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Red Bull: Abiteboul Unlikely to be Involved in “Murky” Engine Supply Talks With Renault

Red Bull: Abiteboul Unlikely to be Involved in “Murky” Engine Supply Talks With Renault

The year 2018 seems like a distant dream for Red Bull and Renault; for that was the last season, that the Milton Keynes based outfit used engines supplied by the French manufacturers.

A switch to Honda in 2019 saw Red Bull achieve a tremendous amount of success. Although Mercedes have dominated the championships, the Austrian-licensed side were crowned the ‘best of the rest’ on the trot.

But as Honda’s imminent 2021 exit looms heavy, Red Bull are in need of a new engine supplier. And safe to say, the necessity of doing their due diligence over the options is now more than ever.

Red Bull feel Renault are ‘different’ with leadership change

Striking a deal with Renault seems like a sound option for Red Bull at the moment. And in any case, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has not completely ruled them out either.

Speaking to Channel 4, and as quoted by Planet F1, Horner stated, “Obviously then you have Ferrari and Renault, and I think Renault is very different now under the leadership of Luca de Meo.

“He has ambitious plans regarding Formula 1, and then you have the situation with Ferrari.”

Max Verstappen Racing in Russian GP Qualifying
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice. Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The rivalry can be traced back to the very public war of words that ensued between the respective Team Principals. But Horner feels that Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul might be more focused owing to the team’s Alpine F1 rebranding plan due for 2021.

“Cyril, from what I understand, has bigger fish to fry with the Alpine role that he’s taking on. He won’t want to be getting involved in the murky supply of engines in a Formula 1 paddock,” said Horner.

Renault would be obligated to supply engines if Red Bull fall short

In case you have missed this part, F1’s technical regulations are quite straightforward regarding the supply of engines.

Considering Renault will be an engine supplier with barely any affiliate teams on the grid from 2021, they will be obligated to supply to Red Bull if the latter find themselves in no-man’s-land, lacking an engine to power their machine.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo during the Eifel GP race
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

It’s not all bad for Red Bull with Renault as they won 4 championships from 2010 to 2013 with the French manufacturer’s engines itself.

The latest developments indicate that a reunion with Renault may not be the worst idea in the world. Should that come to pass, it will be a positive attempt to repair a relationship that has been strained for a considerable amount of time.

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