Renault “frustrated by lack of recognition” for success

F1 Fanatic round-up

Mark Webber, Korea, 2012In the round-up: Renault believe they don’t get enough of the credit for powering Red Bull’s successes in recent years.


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Renault: ‘We don’t get enough out of F1′ (Autocar)

Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares: “We are frustrated by the lack of recognition we get for beating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. It is true that I think we deserve better.”

Marussia still negotiating with Bernie (ESPN)

“‘We are in active discussion with the Commercial Rights Holder but, as of today [Thursday], we do not have a signed agreement with them,’ a spokesperson confirmed.”

Maldonado highlights the perils of F1’s pay drivers (The Telegraph)

“[Deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez] had personally approved the contract that enabled Maldonado to become the most glaring example of the ‘pay driver’ in F1: a prodigy who owed his seat to a national government pouring up to ??45??million into Williams coffers to ensure greater cachet and recognition on the global stage.”

NBC Sports Group F1 coverage for 2013 (NBC)

“In its initial season of Formula One broadcasting, NBC Sports Group will air 19 Formula One races and 39 qualifying and practice sessions across NBC and NBC Sports Network. Four races will air on NBC, one will be on CNBC and the remaining 14 will be on NBC Sports Network.”


Comment of the day

@F1antics on the political context of the BBC/Sky deal following yesterday’s story about Sky’s forthcoming F1 channel price hike:

The UK Government put the squeeze on the BBC in a number of ways, not least that the BBC has to pay for the installation of rural high-speed broadband out of licence fee income, to the tune of at least ??300m. Labour and the Liberal Democrats had proposed a “levy” to pay for it, but the Conservative government rejected that. This is is the same government whose leader was (is?) close friends with Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News International and protege of Rupert Murdoch (who owns BSkyB).

I?m sure that the people who read and post here are aware of the many challenges facing the BBC, and the relationship the current government has with BSkyB, so I don’t really understand the vilification of the BBC or the defence of Sky.

The gradual move from public to paid content is a result of a plan to weaken public broadcasting in the UK, and to strengthen companies like News Corporation, and empires like the Murdoch’s. And, sadly, as more and more people give Sky their hard-earned money, more programmes will be lost to the average viewer and will only be available to those who can afford it. Eventually will all be over Sky’s barrel, and they’ll charge whatever they want.

It?s like watching frogs being slowly boiled alive. At some point in the future all the people here breathing a sigh of relief that they’re not the ones being screwed this time around, will realise it’s their turn. And they’ll have funded it.

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On this day in F1

McLaren dominated the first race of 1998 but there was controversy as David Coulthard surrendered victory to Mika Hakkinen.

Hakkinen had been leading comfortably until he accidentally pitted due to a problem with his radio. Coulthard later handed the lead back to him.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen was third for Williams, over a lap down. Here’s the moment Coulthard gave up the lead:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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129 comments on Renault “frustrated by lack of recognition” for success

  1. SubSailorFl said on 8th March 2013, 0:10

    If Renault wants more recognition then have a Renault Team and not just be an engine supplier. It’s obvious to everyone they make a great engine but it’s how the team uses it.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 8th March 2013, 0:21

      Was about to say the same thing. They had their own team and won championships with it just a few years ago. They sold their team which now carries a name that really ruins the entire team for me, it’s not Lotus and the whole war about the use of the name with Caterham was confusing and embarrasing.

      Mercedes felt the same way and they have their own team now. It’s in their own hands really. Besides, everyone knows the engines are about the same these days and it’s aerodynamics that make the difference, of course Renault don’t deserve credit for that.

      Oh and way to go Bernie, we’ve just got 22 cars in 2013 and you’re doing everything you can to make the grid even smaller. Fantastic job.

      • Rybo (@rybo) said on 8th March 2013, 4:09

        Keep in mind though that Renault supply more of sharp end the grid comparatively w/ RBR, Lotus, and Williams(I didn’t forget Caterham, they just didn’t score any points). Where as Ferrari just has SF and Sauber(Again Torro Rosso isn’t on the sharp end), with Mercerdes supplying their own works team in addition to McLaren and FI.

