Renault want to reduce F1 engine supply

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Red Bull, Lotus, Circuit of the Americas, 2012In the round-up: Renault say they would prefer to supply fewer F1 teams in the future after Toro Rosso indicated they’re seeking an engine supply deal with the manufacturer.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Renault eager to supply fewer teams (Autosport)

Renault Sport F1 president Jean-Michel Jalinier: “To me, five [teams] should be really a max and, if we go back from four to three, I will be happy.”

Ross Brawn Q&A: We are going in the right direction (F1)

“It is not so that we think we?ve got a championship-winning car right now, but the difference we have anticipated or predicted between the 2012 and 2013 car seems to be real, which is always an encouraging sign.”

Dave Charlton – The end of an era (Independent Online – South Africa)

“Dave Charlton, one of South Africa?s most successful and respected racing drivers, died in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon, February 24. He was 76.”

McLaren’s Paddy Lowe to join Mercedes F1 team at end of the year (The Guardian)

“Paddy Lowe, McLaren’s technical director, will not travel to Melbourne with the team for the opening Formula One race of the season on 17 March and will join Mercedes at the end of the year.”

Grosjean: Lotus not far away (Sky)

“We are among the top four teams, I think. There’s no reason to think we are far away, but it’s difficult to say where we are.”

Georgie Thompson quits F1 role with Sky over frustrations at playing second fiddle (Daily Mail)

“But it is understood that Thompson wanted a bigger role within the team after playing second fiddle to main presenter Simon Lazenby, and chose to leave after producers failed to promise an improved billing.”


Comment of the day

@AdrianMorse on Paddy Lowe joining Mercedes:

This is good news. I was starting to worry there might not be enough technical directors at Mercedes next year.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

There aren’t many Grands Prix that were held in the snow. But the Swedish Grand Prix which took place in 1933, 17 years before the world championship began, was. The race was run over eight laps of a 46km course and took almost four-and-a-half hours.

Victory went to Per-Viktor Widengren in an Alfa-Romeo. A post-race controversy saw his team mate Eugen Bjornstad disqualified for preventing Carl-Gustaf Johansson from overtaking him on two laps, which serves to illustrate both how little and how much the sport has changed in 80 years.

Here’s some footage from the race:

Image ?? Renault

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  • 86 comments on “Renault want to reduce F1 engine supply”

    1. That is brilliant, another CotD which relates to Mercedes and their many technical leaders, it’s such a good running joke!

      1. As soon as they stop adding new ones, people might stop joking about it!

      2. It’s a bit like their cars really, though, Michaels was not always ‘running’… just a joke.

    2. “To me, five [teams] should be really a max and, if we go back from four to three, I will be happy.”

      That’s going to put some teams in a bit of a conundrum, then. Unless Ferrari and/or Mercedes are willing to supply more teams, we might be faced with an engine shortage.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys didn’t Ferrari recently say that they wanted more teams to have their engines onboard?

        1. @prisoner-monkeys @fer-no65 Unless Honda comes on board in 2014 or even 2015. Could be a remote possibility, but time might be against the big H from returning next year at least.

          1. Any 4th manufacturer would be behind in the engine development race. Not to say they couldn’t close the gap to Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes, but it would certainly be an initial disadvantage as those three will have had a couple of years extra development of the F1-spec V6s.

            1. Exactly. If they had something in development, they’d have announced it by now. So teams will either have to go to Ferrari or Mercedes for engines (as far as I’m aware, Cosworth have no plans for 2014 engines).

              The only other remotely-viable option would be Craig Pollock’s PURE project. But I don’t know if that’s still going anymore; the last I heard, they had an engine ready for dyno testing, but had to suspend their operations due to a lack of funding and certain legal technicalities that restricted what money they could use (it had to be from within Europe) until future funding came through as originally promised. That was in July, and we haven’t heard from them since.

            2. I think PURE project is not in good shape and hardly will be materialized.

            3. On the other hand @calum, when you look at possilbe mistakes to avoid from seeing how 2014 goes, it would save you a lot of development, because you can avoid mistakes made by the pioneers too. That would give you a race ready engine for 2016, i guess.

            4. It has been widely reported that Honda have an engine in development, but they’ll still be behind since they’ve been treating it as an R&D project rather than a serious attempt to enter F1 with it in 2014.

            5. Assuming of course that the Honda Advanced Research Division has sat twiddling its thumbs since they pulled out of F1.

              I think we will see some interesting engine related news in the next 18 months or so. Honda and Porsche related perhaps.

              I also predict a name change for Lotus to RUF.

