Renault works F1 team was a factor in Red Bull Honda 2019 decision

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says his team needed a "unique" relationship with its engine supplier, and that Renault having its own Formula 1 team was incompatible with that

Renault works F1 team was a factor in Red Bull Honda 2019 decision

Red Bull took four consecutive world championships with Renault power from 2010-13, but the partners have been at loggerheads for much of the hybrid era.

In the run-up to this weekend's French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, Red Bull announced it would switch to Honda power units from the 2019 season onwards.

"We've gone through four different groups of management with our time at Renault," said Horner.

"It's been an unconventional route but successful. It's shown you can win with a customer power unit.

"We've demonstrated that in the 150 podiums and 57 victories, and we've paid for every single engine on the way.

"Our view on the future is the situation is slightly different now with Cyril [Abiteboul, Renault team principal] having his own team.

"Obviously the engines are a bit more complex these days, so the integration is very much focused around this team.

"We're all selfish in this business. We want to be focused on what's right for your own team.

"This relationship allows Honda to have that marriage that's focused and unique to Red Bull rather than having to share."

At the end of the 2015 season Renault reacquired 'Team Enstone', which it previously owned from 2000 to 2010, and has been making major investments in personnel and infrastructure in a drive to re-establish it as a competitive force.

During this period the relationship between Renault and Red Bull has deteriorated to the point where Red Bull was openly seeking alternative suppliers.

Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team, switched to Honda power for 2018 after McLaren parted ways with the Japanese company last year, which enabled Red Bull to evaluate Honda's facilities, capabilities and the likely development curve more closely, as well as assessing the working relationship with the team.

Autosport understands Renault had been putting Red Bull under considerable pressure to reach a decision over future supply in order to preserve the confidentiality of its engine and chassis designs for 2019 and beyond.

"I wouldn't say it [Renault's factory team] has made it untenable but it changed the dynamic, particularly with this era of power unit," said Horner.

"Renault's priorities are obviously of their own team and they should be that.

"Our feeling was that the time is right after 12 years - one of the longest-standing relationships in Formula 1.

"The decision has not been taken lightly. A huge amount of analysis, a great deal of research, has gone into this.

"We've decided that this is the right route at this juncture for the team and business to go in this direction."

shares
comments
Kimi Raikkonen: F1 hasn't really changed with previous rules overhauls

Previous article

Kimi Raikkonen: F1 hasn't really changed with previous rules overhauls

Next article

F1 tech insight: Ferrari's latest updates push explained

F1 tech insight: Ferrari's latest updates push explained
Load comments
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021