After a disappointing past two seasons, Austrian team Infiniti Red Bull Racing and iconic French automakers Renault have decided to end their partnership at the end of the 2015 season. Although the contract between the two runs through to 2016, Autosport says sources are “adamant” the relationship will not continue.
According to them, management at Red Bull have issued a document requesting the termination of their relationship with the manufacturer. Both Red Bull teams – Infiniti Red Bull Racing and junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso – have had serious problems with their power units this season. While Daniil Kvyat has had one retirement, at the Chinese Grand Prix, teammate Ricciardo has had two – at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps at the Grands Prix of Britain and Belgium respectively.
In addition to the retirements, however, the team have taken repeated penalties – most recently at the recent Italian Grand Prix, where Kvyat had 35 penalties for engine changes, while Ricciardo had 50 as he had several other upgrades as well.
The two have both exceeded the maximum number of engines the FIA permits drivers to use in a single season – four. Both are now on their seventh engines.
Red Bull have previously expressed their disappointment with Renault, with boss Dietrich Mateschitz and motorsport chief Helmut Marko both openly admitting they were unhappy and looking for a way out of the ‘marriage.’
Team principal Christian Horner, however, had said earlier this year that the team and the manufacturer were contracted through to 2016 and would honour that commitment – which appears to now not be the case.
Mercedes had expressed interest in supplying engines to Red Bull, but driver Lewis Hamilton does not want this to happen. "If we are serious about winning the world championship, probably not. Red Bull are a great team, but it's like giving Ferrari our engines."
"We don't really need it. There is no financial benefit. We are good where we are,” added the two-time World Champion, who is the frontrunner for this year’s championship as well.
In other rumours, it is alleged that Renault may buy out embattled team Lotus– who saw both vehicles retire very early into the Italian Grand Prix yesterday. Renault, if they do complete this buyover, are said to intend to come back as a works team. Team Renault F1 last raced in 2010, and saw Fernando Alonso win both his championships with them – in 2005 and 2006.