I was thinking about this earlier; were Red Bull right to switch from Ferrari to Renault engines?
Of course the Renault engine has strengths (driveability, traction) and Ferrari has weaknesses (reliability). But there are decent arguments to say they should have kept with Ferrari.
The one observation I would point to is the performance of the Toro Rosso compared to the Red Bull in 2008. In the second half of the season, when they shared the same chassis (RB4/STR3) but different engines the Toro Rosso was consistently quicker. This, despite having a weaker organisation and being clearly labelled as the ‘B-team’.
Of course Vettel is an excellent driver, but is this enough to explain Toro Rosso outperforming the Red Bull first team?
When Red Bull switched to Renault some people also suggested that Ferrari weren’t supplying exactly the same specification as the factory team. But, given all the complaints we’ve heard this season and last about the relative weakness of the Renault engine, did Red Bull make a mistake in retrospect?
I think they did.
What do you think would happen if they asked for Ferrari engines once again?
I suspect Ferrari would say no.
It’s interesting to think about how things could have worked out differently.
p.s. I used to be ‘Tom Hitchings’. I have decided to change my username.
Ferrari don’t like competitive teams having their engines anyway.
I think it’s easy to say that the Renault is down on power but it can’t be down on much power and last year it was the Toyota which was the worst with power and even that wasn’t be a huge amount.
The other thing is how fuel efficeient Renault is. It means possibly smaller tanks and saving some weight in that area. They won Mal with two long straights and won at Silv. They were still competitive at Canada as well.
Brawn said last year that it was hard as you can’t always just plonk an engine in and have a dream situation so even if RBR switched back (in a dream world) it would be no guarantee.
I’m really sick of the whinging too. Red Bull made their choice, Renault don’t complain half as much and are fighting pretty evenly with Mercedes who have the best engine. There isn’t much in it, the Merc is clearly the best engine but at the end of the day, there still isn’t a lot in it I don’t think.
I like this topic though!
Exactly. Steph is bang on. You weigh up the pros and cons, and you make a choice, simple as that.
I also think its over-simplfying things to say “Mercedes makes the best engine” because, if I remember right, both Rubens and Heikki (who used Mercedes power in 2009) said the Cosworth engine was better in many ways (such as drivability, and giving more power across a wider rev-range).
The better long term decision would have been to become a Mercedes customer.
Switching to the powerful AND reliable Mercedes engine. Then construct a chassis to attempt to blown the field alway, then it would have had wings.
Maybe Red Bull can become a Mercedes partner when the Mclaren deal ends??
It’s hard to say. I know Newey really wanted Renault.
He knew Renault had good customers service and will give equal treatment.
I don’t think the engine is bad at all. It might be the more interesting to have this year!
Red Bull’s decision to stay with Renault was good in my eyes but I think they may pay for that in that next two GP where you need more horse power.I think Ferrari may not allow then to use their engine, Mercedes will.& Renault won’t turn to Cosworth. They are doing well & with Newey they are depending more on corning speed other than straight line speed.
Newey also apparently wanted Renault because it was overall a more compact package and didn’t require as much cooling as the Ferrari unit, enabling him to sculpt the bodywork tighter.
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