Christian Horner has dropped the biggest hint yet that Red Bull could yet end up staying with Renault power in 2016.
The team always had a contract that run into next season, but has been trying to negotiate its way out of the deal in recent weeks. However Renault now seems to be the only realistic option, and Bernie Ecclestone has been trying to smooth the waters.
“At the end of the day nothing as we stand here is fixed,” Horner told Sky TV. “We’re working on lots of different scenarios. Obviously Bernie is actively involved as well, he’s keen to find a solution, and we need to. This team is too good not to be involved in F1, and there’s an awful lot of staff members whose futures depend on this decision, and therefore it’s important that we make the right one.
“I believe we will find a solution, and hopefully one that’s right for the team for the future.”
Pressed on what the realistic options were he said: “There’s lot of rumours at the moment, everybody’s got an opinion on what we should or shouldn’t do, and so on. In many respects we are a victim of our own success, and you can understand the trepidation that other manufacturers who have their own teams have in terms of supplying us.
“But we’ll find a solution, we’ll work our way through it, and hopefully we’ll find something that gives us the opportunity to fight for race wins and victories in the future. Everything’s open. Well, pretty much everything.
“Nothing is officially finished with Renault yet. Again there’s lot of speculation. It’s difficult to envisage how we go forward. But this is F1, and nothing is impossible. We are still waiting to hear what are Renault’s plans for the future. Are they going to buy Lotus, are they going to stop themselves?”
In stark contrast to the criticism he’s heaped on Renault recently Horner indicated some support for the French manufacturer.
“What you don’t see is what happens behind the scenes, and the commitment that’s gone in to trying to make this power unit work, the investment that’s been made, and the solutions that have been provided.
“My priority is seeing Red Bull in F1 next year, I want to see our cars with our drivers on the grid, That means taking to all parties that have a potential interest in us being here next year.”
He confirmed that in the end, it will be Dietrich Mateschitz’s call.
“That ultimately will be his choice. All I can do is present some good options in front of him for him to make that final call. He’s passionate about this team, Red Bull have probably invested more in F1 than any company over the last 10 years. He cares about the employees, he cares about what the future of the company is.
“He’s been around F1 for 20 years now, firstly as a sponsor, then as a team owner. He just wants to see us in a position where we can compete. Hopefully we can come to some conclusions which will enable us to do that.”
4 responses to “Horner on Renault: “This is F1, and nothing is impossible…””
Horner’s humiliation is almost complete. A year of bad mouthing Renault in public to engineer a break-up while threatening that Red Bull would quit the sport, presumably thinking Bernie would get them a deal. Flatly refused by Mercedes who have nothing to gain by helping them. He then calls Ferrari offer of a B spec engine an insult which p’s them off. Now he has to slowly soften his language on Renault just in case nothing else is available. This has been the perfect lesson in how not to win friends and influence people.
Heard some pundits suggesting that it’s wrong that the others teams are able to decide who to supply their engines to in order to not help a competitor. Surely the point is that F1 is a sport where it’s just as (if not more) important to get the politics right as the anything else. Keep the sponsors happy, keep the suppliers happy, keep the fans happy – do all of that in the right way and you’ll never be short of friends…Manor have played that game to perfection.
I had a very different interpretation of Horner’s “support”, which was that they’d spent a bunch at Ilmor getting a combustion redesign only for that to be rejected by Renault.
Matershitz and Horner’s multiple statements about Renault, in the absence of a done deal with another PU supplier, constitutes the best own goal I have ever seen. Talk about shooting yourself in both feet! They seemed to believe they were entitled to a Mercedes lump. I have absolutely no sympathy for their predicament. 4 WC’s on the trot with Renault, followed by a poor 2014 (by Red Bull standards) and they were lashing out from the get go.
However, Cleary Horner has no control over his boss’s ultimate decision. What an astonishing position to be in. Vettel chose his exit timing well.