Renault will no longer supply F1 teams with engines, coming into effect as soon as possible, according to the French manufacturer’s Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
While many have expected Renault to buy the controlling stake in the Lotus F1 team and thereby become a manufacturer team once more, Ghosn has stated that the manufacturer may walk away from F1 entirely.
Speaking ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Ghosn commented: “We have already alerted the F1 authorities and told them: ‘Don’t count on us as a provider of an engine – it’s over!’”
“Our future is the subject of detailed analysis and renegotiating. We will either exit or run our own team, but we don’t have a clear decision yet.”
The Red Bull relationship
Renault has a contract in place to supply Red Bull Racing with engines for the 2016 season, but the Milton Keynes-based team is known to have served notice and is eager to break the contract.
It is widely considered that the break down in the relationship with Red Bull, who achieved four successive Constructors’ Championship titles with Renault power, is one of the team factors for the French manufacturer’s review of the sport, having invested considerable sums in developing the new V6-spec engine.
Ghosn confirmed that the brand’s reputation and the negative media attention that has been generated this season is a key factor in the current review: “Unfortunately when we were winning championships the Renault name was never mentioned. It was the team that was winning.”
“So we started to feel the return on this investment was very weak. It was intensified by the fact that when the technology changed and we moved from the V8 engine to the present technology, some of the teams using our engine did not fare well, and the reasons for which they are not performing became the engine.”
“So you are in the game that when you perform very well you are never mentioned, and when there is a problem with the team you are the first guy to be pointed at.”
“I think it’s a question of sportsmanship. We are expecting, that when we are in a sport working with other people, we win together and we lose together.”
Full motorsports review
Renault announced in July that it was reviewing all motorsports activities as it focused on cutting costs and improving its brand reputation.
As such, backing for the Formula Renault 3.5 series was removed, with funds and efforts being refocused on creating a new motorsport blueprint for Renault’s future activities.