Horner: We have to be in a competitive situation
Red Bull needs to take back control of its destiny in Formula 1, according to team boss Christian Horner.
The once-dominant outfit has struggled in the new ‘power unit’ era, with the finger of blame always pointed squarely at engine partner Renault.
Earlier, it was suggested Renault would finally trade in its performance upgrade ‘tokens’ in Belgium after the summer break, but now the plan is for Sochi in October.
“The plan (of Renault’s) changes all the time,” Horner lamented in an interview with the German news agency SID.
Now, the French carmaker is considering a change of tack for 2016 and beyond by potentially buying Lotus. Horner hinted it could also mean a fundamental change for Red Bull.
“We must take control of our future, rather than someone from the outside (having control),” he said in a clear reference to the current situation with Renault. “We have to be in a competitive situation.”
In reality, it is not just Red Bull who are frustrated with Renault’s situation. Even Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, sounds baffled as to why the marque is struggling so much.
“Leaving aside Honda, who have just arrived, the only one not on our level now is Renault,” he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
“To this day they still have 12 of the 32 tokens to implement, so what the hell did they do in the winter? We have used most of ours and so too has Ferrari.”
Lauda admitted, however, that he is concerned about the situation in F1 generally, “Yes, because there are several teams like Force India, Sauber and Lotus who have no money, because Red Bull is struggling with Renault and Honda is in its first year.”
“But what should we do at Mercedes? Put ballast in our cars? Not long ago Red Bull won four double titles, and if we look back further we find the Schumacher era of Ferrari. Now it’s our turn because we have the best engineers and have done the best job,” Lauda insisted.