Red Bull not ruling out building own engine

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2014In the round-up: Red Bull are considering alternative engine suppliers – including potentially themselves.


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

Red Bull could make own engine (Sky)

“Pressed whether that meant a bespoke ‘Red Bull engine’, Marko replied: ‘You should never say no. We are looking at all alternatives.'”

F1 moves to avoid ugly noses in 2015 (Autosport)

“The remaining length of the nose going back towards the chassis must have a tapering cross section, so that the nose cannot suddenly slim or use concave shapes to reduce its aerodynamic blockage.”

Another failure and Nico’s lead might be too big (Lewis Hamilton)

“In hindsight, when we first hit the problem with the failure in the kinetic energy recovery system, I could have let Nico pull away, then I’d have had clean air, and I wouldn’t have had such a hot car, and maybe the brakes wouldn’t have overheated when I did my pit stop. So perhaps, with that in mind, strategy will change this weekend if we have another marginal situation reliability-wise, although I’m not expecting one.”

Formula One enters Red Bull’s playground (The Telegraph)

Gerhard Berger: “The biggest thing I’m missing is the personalities of the drivers. They are great personalities but through big companies coming into the sport with big budgets it’s not so easy to say what you think. You have to take care about images, you have to take care about rules. And that’s quite different to my time. In my time, we could really say things even if we upset the whole paddock.”

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: ‘Don’t worry about me guys!’ (F1)

“[The Red Bull Ring is] a sophisticated track, even though it’s not a very long track. It doesn’t have so many corners, but those that are there are really exciting. And with the up-and-down layout it is clear that you need quite some speed. But once you are up on the Remus corner the view is pretty different to every other track – green, green, green.”

Wolff sells part of his stake in Williams F1 (Reuters)

“Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff has sold a five percent stake in the Williams Formula One team to American healthcare executive Brad Hollinger, the Austrian said on Friday.”

Austrian Grand Prix: Mercedes Favourites For One-Two Finish (Unibet)

My Austrian Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Few could find anything positive to say about the latest F1 brainwave to introduce standing starts after Safety Car periods:

It seems to me that the F1 bosses are desperate trying to show us they’re working hard to ‘save’ the sport. But because they have no idea how to fix the things that really needs fixing (or cannot agree about the fix needed), they come up with solutions for things no-one has complained about.

I think the rolling restarts are quite exciting, even if there’s not much overtaking. Just scrap the unnecessary rule requiring lapped drivers to pass the Safety Car.
Ole (@Oskaalb)

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On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel claimed his first dry-weather win with an emphatic victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone five years ago today.

It was a one-two for Red Bull with Mark Webber in second place.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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58 comments on Red Bull not ruling out building own engine

  1. Giggsy11 (@giggsy11) said on 21st June 2014, 0:12

    I for one would be very surprised if Red Bull made their own engine, I would be more interested however if they could pull a new manufacturer into the mix (just like Mclaren/Honda). Everyone knows they need their own powertrain in order to be the first priority team and its looking less likely that Renault will prioritise them as long as the Enstone team are around.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 21st June 2014, 6:42

      Nope, won’t happen, “it’s just a threat to Renault to get them to up their game” like @calum said. Vettel has used the most new parts of any driver on the grid because Renault is using the Red Bull as a testing unit. Red Bull already moved on to 2015 (because if they continue this way, they are going to have a lot (!) of grid penalities this year) and they are working hard with Renault to get an engine as good as the Merc’s one next year.

  2. Calum (@calum) said on 21st June 2014, 0:15

    Even though Mclaren (Automotive) road cars have ‘Mclaren’ engines, built with the help of companies like Ricardo, Mclaren (F1 Team) rule out making their own engines. Instead, they valued a factory partnership with a big car manufacturer – Honda – as more important.

    Therefore I don’t see RedBull becoming a chassis and engine manufacturer constructor like Ferrari or Mercedes any time soon. I think it’s just a threat to Renault to get them to up their game.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 21st June 2014, 0:32

      Was there some talk of VW?

      • timi (@timi) said on 21st June 2014, 2:08

        VW is one of the usual suspects when new engine manufacturers are mentioned, but I can’t see them entering F1 especially with Audi and Porsche in Le Mans.

      • The Fat Hippo said on 21st June 2014, 4:30

        VW is not possible. They would break their own Corporate Compliance rules if they entered F1 as long as Ecclestone is part of F1.

