Renault to stop being an F1 engine supplier after 2016; future is still uncertain

Renault F1 engine V6

Renault Sport is prepared to distance itself from the pinnacle of four-wheeled motorsports if it can’t find a way to compete as a factory team from the next season on wards.

Following forgettable recent F1 championship seasons which had resulted in damaged relationships with customer teams (especially Red Bull Racing), Renault Sport has decided to stop supplying engines to F1 teams starting from 2016.

Over the last two years, Renault Sport F1 has been losing customers as big teams like Williams (since 2014) and Lotus (since 2015) switched to Mercedes power. It seems Renault didn’t adapt to the shift from V8 to V6 powerplants quite well.

However, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, says that, in the F1 business, when the engine maker performs well, most credit goes to the team and if the team doesn’t do well, most blame comes to the engine maker. He also added that the company has already alerted the F1 authorities saying, “Don’t count on us as a provider of an engine – it’s over.”

Sahara Force India F1 Team

The French brand is in talks with Sahara Force India and other teams for a potential takeover or merger.

It’s to be noted that the engine contract between Renault and Red Bull is valid till 2016. While the automaker is ready to honor the agreement, the four-time constructor championship winning team is keen on finding a new engine supplier for next season. The Milton Keynes-based outfit is likely to side with Ferrari as Mercedes-AMG made its indifference to Red Bull public.

Coming back to Renault Sport’s future in F1, Mr. Ghosn says that nothing has been finalized as of now but the firm is negotiating with a few teams for a potential takeover. Sahara Force India and Lotus are emerging to be the likely candidates. To put it in a nutshell, Renault is ready to walk away from Formula 1 if it can’t compete as a works team. Engine supplying days are long gone.

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About the author

Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy

Winner of national level automotive quiz competitions, Nithyanandh aka Nithz jumped into the blogosphere right after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Love for automobiles and an even greater drive to share his knowledge with the automotive community, Nithz is Deputy Editor at RushLane.

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