The tension between the world champion team Red Bull and its engine supplier Renault remains high.
Before the Montreal weekend, the French marque’s Remi Taffin announced that, in Canada, the Renault V6 would finally reach “100 per cent” of its potential. Indeed, Sebastian Vettel had a solid qualifying on Saturday and will line up on the grid behind only the ultra-dominant Mercedes cars. But when asked about the Renault improvements in Canada, the reigning world champion said: “Well, honestly I don’t know where the Renault talk comes from. “I think as far as we’re concerned, we always obviously try to improve but we didn’t have any major steps for here.”
Also apparently playing down Renault’s pre-race ‘100 per cent’ claim was Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. He is quoted by Salzburger Nachrichten as saying in Montreal: “We are down about 60 horse power compared to the Mercedes teams.” Renault is also expected to be right on the limit in terms of fuel consumption over the 70 laps of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday. “So when Mercedes goes through without problems and are not on the limit with fuel, then it’s difficult,” said Red Bull’s always-blunt Dr Helmut Marko. “It will also be very difficult to stay ahead of the two Williams. They have the fastest top speeds here, so if they go to overtake us, we have no chance,” he added.
However, both Horner and Marko have now separately confirmed that Red Bull will continue to be Renault powered in 2015. Perhaps that is because Renault’s Taffin says the French marque will produce a substantially new engine next year. “We will look at what our opponents have done and what is working for them,” the Frenchman is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper. “Next year we will have a new power unit,” he added.
Marko has already referred to some sort of deadline expiring at the Austrian grand prix in two weeks. Referring to the engine development ‘freeze’ that is currently in place, he explained: “The necessary steps then need to be taken for the re-homologation for 2015. “We will continue to work at least to stay within striking distance. But in 2015, we want to be able to win again,” said Marko.
Image: Renault Motosport