            6. @coefficient – There has been no indication that Porsche are interested in a Formula 1 programme. For all intents and purposes, they appear to be concentrating on their return to Le Mans in 2014. Formula 1 engines might be acceptable in Le Mans cars from 2014 (or is it 2015?), but that it is only tangental to Formula 1. Just because their engines could be used, it does not mean that they are going to be used.

            7. Nissan are technically already involved, through Renault/Infiniti. Would it be possible to that technology might be shared within the group to get an official Nissan engine on the grid?

              No, wait, they’re going to Le Mans now too. Maybe someone needs to have a look at the ACO. They seem to have this ‘attracting new entrants’ thing down pretty well.

            8. @prisoner-monkeys

              Just because their engines could be used, it does not mean that they are going to be used.

              It is definitely a possibility, but I feel inclined to agree with you: initially I feel the F1 engines will have too many teething problems to make them a viable option for Le Mans at least until 2015. Even then, the engines will likely have to be modified to improve reliability (the engines would have to run for 24 hours straight, which no F1 engine will ever do). The engines are only expected to last for four events in F1, which I imagine is substantially less of a time frame at full output than Le Mans would demand, so obviously modifications would be necessary.

              Even at that though, there is no guarantee that it will be a competitive engine in LMS.

      2. Its interesting to compare what Joe Saward makes of the information received (likely at the same press event as Autosport got their info) @prisoner-monkeys.

        In his understanding its more that Renault expects (or wants – for stability its always good to agree with the competition) that the manufacturers will agree on a limit to prevent uneven spread of engines, more than not being able to or wanting to supply many teams.

        Also of note is, that he mentions Simon (the Ferrari guy who drew up the regulations when at the FIA and ten headed for PURE) is now supposed to be in the UK now working on a so far unkown project. Possibly being Honda.

        It seems everyone in the sport more or less expects one or maybe 2 new engines to be available in 2015 or 2016 (giving the advantage of seeing what mistakes to avoid in 2014 before doing their own engine).

        1. In his understanding its more that Renault expects (or wants – for stability its always good to agree with the competition) that the manufacturers will agree on a limit to prevent uneven spread of engines, more than not being able to or wanting to supply many teams.

          That does make sense. I seem to recall a semi-official cap on the number of teams a manufacturer could supply in the past, so as to avoid a situation where one engine supplier gains too much power and influence over the rules.

          1. Yes, they had (have?) an agreement whereby no one supplies more then 4 teams if I am not mistaken (made when there were 13 teams planned, so it would be 3×3 and one having 4 teams)

          2. @Prisoner Monkeys
            Porsche are building an f1 spec facility including state of the art wind tunnel and have held board meetings with non other than Ron Dennis present. I was only speculating to what this might allude.

            1. Very interesting news! Good to hear Porsche would be coming back to F1. McLaren-Porsche anyone? A return to the mid-80s McLaren turbos.

              Honda should definitely come back, after folding their royal flush of a 2009 hand. Who better to do it with than the guy who drew up the rules :D

              Honda – 2015, Porsche – 2016?

              RUF – Very interesting. I’m surprised they would give up the Lotus name after fighting for it, and the chance of getting the Lotus cars marque. But from what I know of RUF so far (new small independent carmaker, one to be scanned for iRacing soon), it does sound interesting.

      3. Did I not hear the word “Nissan” used in relation to Formula One recently…? (I honestly can’t remember what it was in the context of though). Would be nice if a new player came on the scene now Audi chickened out.

    3. I thought Renault would be happy with the 4 teams they supply, they get lots of decent publicity from F1, without the great expense of running a team.

      RedBull are multiple championship winners with Renault engines; and when they aren’t winning races for Renault there are also Lotus (the best midfield team) and Williams (historic name in F1), both winners last year with Renault.

      They also have the exciting development with Caterham in the new sportscar partnership with Renault-Alpine, possibly a nice little earner on top of the customer F1 engines for the parent Renault company.

      1. Exactly, it’s 3 race winners and the championship winner from last year, plus the company they have road-car relations with- a company which they need to build brand identity/association with anyway. They are teams directly or indirectly responsible for 15 Constructors titles (11 if you don’t count team Enstone’s previous success).

      2. I thought Renault would be happy with the 4 teams they supply, they get lots of decent publicity from F1, without the great expense of running a team.

        Perhaps they are trying to reposition themselves. They supply Red Bull, a team who have three World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships to their name. And they supply Lotus F1, who were very competitive last year, and have a very popular driver in Kimi Raikkonen. Maybe they want to use 2013 to decide who their thrid and final customer team are, someone who fits in with these definitions.

