Renault has announced that they will make a decision regarding their future in Formula 1 by the end of the year.
The engine supplier of Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, Renault has a contract with the two teams until the end of the 2016 season. Since the V6 era has began last year in Formula 1 Renault powered teams have struggled, leading to much debate as to whether or not the French manufacturer will once again become its own works team, or leave the sport altogether.
Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul met with the media today, highlighting its situation with Red Bull.
“Red Bull wants the confidence we have the capacity to catch up, and on our side we need the certainty we can catch up,” said Abiteboul. “We also need to have confidence in the value of the sport and in the value of this partnership. This is something that is built over time. There is no rush.
“I know this is the type of organization that starts drawing early. I would imagine at some point later in 2015 they will want to know what is going on in 2017.”
Some talk has come up that Renault might perhaps buy-out another team. Some teams that might be on their list include Toro Rosso, Manor, and Lotus, whom switched to Mercedes as its engine supplier at the start of 2015. However, Abiteboul did not give any indication the French manufacturer is seeking more than it already has.
“Right now the best thing we can do for our own situation is to assume we will continue as we are, with us as an engine supplier and them as a customer of Renault,” said Abiteboul. ”That will give us the best chance of quick success for the joint organization, but in parallel we also work on the future.
“It may be a different future for them, a different future for us, but anyway there is no future if we don’t have a competitive engine.”
With a history of success in the sport, losing Renault would be a monumental hit to Formula 1, and one that would constrict the sport to just three engine suppliers – Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda.
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