Staying with Red Bull for F1 2016 would be tough sell for Renault

Continuing with Red Bull for the 2016 Formula 1 season would be a hard sell for the Renault board after the public slatings from its customer, says Cyril Abiteboul

Staying with Red Bull for F1 2016 would be tough sell for Renault

With Mercedes declining to supply Red Bull with engines for next year, and talks with Ferrari so far proving fruitless, Autosport sources have confirmed the team has reopened talks with Renault about seeing out its contract through to the end of 2016.

That is despite the public pronouncements from Red Bull about terminating the deal a year early given its unhappiness with the French manufacturer's power unit.

Renault Sport managing director Abiteboul told Autosport his company has "never made any formal comments" regarding next year, with any remarks only made "by the other parties".

Assessing a potential continuation with Red Bull, Abiteboul said: "The bottom line is we will do what's good for Renault.

"If we are to do something different to what is being anticipated will be done, it has to be good for Renault and serve the purpose of Renault as a player within the sport.

"But frankly when you see the way we have been treated, it's going to be a very difficult sell to my board and to my executive management to do something else to what is currently planned.

"What matters is the intention of Red Bull and Renault, and this is what needs to be looked at."

Abiteboul insists Renault "want the sport to be healthy" and it has "no wish to see Red Bull out of the sport".

But again Red Bull's stance poses difficulties, with Abiteboul adding: "We have a long and fruitful relationship with Red Bull, which obviously looks to be nearer its end than its start.

"I really hope we will be able to find a way forward for everyone to do what they feel like they would like to be doing.

"But they've made very, very strong comments about the fact they did not want to work with Renault any more. It's difficult for me to judge anything else at the minute."

It is likely the money from Red Bull for seeing out the contract in comparison to the penalties likely to be applied would benefit Renault's planned works return as it continues talks with Lotus.

But Abiteboul said: "You can always be paid for a contract.

"We need to make sure what we do strategically in Formula 1 is good for the brand.

"If we were paid, but we had all the negativity and all the damage we had to that brand, I'm not sure on the face of it it's a good deal for Renault.

"We know the comments made by [Dietrich] Mateschitz, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko about the fact the contract was terminated as far as they were concerned.

"I have no statement to make for Renault, so I can only refer to the statements made by Red Bull."

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