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.


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

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.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Icthyes, Les and Preekel!

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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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    What is COTD ?

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th March 2013, 6:40

    This sounds like Renault are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. They gave up on having a works team to become an engine supplier. Now that they’re an engine supplier, they’re complaining that they’re not getting the level of attention that other manufacturer teams are. They should either commit the money to being a fully-fledged works team again, or bite the bullet and save money at the cost of getting less attention. They can’t have it both ways.

  7. andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th March 2013, 6:54

    Some comments regarding the Renault story: this is actually great news. Formula 1 needs more engine manufacturers to participate as constructors: the likes of Honda, Toyota, BMW (and perhap Renault) have all withdrawn from the sport due to the economic crisis. So any of those teams to return would be very welcome!

    From a historic point of view: until say 1960, most of the constructors in F1 (and GP racing before that) were the engine manufacturers themselves (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes), which changed when notably the British started realizing that they could beat them with good engineering. For decades, the engines were supplied by the likes of Coventry Climax and Cosworth. The number of engine manufacturers as constructors was at its peak right before the start of the crisis, but before then many engine manufacturers simply decided to supply their engines to privateer teams. If they would do a great job in building that engine, more customers would buy that engine and the manufacturer made more profit – simple as that.

    Today however things are way more complicated: of course engine suppliers have (since around 1965) always tried to promote themselves the best way they can, but this really started to take on a life of its own since 2000. Every engine supplier (bar Cosworth) has had their own team, as they found it necessary to promote their road cars by owning a team. And who could blame them: the engine manufacturers don’t get a lot of attention when the cars win, but get negative publicity when the engine keeps breaking down. Still, strange that they could cope with it pre-2000.

    Renault has been flirting with the idea of returning as a constructor for a year now. I can see them taking over Caterham for the 2014 season, with team pricipal Cyril Abiteboul, Charles Pic/Total and last week former Renault head of aerodynamics moving to Caterham. But more notably their coorperation with Renault for the Alpine project is a major clue. Also, I was quite confused when I read this sentence:

    The rule change will make it more a championship of the engine suppliers than in recent times; that will be key for our return

    Return? Hmmm.. It would be great if Renault would decide to return as a constructor, because at the moment there is a serious lack of them. It would be even better if this would spark the return of other engine suppliers/constructors like Honda, or perhaps Porsche or Volkswagen (though I’m not sure how likely the latter two are). Bring on the ‘engine championship’!

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th March 2013, 6:55

      O dear, this wasn’t supposed to be an essay..

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th March 2013, 8:45

      @andae23 – Reading the article, the problem is that Renault want more credit for their role within teams like Red Bull and Lotus, but at the same time, they don’t want to increase their commitment to the sport.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 8th March 2013, 8:57

        @prisoner-monkeys – What Renault want is simply impossible. Now with the Infiniti title sponsorship, Renault are getting even less public recognition, so the only way I see for Renault is either to just go with the current situation (which they are unhappy with), or return as a constructor.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 8th March 2013, 9:24

      Every engine supplier (bar Cosworth) has had their own team

      Cosworth was the team engine for the works Jaguar team at which point it was owned by Ford so whilst the engine supplier didn’t have its own team, the team had its own engine supplier. I don’t think it’s all that different to Mercedes engines built by Ilmor is it? (except that Ilmor has now been rebranded as Mercedes).

  8. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:22

    Reuters have a nice interview with Williams’ Mike Coughlan up. Seems he is not a racing enthusiast (not anymore?).

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:38

    Funny article with Tilke – him being the one is more about Bernie choosing him by default than being the “god of track design”.
    And this even had me chuckle

    Thailand is the centre for the auto industry in this region and auto companies will benefit by testing their products here,” he said.

    – I don’t know what region he is speaking about here, but I doubt many people would see any part of Thailand as a centre for automobile in SE Asia. Please anyone from the region correct me if I am wrong!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th March 2013, 8:50

      @bascb – The article is clearly trying to excite people about having a circuit in the region; people, it must be said, who may not have that much knowledege of Formula 1. They’re trying to hype the idea up, especially since it has recently been announced that a bespoke circuit will be built outside Bangkok, and while it’s not intended to rival the expected circuit in the capital, the owners are trying to get in early and sell the idea.

    • thatscienceguy said on 8th March 2013, 8:53

      I believe a number of manufacturers have factories in Thailand building for Asia-Pacific. Honda certainly do, i’m pretty sure other manufacturers do too. They’re just assembly plants though.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 7:43

    I love this quote from Booth in the Marussia article:

    “No [it’s not vital for Marussia ahead of Australia],” he added. “It’s vital for Bernie because he won’t be able to film us without it.”

    Just imagine the strange shots at the grid – suddenly it turns black when the Marussias would be shown at the back? Off course them being lapped would be a bit harder to blend out, but we did see that FOM are good at not showing a certain team at all if they want in Bahrain last year, when FI’s presence was completely ignored :-)

  11. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 8th March 2013, 8:25

    out of 126 years of car racing, only 1 competitive team, in its current 32 year old incarnation, has granted equal status to its drivers in only 6 non-consecutive years (1988, 1989, 2007, 2010-12), resulting in 2 driver’s titles only when they were effectively the only cars in contention (1988, 1989).

    team orders have always been a part of motor racing (or any other team sport), always will be, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.

  12. Eastman (@eastman) said on 8th March 2013, 8:38

    Pretty fun news about F1 on NBC Sports. The schedule being released does assuage a lot of my initial fears and makes the season feel like it is finally here. We even get a free practice 1 session in Australia in glorious HD to enjoy. I’m not a massive Leigh Diffey fan, but the team should work well. I wonder where they’ll be broadcasting from now as clearly they’ll stick to a stateside studio to call the races still. No news about streaming though so losing access to P1 and P3 is a shame even if Speed’s streaming wasn’t always the smoothest.

    Couple other oddities in the NBC schedule. I assume they are just typos.
    Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN (re-airs at 1 p.m.)
    Belgian Grand Prix at Francorchamps, 7:30 p.m. NBCSN (re-airs at midnight)
    They must have meant 7:30 am. Having no races on tape-delay is a massive victory in itself I think.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 8th March 2013, 11:48

      @eastman sure, but seeing as NBC SN is premium package cable television and speed was mid level package that most people had, I find it somewhat troubling that FOM went that route. If NBC can broadcast the olympics at any hour, surely Sunday early morning when nothing special is being shown isn’t too much to ask for. Fox/Speed had the best formula, the races closer to the U.S. or in the U.S. were on Fox and the rest were on speed. But just like ALMS which does ABC tape-delay races and then live races on ESPN3 (internet based channel that you must go through television provider to watch). I just think FOM should follow other motorsports and allow being broadcast in more viable channels instead of making people go out and get premium package and pay 20-30 dollars more to watch races. Sadly I will probably on get to see 5 races.

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2013, 8:57

    Some good news from New Jersey (I guess Sandy put their activities a bit on the backfoot), I hope they really bring this event to us, even if it needs more than 20 races (how to fit that into my life).

  14. If they want recognition, they should probably stop badging their world championship winning engine as an Infiniti.

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th March 2013, 9:36

    I’m sorry but what is Renault wanting? They’ve built the best engine in F1, and as result their brand has been associated with the rise of Vettel and Red Bull. What more is there? Their own aftershave range, like Ferrari?

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