        One could argue that Mercedes has the stronger line up, but at the same time all 3 teams chocked at the end of the season. Sure McLaren won the last two races, but their finishing positions could have been so much better. While the works Mercedes team made an art of falling down the grid. And on top of that Force India decided to one up Sauber at wasted opportunities. However one could argue that Mercedes should get more respect because they didn’t suffer an engine related failure though out the season.

      • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 8th March 2013, 9:02


        You say that like we have less cars on the grid than at any other time. That is not true, 1996 and 2009 had the same number of cars.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 8th March 2013, 7:27

      I agree with that basically, however I think it would already be a big step in better direction if they didn’t write “Infiniti” all over the car…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2013, 8:27

      If Renault wants more recognition then have a Renault team and not just be an engine supplier.

      Yeah I have to say I’ve not got much sympathy for Renault on this one.

      They headed for the exit after the disgrace of Singapore ’08. They wanted the engine freeze and because of it engines have never mattered less in F1.

      They made their bed, they can lie in it.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th March 2013, 9:44

      Exactly. One could argue that they deserve no recognition for having powered Williams who had a pretty disappointing season after that 1 victory.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 8th March 2013, 0:17

    Well done Renault.

  3. £45M for Maldonado to race? I didn’t realise Williams had gotten (apparently) so desperate for money. Maldonado is a pretty good driver though. From Monza onwards he was one of the best drivers in the field. If he can translate his form from street circuits onto road and race circuits and iron out the crashes and hot-headedness he’s without doubt world class. I do hope Bottas will do one on him this season though, but take into consideration I’m generally biased towards the Finnish.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th March 2013, 10:19

      I believe that’s amount is across the 3 year contract, although it doesn’t tally with the £19m per season figure that also gets bandied around.

  4. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 8th March 2013, 0:24

    Average F1 Journo headline:
    “Renault to quit F1″.
    I laugh, but it will probably be a legitimate headline by the end of the day.

  5. Nick.UK (@) said on 8th March 2013, 0:28

    I enjoyed the article about pay drivers. Highlighted quite a few things that might make Maldonado’s future a little less secure. If he ever needed to prove his worth with results, it’s now!

    Great comment of the day too.

  6. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 8th March 2013, 0:46

    Yeah well whilst it is true Renault powers Red Bull, they also power the likes of Caterham. It doesn’t all come down to the engine. Renault, like Ferrari and Mercedes, make great engines. But it’s the teams who get the most out of them and who rightly deserve the most recognition for their achievements.

  7. Hairs (@hairs) said on 8th March 2013, 0:55

    Every team that has changed engines in the past couple of years has moved to Renault. That’s a pretty good recognition of their contribution I think.

    If I were them I’d be more concerned about the derogatory comments the boss of my works team has made over the past few years.

  8. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 1:04

    How do Renault expect to get any recognition when the best their engine can be is “equal to the others”. If they want recognition they have to exhibit features that are better than the competition, eg. more power, more torque a broader powerband, more economical or more reliable all these features have distinguished various F1 engines in the past but todays rules homogenise the engines so as to make them distinguishable only by their perceived failings.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 3:49

      Of course if in 2014 the Renault engined cars accelerate harder, have a higher top speed and more downforce than the Ferrari and Mercedes engined cars then they will have something to advertise.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th March 2013, 10:21

      Given the new Formula places the cars powertrain squarely in the hands of the engine manufacturer, my guess is Renault will need to put their money where their mouth is in 2014.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th March 2013, 18:04

      @hohum – I don’t think anybody will really manage to find any advantage with the engine itself (apart from possibly with the turbo), I think the only area they can improve is with ERS efficiency/weight.

  9. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 1:16

    Waiting for the 9pm. US E time F1 review on NBC sports, 45 mins to go, fingers crossed it wont be crap.

    • Ayrton (@ayrtonx1) said on 8th March 2013, 1:48

      Me too, I can’t wait

    • MatK77 (@bluestar77) said on 8th March 2013, 3:08

      12 minutes late due to the late ending of a college basketball game, and blink-and-you’ll miss it footage from winter testing.

      Oh dear.

      That is what worries me the most about NBCSN taking over the broadcast rights – they cover a lot of live sports, and while there’s nothing likely to disrupt the live broadcast of Australia, China or Malaysia in the early morning hours, what is going to happen at the critical point of the season in Austin and Interlagos?