      3. I guess that on the one hand its great to have a lot of teams running their engines, and it certainly brings some economy of scale advantages. On the other hand it also means a more complicated operation because you have to think about the interests of more teams.

        Likely Renault also expressed these ideas so as not to the risk of upsetting a balance with Ferrari and Mercedes. None of them would like having a dominant supplier for half the grid in Renault.

    4. Everyone seems to keep going on about how 2014 will be Mercedes year.. Why will it..?

      Yes ok they may have a decent engine lined up but it’s not just about that is it.. Red bull haven’t won the last 3 titles because of they’re Renault engine have they..?

      I just don’t understand why I read more and more about Mercedes and 2014..

      1. It’s because everyone expects a repeat of Ross Brawn and 2009.

        1. @blockwall2

          I was an absolute newbie (almost), and a tad bit young to understand F1 back then.

          Please explain why Brawn won in 2009. I don’t understand how a team can win a WDC and a WCC in their first year.

          1. @ideepak

            It was not a new team, but an old team with a new name, but there are many reasons.

            The first one is, that 2009 has brought new regulations, most of them changing the aerodynamics of the cars. When something like this happens, all team start from scratch, so they had an almost leveled field.

            The second one, is that, Honda seeing their 2008 car was a dead end, announced early in 2008 that they would spend all their resources for the developement of the 2009 car, but at the end of the season the factory pulled out of the sport. So the team became nonexistent, but there was the crew, and the chassis, which was developed for almost two years. Brawn, the team principal bought the team, according to the fairy tale, for 1 €.

            The third one, is they’ve found a loophole in the regulations, and so, made the infamous DDD. But before anyone would say it was the only reason, I have to add, that both Williams and Toyota had DDD since the first race of 2009.

            So they had a good chassis, a good engine, a good crew, and a 1 second advantage in the first race.

            1. Brawn also took advantage of not having an F1 entry during much of the off-season to develop the car in four wind tunnels simultaneously (teams that were entered into the F1 championship were only allowed to use one).

            2. Another factor was that McLaren and Ferrari were fighting for the 2008 championship until the last race, which meant they had less time and resources to focus on the 2009 car. Both teams had incredible development rates in 2009 and caught up to Brawn and outscored them in the second half of the season. But it was too late.

            3. @red-andy Is that really true? I’ve never heard that before and it doesn’t seem very likely. It’s not consistent with the fact that Honda had pulled out, there was no money to run projects in four wind tunnels and the main issue in putting a car on the grid in 2009 wasn’t the aerodynamics but bolting on an entirely different engine. The deal to sell to Brawn was very last minute and the original intention was just to drop out so why would they be running multiple wind-tunnels and who was paying for it?

            4. And then there’s the scuttlebutt that what eventually became the BGP001 started life as a project of the Super Aguri group in Leafield, and was essentially Honda’s plan B after their own design bureau produced two abhorrent stinkers in ’07 and ’08.

              Which might explain why said team didn’t manage much in terms of development over the ’09 season and has been slipping away ever since.

            5. sure enough the people that brought the DDD to Williams and Toyota were originally from Super Aguri, weren’t they @proesterchen, its almost certainly an invention that little team came up with (talking about why are backmarkers usefull to have!)

      2. RedBull haven’t won solely because of their engine, but there will be massive upheval in 2014 with the change from V8 to V6-Turbo, obviously Ferrari and Mercedes will be designing cars and engines, so can combine the two to come up with the optimal engine shape to fit their new car designs – customers like Mclaren, Sauber etc won’t get this freedom, they will be stuck with whatever engine lump they are given. This is part of where Mercedes’ 2014 expectation comes into play, before you add world class drivers/designers/money etc.

        1. Of course there is no guarantee it is their year, but they have pretty much done all they can to get all the pieces they need to put together a winning team.

        2. In all fairness, they’re not ‘stuck with whatever they’re given’ – the same engine is used in the customer cars as the works cars. The works teams just have the advantage of knowing the final specification a bit sooner and have knowledge of any development to the engine (not that there’s much of the latter).

      3. No one is saying it’s Merc’s championship to lose, but they have made major moves (Hamilton, Wolff, Lowe, etc) to put themselves in a position to fight for podiums, wins and the championship. Instead of scrapping with the midfield.

      4. @nemo87


        It’s like Ferrari and Renault can’t build a V6 or will not provide any technical support to teams they supply.

        I’m sick and tired of their overconfidence.

      5. @nemo87

        Red bull haven’t won the last 3 titles because of they’re Renault engine have they..?

