Red Bull could be saved by 'unbranded' Renault plan

Red Bull's Formula 1 future could be saved by a deal to run unbranded Renault engines in 2016, Motorsport.com has learned.

Red Bull could be saved by 'unbranded' Renault plan
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11
Renault logo on a truck
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference
Renault logo on the Red Bull Racing RB10 engine cover
(L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director in the FIA Press Conference
Ron Dennis, McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11

With efforts to secure Mercedes or Ferrari engines having failed, and McLaren blocking a Honda deal, Red Bull is running out of options.

The breakdown in relations between Red Bull and Renault is such that insiders suggest it almost impossible for the partnership to continue in its current guise for another season.

However, sources have revealed that Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn is considering a proposal to sell Red Bull unbranded engines next year in a bid to allow the outfit to remain in F1.

A decision to commit to the idea could be made as early as this week.

It is unclear if the power units will be rebadged with a different name as part of the plan, or will run with no name at all.

When asked in Mexico if Renault was now the only option, team boss Christian Horner hinted at an alternative plan, like the unbranded engines, could be available.

“There are not a lot of options, but there may be something else,” he said.

Honda keen

Horner has claimed that Honda is eager to sort out a deal with Red Bull, but that McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has made clear his strong opposition to it.

“Honda are very keen, but unfortunately they have a contractual status that is between them and McLaren,” said Horner.

“It is nothing to do with us. It is for them to decide among themselves what they want to do.”

When asked if he had spoken to McLaren, Horner said: “I haven't spoken to anybody from McLaren other than Ron Dennis, who is the one guy who has the right of say there.

"And his views were quite clear.”

Time running out

With rivals teams already pushing hard with their car designs for next year, Horner said that his team needs to know in the next few weeks what engine it will use if it is going to make next year's first pre-season test.

“At the moment we are right on the limit to be at the first test,” he explained.

“The team in Milton Keynes have demonstrated their ability to work to massively tight deadlines, and I am sure we will be able to meet whatever targets we need to, as long as we come to a decision in the next couple of weeks.”

shares
comments
Raikkonen sees no need for Bottas talks after Mexico clash

Previous article

Raikkonen sees no need for Bottas talks after Mexico clash

Next article

Ferrari suffers: Who was at fault in Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas 'rematch' in Mexico?

Ferrari suffers: Who was at fault in Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas 'rematch' in Mexico?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021