      • Wonderduck (@wonderduck) said on 8th March 2013, 5:19

        They’ll be live on the actual NBC network, not on NBCSN. More, those races will be the featured sports event on the channel on that day; NOTHING will get in the way of those races being broadcast live.

        Besides, it’s not like that preview show was for people who read websites like this. It was for the person who has never seen F1 before. It introduced the Announcers, explained a little about what the sport is, what the stories are, that sort of thing. Of course WE don’t need that; we’ve been following all of that for years.

        For what it was, it was fine. Relax.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 12:48

          Yes, it certainly could have been worse.

        • MatK77 (@bluestar77) said on 8th March 2013, 18:28

          I recall vividly Jackie Stewart commentating on the Indy 500 in the early eighties explaining with the visual aid of a toy car what understeer and oversteer was. We still hear that same explanation on every F1 race broadcast today. We don’t hear the NFL announcers explain how many downs there are to move the ball ten yards, or what the mountain of abbreviated terms are that are used to describe a baseball game mean. It’s time to cut out the hand-holding and give us a mature conversation, at least talk to us as if this is our second time watching an F1 race. If newcomers latch on to the sport, they’ll put in the effort to figure it out.

          As far as the scheduling goes, I’d love to give them the benefit of the doubt but there’s a lot of competition for time with other, more important sporting events. This is the same NBC that Tivo’d the Olympics, remember…

          That said, roll on Melbourne. I’m far less of a grumpy f*rt when the talking stops and the revs go up.

  10. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 1:19

    COTD, top marks that man. And when there is nothing worth watching on the BBC the politicians will quietly close it down citing lack of viewers, and then jump feet first into bed with Murdoch.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:16

      Yes, sadly that COTD describes reality all too accurate.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th March 2013, 19:52


      And when there is nothing worth watching on the BBC the politicians will quietly close it down citing lack of viewers

      There’s hardly anything worth watching on the BBC now, and certainly not enough to justify the cost of the licence fee. The only exceptional shows they’ve had on recently have been Stargazing Live and Wonders of Life.
      Channel 4 make far better original comedy and drama while SKY show the best sports and films. The only thing the BBC are good at these days is milking old formats that have been around for over a decade (HIGNFY, QI, Buzzcocks etc), protected sports (6 Nations, Olympics) and the occasional music documentary (but SKY have managed to beat them in this area since they launched SKY Arts).

      Even BBC News has been turned into a bad joke since Labour ripped them apart after the dodgy dossier/Dr Kelly fiasco.

  11. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th March 2013, 1:28


    “[Deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez] had personally approved the contract that enabled Maldonado to become the most glaring example of the ‘pay driver’ in F1: a prodigy who owed his seat to a national government pouring up to £45 million into Williams coffers to ensure greater cachet and recognition on the global stage.”

    Keith, I totally disagree. Maldonado has proven to me that he deserves a seat on merit alone, while someone like Max Chilton is only in F1 because of the money he brings.

    Going by that logic, Alonso is the biggest pay driver in F1, since I believe Santandar brings even more money than PDVSA does.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 1:37

      @kingshark, it’s obviously not worth arguing with you but surely you can see the logic in the argument that without the sponsorship he would not have had the ride and therefore would not have had the win. Whatever his current ability without the money he would be forgotten or driving in Nascar.

      • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 8th March 2013, 2:28

        @kingshark @hohum Even if he won GP2, it took him time and didn’t follow the same path as others, it wouldn’t have end at Williams with that alone.
        And in any way he brought that money to the team effectively which define him as a pay driver (his ability is something else) but you would putt almost anyone on an F1 seat which such backing (maybe not at williams) …
        Now he is right on the limit for a place on merit, he did win and show he has pace but to many “mistakes” and reckless driving which is not really a good point. I think this season will be crucial for him and I fear he would be beaten by Bottas, in which case I’m not sure he can retain a seat next year. I hope I’m wrong but that how I feel it

    • soundscape (@soundscape) said on 8th March 2013, 1:42

      That’s not Keith’s quote; its taken from the linked article.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2013, 8:18

      @kingshark As @soundscape points out, you’re mis-attributing a quote from Oliver Brown in The Telegraph to me.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th March 2013, 9:26

      Going by that logic, Alonso is the biggest pay driver in F1, since I believe Santandar brings even more money than PDVSA does.