        So Renault didn´t play a part in the engine mapings for 2011 when they has the best “blower”?
        And they also didn´t have anything to do with the ilegal engine mapings of last year? Sure…. Renault has played a part in all that!

    5. Bernie says he’d be happy “sign a fifty-year contract” to keep the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne if it was offered.

      1. I don’t really know what to make of that. I was quite taken back when I read that in the Herald Sun this morning. It’s probably just Bernie over-hyping something up like he usually does, maybe a 10 year deal maximum, 50 is just slightly exaggerated. Still, I’d like the GP to stay at Albert Park for as long as possible and if he signs a 50 year deal with Baillieu and his cronies I will be 68 years old when the contract runs out. I could definitely live with that!

        1. Yes, it’s an exaggeration. But reading between the lines a bit, I think Bernie’s intended meaning is clear: he’s happy with the race and the way it is being run, and is willing to see it continue for the foreseeable future, provided a deal can be reached.

        2. if he signs a 50 year deal with Baillieu and his cronies I will be 68 years old when the contract runs out.

          And Bernie, 132.

          1. @bullmello wait, Bernie isn’t Bernie over 132 already?

          2. @bullmello @prisoner-monkeys Are you guys thinking, what I’m thinking… They’ve finally got a new “Weekend at Bernie’s” sequel, “Weekend at Bernie’s F1 Race!”

            1. I can imagine bernie in emperor palpatine’s clothes yelling ” POWERRRRRRRRRRR….unlimited POWERRRR ” LOL ….That is if he gets to 140 years old …I think he really has the force with him :P

        3. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          26th February 2013, 5:51

          Hopefully by then we’ll get that grandprix on the moon, Under the ocean and after watching that video in an ice field wouldn’t hurt either.

        4. Silverstone signed a 17-year deal, so Bernie’s certainly happy to go over 10 years. Well, sort of. Silverstone signed a 10-year deal with a 7-year option. Bernie’s sense of humor is such that I could well see him agreeing to a 5-year deal with a 45-year option that neither side is actually going to take now.

      2. What some people won’t do to get a couple of billion dollars or so as revenue from the race hosting fees.

      3. If you take the US-$38 million the race is reportedly costing in 2015, the 5% annual increase currently part of the contract, and extrapolate out to 2063, you can see just why Mr E would gladly sign such contract:

        2015 38
        2025 61,9
        2035 100,8
        2045 164,2
        2055 267,5
        2065 435,7

        1. @proesterchen Makes you wonder what’s in Silverstone’s current 17-year deal…

          1. Indeed. I have to say, it’s a clever way to phrase things, surely, if one would see the numbers on paper, signing such contract would seem less sensible. But a mere 5% – that’s harmless enough, right?

            Oh the fun of finding yourself at the wrong end of exponential growth.

            1. @proesterchenn – it reminds me if that age-old trick of doubling your pocket money from one pence each week: you end up with quite a few thousand in a surprisingly short time frame!

      4. Remember, a contract with Bernie includes an “escalator”clause so the price goes up every year, imagine the compounded price after 50 years.

        1. look at what @proesterchen posted above, its a staggering amount really!

          1. @bascb, yes I should have read all the way to the bottom before commenting.
            ps. thanks for the Joe S. link. I found it interesting that Renault is quoting 26million per team, per annum for 2014 engine supply, up from 20m. today. A lot less than the ” F1 is to expensive lobby ” suggest.

    6. The Swedish GP footage is beautiful. Thank you. I so wish that happened here in Alaska. Studded Pirelli’s with orange markings, perhaps?

    7. That footage from 1933 in the snow is fantastic, great stuff.

      1. I Love the Pope
        26th February 2013, 4:00

        That was awesome! The best part is when the guys have to push the cars out of the snow and then hop back in!

        That is great!

      2. I would like to see a revival of that with present day F1 cars! :)

        1. You can get close to that already. 80 years later and only the shape of the cars has changed it seems…

      3. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        26th February 2013, 5:58

        Hep!/Heb! *silence* Murray Walker this commentator aint.

      4. It brought lovely anecdotes to mind I first learnt about when reading a book about the “history of grand prix racing” (by a czech author) last year of how a co-driver had to keep a piece of cloth in the fuel tank for most of the race to prevent it from spilling, ripping off exhausts to stop a blockage etc.

        Amazing to see.

      5. The quality of the footage is amazingly professional for a 1933 outdoors sporting event.

        I also liked when at the start people were literally jumping out of the way of the speeding cars.

