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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Renault chief says Red Bull divorce is close

Renault chief says Red Bull divorce is close - Formula 1 News

By: Jonathan Noble, Formula 1 Editor
35 minutes ago
Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn has dropped the firmest hint yet that his company is ready to accept a termination of its contract with Red Bull for next year.

Following months of tension between the French car manufacturer and the Red Bull team over a lack of performance this season, it had always seemed likely that the companies were heading for a divorce.

But while that had initially been expected to happen in 2017 after its current contract expired, it emerged in July that Red Bull had notified Renault of its intention to nullify the deal this year.

Now, Ghosn has revealed that his company is negotiating the terms of the split, as he said there was little reason for the partnership to carry on.

"We are analysing what to do," Ghosn told British publication Autocar in an interview at the Frankfurt Motorshow.

"We have been clear in saying 'don't count on us as a provider of engines'.

"It is clear that if you provide engines you aren't mentioned when you win and you are criticised when you have problems."

The ending of Red Bull's deal with Renault will leave the way open for the team to sort out a Ferrari customer deal, after Mercedes decided against a partnership with the team.

Renault future unclear

Ghosn has been analysing a plan for Renault to return to works team status in F1, with negotiations to take over the Lotus team at an advanced stage.

However, there remain big hurdles to be overcome, and Renault is chasing increased commercial rights income from Bernie Ecclestone if it is going to push ahead with the plan.

While talks with Ecclestone are ongoing, Ghosn has said that the situation for him remains unclear, and there is a chance Renault could still withdraw from F1 totally.

"Our future is the subject of detailed analysis and renegotiating," said Ghosn. "We will either exit or run our own team. We don't have a clear decision yet."
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:37 PM
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I hope it is close. Bernie already helped hook up Red Bull with Ferrari engines next year. Bernie was not about to let two teams leave after talks with MB engines for Red Bull fell through.

And it is not a surprise as you keep up on F1 better than most people I know that the only chance of the Lotus Team staying alive is having Renault by them out or a very large controlling interest in the team. I really think we are going to see a Renault team for 2016.
They better get on top their whole power unit program or they will still have serious issues next year with their own name and livery on the cars.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well, Infinity is a Nissan brand. Nissan is owned to 60% by Renault, and its Infinity brand sponsors Red Bull with somewhere between $30-$50 mio annually.
Any payments from Infinity already received by Red Bull towards 2016 will have to be returned.
Ex Renault academy driver Charles Pic has done his bit (probably for Renault) to reduce Lotus value, when (not if) Renault takes over. There is said to be an ongoing negotiation between Renault and Bernie to be recognized as works team, and have the pot sweetened by getting the extra $ works teams receive.
A large part of Renault is owned by the French Government, and their bean counters will keep a close eye on the money.
AMG Mercedes weighted the pros and cons and decided not to supply RB, a team with the proven track record of a serious 'take no prisoners' competitor.
One of the stumbling blocks may well have been no guarantees of power parity between customer and works engines?
With Lotus becoming the Renault works team, Red Bull would be free to buy / use Ferrari customer engines.
But anyone investing on the magnitude of Dietrich Mateschitz / Red Bull F1 will only do so if power parity, updates etc are all guaranteed imo.

I also think that strategically Red Bull missed the train a bit, any of the top VW owned brands or BMW would likely have been a better engine partner than say Honda turned out to be for McLaren.
But perhaps Ferrari will turn out to be a stop gap measure?

Compared to other car makers & alliances, the VW group spends the most on research & development, $13.5 billion annually = $37 million per day (source Jo Saward's blog)
According to those numbers, VW could easily afford to run a F1 engine program or even run a works team.

It is said the main reason for no F1 involvement by VW group was the long standing strong dislike former VW CEO, president of the supervisory board, and major shareholder Ferdinand Pietsch (Ferdinant Porsche's grand son) had for Bernie Ecclestone.
But VW has a new boss.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 12:30 PM
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All excellent points and very accurate. I did not know the former head of VW did not like Bernie, but I am not surprised.

It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out in the next couple of months.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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All excellent points and very accurate. I did not know the former head of VW did not like Bernie, but I am not surprised.

