Horner: Officially nothing is finished with Renault
Red Bull and Renault are apparently still moving closer to divorce, however behind the scenes the prospect of reconciliation hangs in the air as a faint sign of hope lingers.
That is because, with Mercedes and Ferrari having ruled out ending the Red Bull engine crisis, simply patching up the damaged relationship with Renault could now be the energy drink company’s last chance to stay in F1.
Omnicorse, a specialist Italian publication, claims that Renault have ruled out reversing their decision to go elsewhere at least until Red Bull publicly apologises.
Up and down pitlane, sympathy for Red Bull is also low, given the outfit’s brash outspokenness, often spilling into the territory of hostility.
“It would be easier if Red Bull would sit down and solve their problems behind closed doors,” Mercedes’ Toto Wolff agreed in an interview with Spox.
There are, however, signs that Red Bull and Renault could patch up their tattered relationship.
On the bright side is the eight glorious world championships won jointly between 2010 and 2013, before Red Bull began to so publicly berate Renault’s performance in the new ‘power unit’ era.
Earlier, it was said the Renault divorce was definitely complete, but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is quoted by Germany’s RTL: “Officially, nothing is finished with Renault. It’s difficult to see what will happen but nothing is impossible. Pretty much everything is open.”
Another new sign of positivity is that Renault has finally decided to make available to Red Bull the upgrade, encapsulating almost all of its 12 in-season ‘tokens’.
Originally scheduled for Sochi, there was speculation Renault was going to hold back the upgrade until 2016. So the fact that it could now be used by Red Bull in Austin is a sign that the warring spouses might get back together.
But even if there is the possibility of reconciliation, time is running out, with Dietrich Mateschitz having set an end-of-October deadline.
Indeed, by next weekend’s Mexican grand prix it will already be 1 November, with Helmut Marko having revealed: “I hope that by the race in Austin, we know where we are going.”
Horner added: “We’ve been waiting since May to understand what their (Renault’s) intentions are. Are they in, are they out? Are they going to have their own team? Are they a supplier or not? We are waiting for them.”