      A pay driver is someone who’s sponsor pays the team to drive instead of receiving a salary. Alonso gets paid by Ferrari big time.

  12. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 1:32

    I hope Marussia stick it to Bernie but I expect we will be seeing them as a fuzzy patch on the screen, like nipples or the face of “undercover” policemen.

  13. zerof50 said on 8th March 2013, 1:33

    You want recognition? Ok here; I recognize you trying to cheat last year by changing your engine map.

  14. more recognition? or better marketing?
    Kubica could have make them shine, now that dream is over. Even if the same Enstone team which was called Renault years ago made Kimi champion, that would be a LOTUS championship

  15. Vic (@hendrix666) said on 8th March 2013, 2:26

    Re Hakk/Coult

    I thought I heard that the 2 had agreed that whoever led after turn 1 would get the win?

    • Ace (@ace) said on 8th March 2013, 4:13

      @hendrix666 Indeed. I believe it was a ‘gentleman’s agreement’. Never let it be said that Coulthard isn’t a gentleman. :)

      • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 8th March 2013, 6:04

        He did the noble thing, unlike Alonso and Kubica. Are there any gentlemen left?

        • q85 said on 8th March 2013, 7:30

          if you read DC book that ‘gentleman’s’ agreement wasnt not actually true. He was told to let him through.

          As ever with mclaren pre MW they had a no.1 and told the other world otherwise. At least ferrari didnt pretend.

  16. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 8th March 2013, 3:12

    It’s hard for Renault to claim that credit when in today’s F1 it is the aerodynamics, and not the engine that are the crucial difference. Renault aren’t the defining factor in Red Bull’s success. Adrian Newey’s pencil is a bigger factor than the Renault engine.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 3:44

      Sad but true.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:17

      Not to mention that branding the team “Infiniti Red Bull racing” is not going to pull attention to the fact that its in fact Renault powering the bull @colossal-squid!

      • Beto (@chebeto0) said on 8th March 2013, 8:36

        I don’t know exactly how that works for the companies as publicity, but you gotta remember that Infinity is a division from Nissan, and Nissan and Renault are partners. So there must be some strategy of advertising there, not necesasrily bad for Renault, I think.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 12:56

          I suspect the “Infiniti” branding is to get value in the USA where Renault is a dirty word.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 8th March 2013, 14:59

          The “Infinity” branding is definitely not suffering from a lack of exposure! And with Infinity being incorporated into the official team name it’s no wonder that what little mention of Renault there was has been reduced. I really don’t understand why Renault are complaining considering the partnership you explained. It sounds like from a marketing perspective they want two bites of the same apple.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th March 2013, 10:43

      It’s not as clear cut as that. They [RBR] wouldn’t have been able to maximise their use of exhaust blowing without the lower fuel-consumption figures and drivability of the Renault engine.

  17. Eric (@fletch) said on 8th March 2013, 3:25

    I was at that race in 1998. My Brother flew in from Canada to meet me as I was traveling Oz at the time. It was the first race we’d ever been to. We’ve been to Montreal 4 times now, it’s a great time always better each time.
    We were sitting at corner 16 where David let Mika through, EVERYONE was ****** about it. I remember Mika cried on the podium. His first victory on his way to his first WDC. 1st race on grooved tires too.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 8th March 2013, 9:08

      It wasn’t his first victory; in the last race of the previous season at Jerez he won his first victory – after DC was instructed to move over for him. Jacques Villeneuve in a Willliams was also instructed to do the same, having secured the WDC already.

  18. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 8th March 2013, 4:05

    What is COTD ?

  19. Calum (@calum) said on 8th March 2013, 5:47

    Would it be fair to say Renault engines are just being sold as a business operation first and foremost to make £8m revenue per team per year, and any praise or car sales they get as a result of winning/providing high tech components to F1 is a probable, but secondary bonus.

    Whereas the likes of Infiniti, and Lotus (when they were actually a sponsor to Team Enstone), are doing it for car sales first and fore most as team sponsors, and don’t provide any technical support to their respective teams.

