designs, we are left with no way to make the rest of the season competitive..


It is interesting how hard a time Vettel is having adapting to these cars? Alonso seems to be able to drive anything. It would be interesting to hear your take on why Vettel is having so much difficulty. It can’t be just the power unit as Ricardo sis obviously more comfortable with the package. It must be killing Sebastian to be in this situation.


“It is interesting how hard a time Vettel is having adapting to these cars?”

Is it any more interesting than the hard time Hamilton had “adapting to his car” at Australia and Canada?

Suffering power unit problems is not the same thing as having a hard time “adapting to the car”. In the two GP’s this season where Vettel had no electro-mechanical issues, he finished on the podium both times.


I hope you mean at Ferrari, because a lot of Lewis fans aren’t going to like you Fernando.

I hope you mean in the previous V8 era, because a lot of Kimi fans aren’t going to like you Fernando.

“I always said that Felipe is very, very fast,” Alonso said after Massa’s Red Bull Ring pole. “Few people believed me, but I still think he was the fastest teammate I’ve had.”


No Fernando Felipe didnt beat you as a rookie..


This falls under “Pointing out the bleeding obvious”, doesn’t it?

Of the three “power units” this season the Mercedes is powerful and reliable, the Ferrari is less powerful but reliable, and the Renault is roughly comparable in power to the Ferrari but is much less reliable. It’s not just Red Bull who have been adversely affected, TR, Lotus, and Caterham are all suffering badly.

There have been 64 races run by Renault powered cars thus far (eight cars times eight races) and I count 17 power-train related retirements. That’s a 26% DNF rate. And that understates the size of the problem, as there have been many other instances where a car has finished the race but had its position compromised by a loss of power in the race, or in qualifying.

But since Riccardo’s car has had no engine problems it seems the press prefers to sweep all this under the rug, the better to advance their “Ricciardo outperforming Vettel” storyline.

kenneth chapman

@ Steve S…you cannot say that ricciardos car has not had any problems. yes, his problems may not have been as serious but nevertheless, he has had problems and he has either had a fix done or he has driven around them.


Its interesting, why has Ricciardo had not problems.

Is it because he nurse’s the car home, does not push hard of the gride.

Having a turbo shaft just go in my car recently, my mechanic told me it can be caused by your driving

Style, among other things.

I wounder if this is why Vettel has problems, he pushes the beyound what it is capable off.

He seems to get off the grid ok, then has problem’s.


If the systems are set up in such a way that they break 50% of the time, then they’re obviously done wrong.


Ricciardo has had his own problems to deal with, like being disqualified from a race which lost him a good result and having a badly, badly botched pit stop which also lost him a good result (and both because of the team).

Frankly they should both have more points.


To be honest, having problems with reliability and operational efficiency is to be expected at the start of the season, especially with new regs.

However, I would have assumed by Round 8 – ie Austria – any problems with the PU would have been rectified. I was wrong……………

It’s getting to the point where at Silverstone we all kind of expect Mr Vettel to pull off the track in a cloudy heap of smoke……………..and Hockenhiem…………..and the Hungaroring………..


Neither of which had anything to do with the Renault power unit, the topic under discussion here.


“You mean advancing the “Vettel has an excuse” storyline?”

You seem to be allergic to facts. I’m not going to cease mentioning them on that account though.


“Daniel was instructed not to use the overtake button on Sunday, sounds like a race compromising engine related issue to me.”

Vettel’s engine problem was believed at the time to be related to his using the overtake button, so as a precaution they told DR not to use it either around lap 3. I don’t know if that restriction was in force for the whole race. If it was it might explain why DR had his worst finish of the season.


You mean advancing the “Vettel has an excuse” storyline?


Daniel was instructed not to use the overtake button on Sunday, sounds like a race compromising engine related issue to me.


“I think we have shown signs of progress” Vettal may not agree !


renault provided them with 4 double championships but I don’t remember red bull praising renault for doing a good job yet as soon as renault fails to deliver, they start pointing fingers. if they’re not happy with renault they can always join mclaren for the hinder engine or make their own. after all it looks like they have the cash to build their own engines.


