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Renault "need to do the job properly" if they stay in F1, says Horner

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Renault "need to do the job properly" if they stay in F1, says Horner
Jul 27, 2015, 7:04 PM

The sledging between Red Bull and Renault has taken on a new turn as the French manufacturer moves towards a final decision on its F1 future.

The sledging between Red Bull and Renault has taken on a new turn as the French manufacturer moves towards a final decision on its F1 future.

Current partner Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning that Renault needs a change of mentality if it is to continue in the sport,

"I think if they stay in it they need to do the job properly; you can't be half in or half out in F1," he said. "You have to be fully committed and do whatever's necessary to be competitive.

"They have those decisions to make in the near future and it will be interesting to see what they decide."

Lotus F1

Renault Sport management are known to be attempting to find a way to structure a deal with Lotus for the acquisition of the entry and the factory in Enstone which they sold to current owner Gerard Lopez in 2009.

But there are some problems; the debts on the team are significant first of all. Lopez wants Renault to take them on, but this is known to be a sticking point. Lotus had a near miss with a winding up order from one supplier recently and there was an embarrassing episode on Friday morning in Hungary when Pirelli refused to supply tyres for them to practice on unless a payment was made.

Although Lopez and his Genii business have invested in areas like CFD, the Enstone facility does need some modernisation and the capital cost of that will be significant.

If Renault are to come in as a team in their own right they will need to invest to the level required to match Mercedes and Ferrari's outlay as they will be expected to challenge for the championship.

One positive is that F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that they would be eligible for the addition championship bonus for constructors' titles won since 2002, under which Ferrari and Red Bull currently get a significant bonus. They won two titles in 2005 and 2006. It is understood that this would be new prize money, not money taken from the existing prize fund shared by existing teams.

However the ongoing discussions do not necessarily mean that Renault is definitely going to stay in F1 as a team owner. CEO Carlos Ghosn has yet to make the final decision, according to French sources and it's up to the Renault Sport management team to present the deal and seek his sign off in the early Autumn. This week is an important one for finalising that proposal.

Abiteboul, Marko. Horner

As for Renault's relationship with Red Bull, Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul had some tough words for its partner this weekend, according to BBC Sport F1, he said, "Frankly, we know Red Bull very well and the behaviour we see now is no different to the behaviour we had in 2008 or 2009.

"It has always been like this since we were working together. They try every single thing they can to have the performance they desperately want, not the day after tomorrow but tomorrow and, if possible, today.

"I understand the frustration, but I cannot understand how we deal with the situation," he added.

"It is a difficult job to be an engine supplier, in particular to a team that has been so competitive and that is so high maintenance as Red Bull."

Horner told an official FIA press conference gathering on Friday that the first updated Renault engine of 2015 using development tokens would not now be seen until the Russian GP in October.

Red Bull has certainly tried to influence that process, getting former Mercedes F1 engine builder Mario Illien involved, the man who set up the factory at Brixworth, UK which is now Mercedes High Performance Powertrains.

His development programme has been running and Renault has also had its programme going and the fruits of all this should be seen in October. Paddock insiders suggest that the horsepower deficit is currently of the order of 50hp.

There are further rumours that Red Bull is seeking a change of engine for next season, but Horner keeps insisting that the team has a contract with Renault for 2016 and intends to honour it.
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