How Red Bull missed the engines of Mercedes, despite a deal with Lauda

20-04-2020 12:09
F1 News
How Red Bull missed the engines of Mercedes, despite a deal with Lauda

Red Bull Racing is currently too with the power source of Honda, after the marriage with Renault fell on the rocks. However, how else could it have run, because a contract with Mercedes was actually already in the making?

The breakup with Renault

In 2005 Red Bull starts the Formula 1 adventure with engines from Cosworth, only to make the step to Ferrari one year later. Ferrari's engines were also undesirable, so Red Bull opted for Renault in 2007. The collaboration with the French does go smoothly and when the brand withdraws its own team from Formula 1, Red Bull Racing's heyday comes.

Between 2010 and 2013 Red Bull will shoot to the top, where Renault will slowly rename its own team Lotus. In 2016 Renault will only return when it takes over the Lotus organisation again. The tide has already turned somewhat for Red Bull and that will only get worse.

In 2014 Renault doesn't seem to have paid much attention to the new engine rules. Mercedes flies away and at times Red Bull has too much trouble keeping up with Mercedes' customers. Renault takes small steps forward, but promised steps always come with enormous reliability problems.

Red Bull wants Mercedes

From 2016 this seems to only get worse. Renault itself is back in Formula 1 and so the attention that was completely focused on Red Bull is shifting more and more to Renault. If Red Bull continues to openly criticise the lagging progress and failing engines, Renault seems to be crawling further and further into the blame.

Red Bull is struggling, because it can't really go in many directions. Ferrari doesn't want to deliver engines to a competitor and Honda is not yet at the desired level. The Japanese are blamed at McLaren and therefore seem by far to be the worst candidate. Help seems to come from an unexpected corner, when Helmut Marko knocks on the door of his big friend.

Niki Lauda does want to supply engines to Red Bull. A bit of competition can't hurt and according to Lauda his team should be able to become champion even then. A deal came between Lauda, Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz, but in the end the deal wouldn't happen and so Red Bull had to go back to Renault with hanging legs.

Angry Lauda

According to Marko, Horner, Mateschitz and Lauda, the deal was done. By the end of 2015 it had been agreed that Mercedes would deliver engines to Red Bull in 2016, but Toto Wolff and the top of Mercedes stopped it. To the dissatisfaction of the aforementioned men. On the Red Bull side, they were annoyed by the unfulfilled promise and Lauda was annoyed by the fact that his own team did not want to compete.

Mercedes refused according to because there was another contract on the table with Renault and that it did not want to make a deal behind the back of Renault. In addition, the competitive aspect remains a logical reason, but a Mercedes top man has never been able to catch a statement there.

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