    • Kelsier (@kelsier) said on 21st June 2014, 0:59

      It might be that McLaren could not afford it and needs the sponsoring of Honda whereas Redbull are prepared to pay for it.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2014, 2:02

        I don’t see Red Bull building ‘their own’ engines unless they buy out an existing company with a good history of diverse racing engines, much like Mercedes actually. Which is possible I suppose, but that level of commitment to their future in F1 seems unlikely. And whereas Mercedes need to have the engines they use badged as their own to avoid looking a bit silly, Red Bull don’t need that. So what benefit would they really get from making their own (either as a start-up or newly taken over business) or re-badging a contracted company’s products?

        • Diego (@ironcito) said on 21st June 2014, 5:53

          I’m not saying that they will, but isn’t the advantage of building their own engine obvious? They would have complete control over engine development, tighter integration between engine and chassis, and they wouldn’t depend on others. Whether it makes sense economically is a different matter, but technically it does.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2014, 11:23

            Being able to better integrate the engine would be useful. But that’s something they could almost equally achieve if they sign an exclusive arrangement with any existing engine manufacturer, as they could make more demands than they currently can with Renault (that is why Honda returning exclusively with McLaren is an exciting prospect).

          • Diego (@ironcito) said on 21st June 2014, 22:59

            An exclusive arrangement isn’t likely to last more than one or two years, and it still wouldn’t be the same as having in-house development.

  3. Tyler (@tdog) said on 21st June 2014, 0:18

    It’s funny, I think the noses of a lot of the cars look fine – Williams, Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber, McLaren all look fine. I also don’t mind the variety in an era where the cars increasingly look the same. Yet according to the Autosport article, the new regulations are likely to encourage the teams to adopt a Ferrari style nose, which apart from the Caterham is (to my eye) the ugliest of them all.

  4. Nick (@npf1) said on 21st June 2014, 0:28

    The joys of being an F1 fan. Last time F1 went to Austria, people were complaining the sport was being driven into the ground (grooved tyres, Ferrari dominance, tyre rules in general, costs) and drivers (Schumacher, Hakkinen, DC) lacked personality..

    • Julien (@jlracing) said on 21st June 2014, 9:40

      Haha you’ve said it all. Back then we had traction control, refuelling and on some tracks like Spain or Hungary almost no overtaking. Now we don’t have TC and refuelling, cars can overtake at every track and people are still unhappy with F1. Although it has to be said. The element of pushing throughout the race and every fault could be race ending is gone nowadays..

    • Andrei (@crandreico) said on 21st June 2014, 10:40

      And people also said the track was rubbish. Now is state of the art and a “classic”.

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 0:33

    2017, Haas Chevrolet versus RBR Cadillac and STR Buick ?

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 21st June 2014, 0:49

      @hohum don’t forget about the Force India Tata and the Lotus Lada ;)

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 1:06

        @dragoll, never say never, but I was alluding to a single new engine built or financed by a major manufacturer but promoting 3 brands to maximise the publicity value, I think the scenario is realistic, always assuming F1 has some credibility left by then.

    • Calum (@calum) said on 21st June 2014, 2:36

      We’ve see teams sometimes change their sponsor logos to suit regional variations of the sponsors – eg. Mclaren’s Vodafone was swapped with ‘Verizon’ at Canada and USA, and ‘ZAIN’ in Bahrain in the past. Imagine a team did that with it’s engines:

      RedBull-Opel at the German GP
      RedBull-Vauxhall at the British GP
      RedBull-Buick at the US GP

  6. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st June 2014, 0:53

    “No penalties for Kobayashi, Magnussen or Hulkenberg for crossing the pit entry line.” Why would there be? Aren’t the drivers only required to pass inside of a cone placed in front of pit entry, and can otherwise ignore the pit entry line? I thought the rule was only about pit exit?

    • PeterG said on 21st June 2014, 3:06

      @mike-dee At some circuits drivers are told not to cross the pit entry line, Its usually done at circuits like this & Brazil where the racing line crosses the pit entry line.

      Drivers are told to stay inside the white lines in order to ensure drivers behind know there entering the pits.

      Alonso got a fine & reprimand at Valencia in 2008 for crossing the white line at pit entry.

      And Massa got that penalty at Brazil last year for crossing a part of the pit entry line.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st June 2014, 11:15

        In Brazil, it is the other way round though – you are not allowed to cross the lines if you want to continue your lap. In Austria, it seems to be that you can’t cross the line if you want to go into the pits.

