Formula 1: Renault explains Red Bull engine ultimatum

Renault is enforcing a May deadline for a new supply deal with Red Bull because it needs to firm up parts orders with suppliers before the end of the month

Formula 1: Renault explains Red Bull engine ultimatum

Red Bull is weighing up whether to continue with long-time engine partner Renault for 2019 or strike a works deal with Honda.

The FIA has a May 15 deadline for committing to a supply, which Renault told Autosport earlier this year it wants to honour.

There is flexibility in that deadline and Red Bull wants to wait so it can judge Honda's progress compared to Renault's, with both engine makers planning upgrades for mid-June's Canadian Grand Prix.

Although Renault did not agree its current McLaren supply deal until last September, Abiteboul insists his company cannot commit to waiting anywhere near as long for Red Bull.

"Last year there was a late change we could accommodate because it was simply a swap between two customer teams," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"We were not changing number of suppliers [so] we didn't need to change quantities of parts ordered.

"We were keeping the number of teams steady. In the present case, I can only order parts for the number of contracted teams I have.

"By a certain date I will not be able to guarantee availability of a Renault engine to Red Bull Racing. As simple as that."

Abiteboul explained that securing supplier deals over parts with "very long lead times" normally needed to be done "between the middle and end of May".

He said Renault had spoken to its suppliers about delaying its usual deadline "but we are not going to be able to postpone that date massively".

"It's not because we want to be difficult, it's simply because we need to order parts," Abiteboul added.

"We had the discussion with the FIA over the winter of 2015-2016, regarding an obligation for manufacturers to supply customer teams, subject to a certain notice period.

"That notice was May 15 the previous year.

"There were reasons for that, those reasons continue to stand, that's why we are urging Red Bull to make a decision."

Red Bull operated as a Cosworth and Ferrari customer in its first two F1 seasons and has used Renault engines ever since.

A Honda deal would its first works supply since it joined F1 and Abiteboul said he is confused by the delay because the significance of such a move is much bigger than simply determining a performance gain.

"The question they need to answer is whether they want to remain a factory team or a customer team of Renault," Abiteboul said.

"That's not just a matter of one performance improvement in one race.

"In addition to struggling with a lead time, we also don't really understand the reason why it needs to be delayed."

shares
comments
Formula 1: Red Bull and McLaren promise drastic new look in Spain
Previous article

Formula 1: Red Bull and McLaren promise drastic new look in Spain

Next article

Formula 1: Miami city commission approves plan for 2019 grand prix

Formula 1: Miami city commission approves plan for 2019 grand prix
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022