Red Bull rules out building own Formula 1 engine
|By Jonathan Noble and Gerhard Kuntschik||Monday, June 23rd 2014, 14:02 GMT|
Red Bull has all but ruled out building its own Formula 1 engine in the future, despite hinting that it could ditch Renault for 2016 unless it improves.
The reigning F1 champion outfit hit out at Renault's performance after the Austrian Grand Prix, with Red Bull team chief Christian Horner saying the job it was doing at the moment was "unacceptable".
Its situation prompted speculation that Red Bull could consider designing and developing its own power unit - potentially with branding from title sponsor Infiniti.
But Horner has played down talk of that happening.
"We have no desire to be an engine manufacturer," he said. "But we want to work with a strong partner.
"We want to be competitive, we want to run at the front and Renault need to make a step to close that gap down to Mercedes.
"First of all we need to see what the plans from Renault are.
"A team like Red Bull isn't short of choices but we want to make sure we're competitive for the long term. Obviously designing and manufacturing our own engine isn't currently part of that plan."
Red Bull company chief Dietrich Mateschitz was also quick to dismiss the possibility of an engine programme.
"This story is not even worth denying," he said.
Mateschitz backed Horner's calls for Renault to raise its game.
"Clearly our problems are not within our responsibility and influence," he said.
"We won four double championships in the past four seasons with Renault and we have to be loyal.
"But the situation is serious. Renault have to give the powertrain development absolute priority."
With F1's engine freeze meaning Renault cannot make any fundamental changes to the design of the power unit, Red Bull is facing up to the reality that its situation is unlikely to change in 2014.
But Horner wants Renault to address its reliability issues at least, after Sebastian Vettel suffered another non-finish in Austria.
"They've got issues with reliability as well as performance," he said. "There are certain things that still can be done this year.
"The most important thing is really to get next year right as well now."