  7. Mark in Florida said on 21st June 2014, 1:27

    Redbull is just making noise. It would take to long at this point to design a competitive engine and we all know that Redbull is impatient to win. They are in between a rock and a hard place right now. Changing motors would necessitate a car redesign and handling changes to boot.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 3:54

      Mark, a car redesign would not be necessary due to the very strict ICE format laid down by the FIA, but there would be opportunities for minor packaging improvements by following the MB lead.

  8. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 21st June 2014, 1:30

    I would love to see RB building their own engine

  9. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 21st June 2014, 2:03

    I could perhaps see Red Bull doing an Ilmor/Mercedes type deal with a company like Cosworth. The infrastructure is there to a degree and they could certainly afford it.

  10. juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 21st June 2014, 2:28

    Re the sparkler: Rosberg mentioned that he was suffering from excessive car bouncing on the straights – wasn’t he trying out a super-duper not-another-sad-f1-gimmick sparkler on his Merc?

  11. Catered Ham said on 21st June 2014, 3:00

    More realistically, I hope McLaren starts making energy drinks…

  12. VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 21st June 2014, 3:04

    I would be very surprised to see Red Bull building their own engine under their own name, however I wouldn’t be surprised to see them develop an engine with another manufacturer – particularly, Infiniti. Think about it from the point of view of Infiniti – they’re already making merry with the Red Bull association with things like their FX Sebastian Vettel Special Edition – and what a masterstroke it would be from a marketing point of view to say “look at these engines that we build for F1 – and now we’re putting them in your road car.” It would really fit with their performance/luxury car type thing that they do.

    You may say Infiniti don’t have any racing experience, which is true as far as I know – however, they are a luxury division of Nissan, who certainly do. If they were really smart, they could co-develop the engine with the one that will be going in the Nissan LMP1 car that they’re developing for next year’s World Endurance Championship. We already have a Naturally Aspirated V8 Petrol (Toyota), Turbo V4 (Porsche) and Turbo Diesel V6 (Audi), all hybrids, so a V6 Turbo Hybrid could work too. Obviously the demands of the WEC and F1 are quite different so the engines would end up with a lot of differences too, however there’s certainly technology that could be shared – particularly in the hybrid systems.

    • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 21st June 2014, 3:26

      Infinity is really Nissan, just as Lexus is really Toyota. Nissan re badges some of their cars as Infinity because people will pay more for the ‘luxury’ brand associated with a Nissan. A G34 is really a Skyline in Japan, and Nissan sells the Skyline.

      The only reason Infinity exists is because people will pay more thinking they are getting a higher quality car.

    • Mr. T (@mr-t) said on 21st June 2014, 3:40

      This is an interesting idea vmaxmuffin – I was over at Le Mans last week and Nissan said several times that their LMP1 entry for 2015 would be following a completely different philosophy to Toyota, Audi and Porsche. Makes their car launch later this year even more interesting!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 4:04

      @vmaxmuffin, Renault, Nissan/Infinity are so inter-invested as to be virtually the same company so it wouldn’t really be a change, but maybe they could pull a swifty and introduce a thoroughly developed and improved Renault engine as a “new” Infiniti engine and beat the development freeze.

      • VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 21st June 2014, 4:17

        @hohum That’s a good point, I didn’t realise that but you’re completely correct. I was wondering if any other manufacturers might do a similar thing, for example if the Mercedes engine was bad they could say, “oh we’re switching to a new engine built by AMG” and somehow make that ‘different’. Or Ferrari could switch to Fiat engines next year :P.

        • kpcart said on 21st June 2014, 4:20

          Ferrari need the ferrari name. If merc failed this year it would be more likely they pulled out of f1 completely.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 5:50

          Or the “Smart” engine for MB-AMG. Wouldn’t a Smartcar with an F1 engine shoe-horned in be a barrel of laughs.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2014, 11:27

          To be pedantic (I get your point though), i think AMG is already used as the engine brand.

      • kpcart said on 21st June 2014, 4:19

        If they did that, i think they would rather call the engine nissan- for better worldwide recognition. I would like to see this for next year.

      • David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 21st June 2014, 7:39

        @hohum And the year after that a Nissan Engine, followed by a Datsun engine, then Renault, then Infiniti……..

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 21st June 2014, 6:57

      @vmaxmuffin is all over it! I’m calling RBR developing Nissan based engines. Renault who claimed they’d be top dogs in the engine department have let the teams down. With the freeze on, it may just be a better option for grounds on a new clause similar to what Homda have in order or develop something new.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2014, 11:30

        As Renault and Nissan are linked, I imagine that Nissan would farm out development of a highly technical racing engine to a company within the family with recent experience of similar engines…

    • Jaanus (@) said on 21st June 2014, 7:33

      Yeah, but isn’t Infiniti (read Nissan) tightly linked with Renault still? Through this Renault-Nissan Alliance thingy.
      I think this “screw you guys at Renault”-thing would not work that way.