    If Renault are sharing all their 2014 engine details with RedBull and working really close with them, almost in a works team sort of relationship, then they will get more credit for any RedBull success I would think. Right now they are just providing what is essentially an evenly matched spec-block that happens to be bolted to the back of the Champions!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:20

      No, Renault is definitely in F1 because they need the shine of F1 for otherwise not all that exiting cars.

      And given that the Infiniti branding was a deal made up by Renault AND Nissan CEO Goshn means that there is no such thing as Infiniti deciding on its own F1 strategy (Infiniti being a sub brand of NISSAN, which is 50% owned by Renault)

  20. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 8th March 2013, 5:50

    Interesting COTD. What I find amazing is how quickly the F1 world has changed from “free-to-air is our business model” to disappearing behind an increasingly expensive (and widespread – it’s not just the UK) paywall. I still remember Martin Whitmarsh’s et al. being fobbed off by vague (and untrue) suggestions that at least the non-live would be broadcast in full on the BBC.

    At the time, and also now with Marussia, I feel the teams should have united to negotiate with Bernie, instead of being picked off one by one. And when I read John Booth’s comment

    It’s vital for Bernie because he won’t be able to film us without it.

    I’m thinking: oh dear. It’s not wise to call Bernie’s bluff on this one. Just look at Bahrain 2012, when Force India was all but completely left out of the coverage, and that was merely on a spiteful whim. Not showing any Marussias all weekend would simply be business.

    • Salcrich said on 8th March 2013, 8:28

      The level of coverage of Sports varies eachntime a contract is up for renewal on the BBC, football in particular has moved around. F1 has been shown on ITV, BBC and now Sky as the lead channel. The reality is that F1 is really not that important to the majority of licence payers it is not therefore surprising that in a difficult economic climate it is not seen as THE major priority. I don’t buy the Cameron / Sky conspiracy theory its a an easy answer but f1 broadcasting still hasn’t achieved mainstream despite what we think – F1fanatics like us are still seen as a bit odd as in – ” which team do you support? – you are interested in f1″ – cue glazed eyes.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 8th March 2013, 9:17

        I support that comment. Personally I dislike the BBC more than Sky, at least with Sky you have a choice as to whether or not you subscribe to any particular package, the BBC forces you to pay regardless of what you actually watch. I don’t understand why people consider the BBC to be free when they are forced to pay it just for the privilege of owning and using a TV. Sky will be under commercial pressure to provide good F1 coverage at the best value to viewers possible so that it can make a return on its fees – F1 Fanatics are unlikely to be numerous enough to fund this alone.

        I can also understand Salcrich’s point about other viewers, because some of the content on BBC makes my blood boil when I think that I’m paying for it. Quite frankly things like the news on BBC has become so like tabloid news over the last 5-10 years that it is no better quality than other news options (and it constantly includes adverts for BBC output disguised as news articles).

        I’d sooner let Sky and other broadcasters buy the rights to what they value and then sell them on to those that want them, rather than being mugged for £150 per year and having no say in what I’m supplied with.

        And if you don’t like the corporation that is Sky, is the corporation that brought us Jimmy Saville, funding him and covering up at taxpayers’ expense, a better one?

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th March 2013, 10:59


          the BBC forces you to pay regardless of what you actually watch.

          Correction – HMRC forces you to pay a TV license fee, the majority of which is used to fund the BBC as a public broadcaster.

          The BBC pushes their own content (just like ITV, C4, Five and Sky do) but their charter says they must remain as un-biased as reasonably possible. By comparison, all of the funded networks tend to introduce political bias based on the whims of the shareholders.

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 8th March 2013, 12:34

            @optimaximal although I guess it’s a moot point, but I don’t believe it has anything to do with HMRC (indeed I understand that technically it doesn’t count as a tax, although in practical terms it’s no different). The BBC collects the licence fee, the “TV Licencing” brand is owned and operated by the BBC.

            C4 also has a public service remit and is not owned by private shareholders, but is self funded so those two things are not directly connected although the BBC would like you to believe that they are for its own benefit. Some reporting is now also clearly influenced by editorial bias which isn’t really any different from shareholder influence.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th March 2013, 15:41

      @adrianmorse, another sad but true observation of F1, of which there are far too many things wrong.

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