It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out in the next couple of months.
Lotus may not have that much time.
Its more like the house is on fire and scavengers stole the water hydrants.
This Friday the London high court one again convenes with unpaid creditor claims to force the team into administration.
Colin Chapman must be rolling in his grave.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:28 PM
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He would be. Chapman was one of the best innovators the sport had.

I did not know that Friday there would be a court hearing in London. I don't want to predict the outcome, but Lotus is so far behind on paying all its suppliers the writing is on the wall. (I am sure Charles Pic was part of all this)
So Renault gets them before the end of year and they will have to ride it out, but at least there is money to pay the bills and move the production for a good 2016 car to fast forward.
We will not lose a team on the grid, but how it changes will be a new game.

I really hate it when the politics of racing start to dictate which teams get to spend enough to be competitive. However that is the way it has been in most premier open wheel and sports car series for a long time now.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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What a sad state of affairs for a team with such a proud heritage.
F1 will likely be a better place with the Genii guys gone.
Should Adrian Sutil happen to come across the 2 Genii guys at another nightclub, let's hope he carries 2 bottles.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Lotus gets 10 more days

https://joesaward.wordpress.com/

Lotus gets 10 more days
September 18, 2015 by Joe Saward
The High Court in London has given Lotus 10 days more to sort out its financial situation.
But the judge has also warned that there will be no further extensions and if the team does not have a workable long-term plan by September 28, the team will be placed in administration.
There has been talk in recent hours of a letter of intent signed with Renault last night by Gerard Lopez, but it is clear that this does not amount to much as the other shareholders – particularly Andrew Ruhan – have not signed.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Volkswagen close to buying Red Bull F1 team ??

BBC Sport - Volkswagen close to buying Red Bull F1 team

German car giant Volkswagen is close to agreeing a deal to take over the Red Bull Formula 1 team, says BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan.

The agreement would see VW buy the team and build its own engine, while Red Bull continues as a major sponsor.
Jordan says a VW engine would not enter F1 until 2018 and Red Bull would use Ferrari power in the interim.
The team will split with current engine partner Renault after this season, ending their contract a year early.
"Red Bull and VW have been in on-and-off talks for more than a year and I understand that the fundamentals of a deal for the sale of the team have been agreed," said Jordan.
"An arrangement whereby VW would take it over, becoming the fourth major manufacturer in F1, and Red Bull would continue to enjoy the high profile that comes from a major sponsorship suits both parties."
It is not clear which of the VW Group's brands would be promoted in F1, although Audi is the favourite. The company also owns the Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley, Seat and Skoda marques.

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz told his company's Speedweek website on Friday that his team's split from Renault was concluded "a few weeks ago".
He said using a Ferrari engine would be "a very acceptable solution for the next two or three years" but a contract with the Italian company was not finalised.
Any VW deal would represent a triumph for Martin Winterkorn, the chairman of the VW board of directors, in an internal power struggle.
Winterkorn has agreed the deal with Mateschitz and the drinks giant's motorsport adviser Helmut Marko, Jordan says.
VW and Red Bull have long-time links and are currently partners in the world rally championship.
BBC Sport understands Winterkorn agreed a deal to buy out Red Bull last winter but the plan was vetoed by former VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Piech was ousted in a boardroom power struggle and resigned in April.
In May Marko said: "If we don't have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has consistently denied that the team have held talks with the VW Group.
He told BBC Sport in June: "There has been no dialogue with VW or Audi."
On Thursday and Friday at the Singapore Grand Prix, Marko and Horner repeated the threat that Red Bull would quit F1 if they did not get a strong engine.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 04:59 AM
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Great article.

I just hint of it while watching FP2 from Singapore that was on my DVR.

We can only hope they pull it together. Having the strength of VW would be a very good thing for the sport and with Mateschitz's livery he gets to keep the eyes on his product in the sport and go back selling more energy drinks.

The CEO of Renault really teed off on Red Bull in Frankfurt. He even went as far as to say that it has been a horrible investment this year with Red Bull. The sabers are rattling.

I read one article that even if VW does or does not buy the team the Ferrari engine deal is not a done deal and with no engine Red Bull is out. They even had a snippet of Horner saying it in an interview with Will Buxton. VW was not mentioned, but the engine situation was and how dire it is getting.

The silly season this year could be the "silliest" yet and all focused on one team. (Well two teams if Toro Rosso is going to leave the party as well)
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