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No trust in Renault: Red Bull flirts with Mercedes

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R ed Bull and Renault haven't been using the for a long time same wavelength. Now the cloth is apparently completely torn. The impression arises when you read the statements of the team management and the driver between the lines. Daniel Ricciardo said in Hungary: 'It can't go on with an engine like this year. Renault has to improve significantly.'

That is exactly what is being questioned in Milton Keynes and Salzburg. Renault has no conclusive plan for the rest of the season. 'We are waiting for an answer from Paris about how things will continue,' said team boss Christian Horner avoiding a clear statement.

This much is known: the expansion stage should be finished at the Russian GP at the earliest. 'Only the stopwatch will show us whether Renault is able to get more power out of the engine. You can't trust the test results,' says Horner.

Team advisor Helmut Marko also doubts that the engineers will know the way out of the motor misery. 'A lot has already been promised. The announced expansion stage should be rather moderate.' At Red Bull it was also angry that Renault stalled the Ilmor project, although it is said to have shown better data.

Red Bull with Mercedes engines, Toro Rosso with Honda

Red Bull wants to get out of the contract as soon as possible, which binds them to Renault until 2016. One hopes that the issue will resolve itself. Either because Renault gets out or returns together with Lotus as the works team.

If that doesn't work, there is still the option of terminating the contract because Renault is lagging far behind its own promises with engine development. Nobody wants to endure another season on average.

The alternative plan looks like this. Red Bull drives with Mercedes engines, Toro Rosso with Honda engines. That puts Formula 1 in a dilemma. If the manufacturers say no, two teams will be missing in 2016.

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz carefully painted an exit scenario on the wall a month ago. That is supposed to increase the pressure. 'We have to get some engine if we lose Renault,' shrugged Christian Horner.

Apparently Red Bull is ready to swallow the toad of just being a customer team. Even if a first class customer. However, it is clear to Mercedes and Ferrari who they would bring into the house.

Red Bull is a different house number than Williams, Lotus, Force India or Sauber. TheTroop from Milton Keynes has a budget, the staff and the know-how like a factory team. At the Hungaroring, the Red Bulls were faster than the Mercedes in some corners. As Ferrari anyway.

Ferrari only supplies engines from the previous year

Ferrari therefore only offers engines with a specification that Year old. For self-protection. Mercedes basically has a different policy with its customers. Everyone gets the same quality material. This is logistically easier. That is why only Mercedes is a possible supplier for Red Bull.

Team boss Toto Wolff is covered: 'There is a contract between Red Bull and Renault. We respect that. But we know Formula 1. In The industry has the saying: never say never. '

On the other hand, nobody wants to experience what Renault is going through. Red Bull is not exactly squeamish about its partner. If successful, the car wins. Defeat is attributed to the engine.

Bernie Ecclestone acts as a mediator. The Formula 1 boss needs competition at the top again. And he fears that in the worst case, everything can collapse. If Red Bull stops frustrated, two financially healthy teams will be missing. Ecclestone has enough problems with sick candidates. This is where the engine manufacturers reach their limits. How far does the selfishness go, how far does the responsibility for the series go?

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