The Red Bull-Renault saga has gone one for a little too long with Red Bull refusing to commit to Renault despite the engine supplier’s impressive performance this season.
Red Bull have largely been stalling because they want to compare performances of the new and upgraded Honda and Renault engine.
The rumour mill suggests that Red Bull have already made a decision about who they want to go in with from next season. It seems as if the Red Bull-Renault relationship has gone for a toss and Honda is going into take over from next season.
Red Bull apparently are not convinced with Renault’s upgrade in Canada and that has provided them with more conviction about making the switch.
Renault though have put the blame back on Red Bull as according to them the problem is not with Renault’s upgrade but by the fuel used by Red Bull.
Renault and McLaren use BP/Castrol fuel while Red Bull has a deal with Exxon Mobil.
BP/Castrol did bring in some upgrades in order to bode well with the Renault engine update at Canada, however, Exxon Mobil did nothing like that.
“I was secretly hoping that Red Bull would have the pace to win,” said Abiteboul, as quoted by Autosport.
“They were very, very close to that, but not quite there.
“We have more to come, and they could have more to come from the fuel.
“That’s something that’s clear. We can guarantee an equity of performance of what is in our control, which is hardware, which is software.
“Not anything other than that, like fuel, because they elected themselves for strategic and commercial reasons to go for their own partner, which we appreciate, and we support by homologating their product.
“I’m sure Exxon has to ability and capacity to catch up, but they are a bit behind. The installation is also a little bit different.
“That’s why there are small discrepancies, and I accept that.” he added.
“Abiteboul also confirmed that Alonso’s retirement had nothing to do with the Renault engine.
“I stopped breathing for a moment when I saw [McLaren’s Fernando] Alonso complaining about his ERS,” he said. “But I understand it was another problem [not a Renault part].
“So it was good, a very interesting introduction of ‘spec B’.
“We see from top speed we’ve been very competitive, we also see a bit of a step from Honda.
“We know exactly what they [Renault’s engines] are providing, and they are providing what we advertised they would a few weeks, if not a few months, ago.” he concluded.