I don’t think it really would have mattered what engine was in the Red Bull over the past few years. All the V8 engines (except Cosworth) were pretty much on par with one another. In fact, Red Bull may have had more wins with a Ferrari engine due to it’s superior reliability. It was the Vettel-mobile’s chassis that delivered Red Bull’s dominance.


You’re simply forgetting that another engine enforces different packaging, cooling/heat management, in-car-aerodynamics, fueling/consumption, weight distribution, driveability and so forth. And quite possibly the Mercedes, Cosworth or Ferrari engine wouldn’t have allowed RedBull to build the car like they did. It’s not that you just bolt in another engine and off you go, the engine is a major component of the car and Brawn GP got incredibly lucky that the Merc was such a good replacement to the Honda engine.


The fact that you don’t remember Red Bull praising Renault when they were winning may have more to do with your memory than with Red Bull’s behaviour. Renault engineers (in Renault kit) were on the podium accepting the constructor’s price, and Newey and Horner praised their partnership on numerous occasions.

I don’t see Red Bull going to Ferrari or Mercedes, much less make their own engine (or outsourcing it to a small company like Cosworth). They will most likely stay with Renault and push for regulation changes. The problem here is that Mercedes is now a also major factor in F1 and won’t accept any change, and Ferrari, while also wanting changes, may not be pulling in the same direction. Difficult to see a compromise.

The second most likely scenario is a move to Honda. McLaren will not get in their way, but they could not continue as Infiniti Red Bull, which makes this far less likely. Red Bull already sponsor the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, of course, but that investment pales in comparison to the F1 team.



Minute by minute commentary is fine but looking as far back as 2012, it was obvious that Mercedes was making serious, serious inroads into engine performance. The recent Rosberg/ Hamilton dramas aside… Mercedes has been the only engine manufacturer on the upswing. McLaren should be concerned.

Have any of you ‘so called’ experts looked at the speed traps or corner rotation speeds? Probably not.

Any how… if you thought Red Bull would win indefinitely then keep posting.

Four years straight is only the second greatest achievement to Ferrari running the table for five years consecutively. How could it not be possible that another team/ manufacturer would finally eclipse what has been such a great run?

New regulations always breed a turnover in the tables and congratulations go to the Mercedes engine adopters. Look out for Williams who certainly have been the least fortunate of the regular teams this last decade.

So, we are basically at the mid point of 2014. Enough of the winging. Mercedes build the better block and tranny.

Get over it.

But, if you thought that Renault don’t belong… I’d argue their constructor wins speak for themselves.

Whereas, if you are a devoted forza Ferrari… I suspect that, if Raikkonen cannot keep the front wheels straight on acceleration then that should tell everything. They are nowhere in the engine/ recovery system department. The car points into the other direction.

I can hardly wait for the second half of the season — the catch up rate should speak volumes for 2015!


Andrew C.


“renault provided them with 4 double championships but I don’t remember red bull praising renault for doing a good job”

They did…frequently.


I think it was much more RedBull gifting those championships to Renault than the other way around. All other Renault powered teams combined won 3 races in 2009-2013. Btw Vettel always praised Renault any time he was on the podium saying things like that: “Big thanks to Renault, they are big part of our success” .


Exactly. The RB car seriously flattered the renault engine. In 2013, Redbull were often the slowest through the speedtraps. It was the car’s exceptional aero performance that put them in a position to win championships.


Not looking good at Red Bull F-1 just now is it? Newey spending less time on the cars in the future, Vettel amazingly failing to adapt to the current car and Renault falling short of performance in every parameter. Now team manager Christian Horner going public with the team’s frustration. And we aren’t quite to the mid-point of the season yet. What will it take to turn things around at Red Bull and how long would that be? One year? Two years? Longer?

Bernie Ecclestone likes to speak in a cavalier manner when it comes to teams leaving F-1. What would Bernie do if both Red Bull and Ferrari begin hinting at moving over to sports cars? Red Bull already has Mark Webber over there.

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