  13. frogster said on 21st June 2014, 8:25

    Redbull only ever gave lip service (and that was mostly begrudgingly) to Renault during their championship winning years. If I was an engine manufacturer I’d be a little reluctant to get into bed with a team that treated their engine partner with such distain.

    The only option for Redbull is maybe to build their own engines. However that would mean they would have no one to blame if they failed.

    • Fumbles (@) said on 21st June 2014, 10:15

      Renault should just say two words to them: “Tough luck”

      I don’t remember McLaren whinging about Mercedes/Ilmor very much in 2004/2005 when there were failures galore. I remember it being very much “win together, lose together”, which is a phrase I recall hearing Red Bull and Vettel using last year. This year there’s been too much whinging, showing that the “lip service”, as you call it, was meaningless and for the sponsors. Red Bull should just accept that this year’s package is probably not going to win them the championship, and that actually sometimes happens. Have some grace in “defeat”, a.k.a. a very strong second place currently!

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2014, 11:32

      “I’d be a little reluctant to get into bed with a team that treated their engine partner with such distain”

      That makes a lot of sense, but they probably get more marketing use out of powering the winning team than hassle from Red Bull in the press.

  14. pH (@ph) said on 21st June 2014, 8:59

    quote: “Formula 1 chiefs move to avoid ugly noses in 2015″
    quote: “teams will most likely opt for a solution similar to the current Ferrari.”
    This about says it all about F1’s ability to “fix” problems.

    • I’d rather like it if they went for Red Bull their solution and mask it.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st June 2014, 14:30

      So all the teams will have similar noses and therefor aerodynamics to Ferrari, and then add a couple more standing starts each race so Fernando can make up a couple of places each start, and Ferrari International Assistance has come to the rescue at last.

  15. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 21st June 2014, 9:48

    Ferrari noses for all, standing restarts, fuel-flow idiocy, artificial spark plates, double points, cheese tires, DRS, etc. etc. etc…

    I’m finally at the point where I want to walk away from F1. I just can’t. It’s part of me, and has been so for a quarter-century. It’ll probably take another few years to give up, but this just makes being interested physically discomforting.

    There has to be SOME means for us fans to get the point across, even the diehards like me who want to leave but have long accepted the needle in their arm…

    Simple(r) solutions?
    -Twin-chassis designs like the Lotus 88, and bring back ground effects while limiting wings.
    -Budget cap and near-equal prize money (say 15:10 between first and last in the WCC).
    -1.5L any configuration, hybrid or not, turbocharged, supercharged, turbine for all I care engine formula.
    -100kg fuel limit (but force the teams to completely fill the tanks before the race).
    -Set ballast to weight of car + driver.
    -Better streaming and non-paywalled viewing options.
    -Cheaper ticket prices.
    -More time for fans to meet the drivers, (re: less PR, more autograph sessions).
    -No half-points races unless the race is actually halted at the proper time to award them.
    -End all gimmickry.

    Will any of this happen in time to save the sport? Do I even need to ask?

  16. Andreas said on 21st June 2014, 12:19

    As has already been mentioned, going to a new engine manufacturer (be it RBR themselves, Infiniti or someone else not currently in F1) could give them the ability to run a split turbo engine despite the engine development freeze. Whether or not a new manufacturer can get power units ready for 2015 is a completely different matter, though. And the cost would be huge – mind you, Red Bull is one of the teams that doesn’t seem to want any sort of cost cap, so let the speculations begin :-D

    If the “prettier noses” regulation tweaks move the teams in the Ferrari direction, exactly what has been achieved? As they stand now, the Red Bull solution is excellent, the Caterham downright ugly and the Toro Rosso a bit over the top. But for the most part, I’ve gotten used to the looks. The Ferrari, though, I just can’t seem to get adjusted to… Every time I see it, my initial reaction is to wonder if the front section has collapsed somehow :-)

    • Andreas said on 21st June 2014, 12:34

      Oops. I meant 2016 for a potential Red Bull engine/power unit. A bit quick on the keyboard there… :-)

  17. Peter said on 21st June 2014, 14:03

    The most workable way if Redbull do this is to buy Cosworth, then they half way there & sure Newey would relish doing the “full” package!

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