    8. R.I.P Dave.

    9. I must say that the if Georgie Thompson wanted a bigger role, it shows exactly what we would like a sports reporter to be: Ambitious.
      Sure enough the Sky team was a bit too full of personalities and I think that while she seemed completely superfluous in it last year, a move where she would take over all Lazenby does too, would be better than Lazenby staying and taking over from her.

      1. Given that she was largely unknown beyond Sky sports before she got the F1 gig it’s kind of a big ask to be looking for equal billing with Lazenby and the rest. I never really understood why she was there to begin with.

      2. I’m not sure that she will be a big loss although Lazenby is not much better. Natalie Pinkham would be a better presenter and should do both their jobs. Sky coverage is good but there are rather a lot of ‘people’ a slimmer version might be no bad thing.

        1. I don’t think anyone will miss here at all @andy-price, although Lazenby is as forgettable, so had she actually convinced sky to replace him with her it would still have been perfectly fine.

      3. On the occasions that I watched the Sky broadcast, I have to say that Georgie Thompson was more impressive than Simon Lazenby, and so I’m not surprised that she was frustrated and left. Lazenby was frankly terrible for the majority of the year, and although he improved, it was still not enough for me.

      4. Georgie > Lazenby but both behind Humphrey atm

    10. It seems things are pretty competitive inside the Toro Rosso team. Not surprising, but maybe its more surprising that they did actually feel like friends before!

      1. The Red Bull program is a bit of a strange thing: one has to deliver, be better than all the other drivers and when you got a weak year you are ‘axed off’ the program (wonderful expression by the way). To be honoust, no wonder they’re not friends as the only thing they know is that they need to beat the other Red Bull guys to achieve their ultimate goal.

        1. *honest (obviously -facepalm-)

      2. Imagine if Webber were to announce his retirement before the end of the season. These guys would kill each other over that seat, but I honestly wouldn’t want to see either one in a RedBull. I think both Buemi and Alguersuari were better drivers than these two.

        1. turbotoaster (@)
          26th February 2013, 20:02

          I agree that Buemi and Alguersuari were two young drivers with a great degree of potential, and it’s very sad to see that neither has a seat anywhere.

          Buemi’s reserve role at Red Bull seems to me to be blocking him from leaving for anywhere else, instead he’s stuck with the team that had nothing nice to say when they removed him.

          Alguersuari on the other hand has the same problem, but in a different place. Doing the tyre testing he needs to be cautious that he doesn’t find himself at one place for too long, or he may find himself there forever. Captain Hindsight would say that he should have taken the HRT seat he was offered. and it would have given him an extra year to prove himself, but he can’t change where he is now.

          It’s a shame, and there’s nothing we can do, but I’d happily welcome the news that either of these two have a contract for a team in the future.

      3. I have a feeling Webber wants to retire and leave his place to Mitch Evans. Ideally he would blitz GP2 next year and be in contention for the spot but more likely 2-3 years. Failing this, perhaps try and get Ricciardo in the seat for 2014, but I reckon Webber wants to drive as long as he can. Another 2-3 years and he’d be happy.

        But, Marko is probably planning otherwise – Ricciardo or Vergne (good for RB in France, but they do have Renault engines anyway) in to Red Bull, Felix da Costa in the 2014 Toro Rosso, Sainz Jr or Kvyat to follow, and no spot for MW Arden’s Evans in his RB Junior line-up. I guess it all depends on when he can get Webber out!

        Or, failing to select from all these junior RB champions, they can always try and sign WDC in-waiting Nico Hulkenberg. Imagine a Vettel-Hulkenberg line-up! (Which would also be a non RB junior line up! Could Marko swallow his pride for this line-up!)

        1. Though I guess not many teams will change line up for 2014, with the new car development critical, and a Vettel-Felix da Costa line up would not be half bad either in 2015, if Antonio’s 2012 year is anything to go by.

    11. Gutted Georgie Thomson won’t be on skys coverage :-( what a woman!

    12. After reading Brawn’s interview , I somehow feel more and more convinced that he is a very strong asset to any team .He sounds so insightful of what is happening around the rest of the field . I hope mercedes click and they don’t axe brawn . I am really curious as to what they mean by “mid-term plan” for 2013 . I think catching lotus can be very difficult this year .

    13. What will Ross Brawn do next? Will he retire, or might he go to another team? He certainly doesn’t want for money. Could he take some equity in another team – Williams perhaps? Maybe Toto Wolff will part with his Williams stake as a component of Brawn’s departure deal?

      1. Very interesting – Given that Brawn started at Williams, this could be an interesting final job for him. Restore Williams back to the top – and take over from Sir Frank for a few years before retirement himself

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