Mateschitz: Our problems are not with the team, but with the Renault engine

Dietrich Mateschitz with Christian Horner  at Jerez

Dietrich Mateschitz with Christian Horner at Jerez

Red Bull F1 Team Owner Dietrich Mateschitz is keeping his calm, despite a nightmarish opening test of 2014 for the reigning World Champions. He has denied that any  ‘brain drain’ from the team is the cause of the problems, but reckons rather that they are a Renault related issue.

While key Mercedes and Ferrari-powered rivals got up to speed at Jerez with their radical new V6, turbo and energy-recovery-powered cars, Red Bull struggled to run the RB10 with Renault issues and chassis cooling problems, ultimately collecting a meagre tally of barely 20 laps for the entire four-day test.

Energy drink magnate and Austrian billionaire Mateschitz, however, sounded calm as he spoke to the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

“These were the more-or-less expected teething problems with a new engine, which was being tested for the first time on a track,” he said.

Daniel Ricciardo did not do many laps at Jerez

Daniel Ricciardo did not do many laps at Jerez

Red Bull and Renault now have two weeks to solve the issues before the next test, in Bahrain, but Mateschitz said that it is already clear that the RB10 is a good car.

“Yes, it is very positive,” he said, “because it is more than just ‘state of the art’ again, as can be seen in the details.

“The moment of truth will come at the first race in Melbourne,” Mateschitz insisted.

He denied that recent high-profile staff departures, like that of aerodynamics chief Peter Prodromou’s switch to McLaren, have contributed to the problem.

“Our current problems are not with the team,” he said, “but in the engine area. The team has more than excellent know-how.”

Sebastian Vettel flew home early with only 11 laps completed in two days

Sebastian Vettel flew home early with only 11 laps completed in two days

Mateschitz admitted, however, that Mercedes and Ferrari will be powerful rivals in 2014, after four consecutive seasons of Renault-powered Red Bull dominance.

“Ferrari has made enormous efforts during the winter,” he said, “and Mercedes seems to have done a very good job with the motor.

“But Renault is coming again, the only question is when.”

Mateschitz seemed to acknowledge, therefore, that Red Bull’s current deficit could still be an issue when the Formula 1 circus travels to Melbourne in March.

“A deficit at the beginning of the season does not automatically mean that the World Title is lost,” he said. “Even if you come from behind, you still have a chance.” (GMM)

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Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • o’ferrari

    Vettel and rosberg know all about coming from behind. …

    Oh, geez. Sorry. I just had to.

  • LIO

    I can’t wait to see red bull to “come from behind” LOL
    The tide has turned !!!

  • Anna

    Only four days into the season and the tide has turned? I hardly think so. To make a statement like that is just silly. Hopefully it will be a very competitive season with different teams winning races and not a dominance by Red Bull… for the fans sake.

  • sebolonso

    Pattern is quite logical after first test session. Now I understand why Kimi choose # 1 seat at Ferrari.

  • RedBull is full of Bull

    Sounds to me like RedBull is full of Bull. They had worse problems than any of the Renault powered cars including their own other team.

    Then there was the fire and over heating issues that only RedBull had.

    So the problems go a lot farther then just the Renault Power Unit. They also go to the design of the current RedBull car.

    To bad RedBull has to deflect all the blame onto others. I guess Vettels attitude mirrors the teams. Nothing is there fault is it always someone else’s fault. I will enjoy watching RedBull struggle this season and Redbull pouring million upon millions of dollars into their car to try and fix it. I would not be surprised if RedBull spends 400 millions dollars this season.

  • StevetheGreat

    It’s obvious to anyone who follows F1 that Renault are problematic for all thier teams. But hey, you RBR haters go ahead and play make believe! I’m just glad Williams switched suppliers!!!

  • Martin

    Seems like a classic case of passing the grenade backwards and forwards, wonder who’s hands it’s going to explode in ! Clearly there are problems with the PU but with RB’s ongoing history of KERS issues as a result of the packaging suggest they don’t know how to package electronics properly so I recon it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. I just hope Renault get their end sorted before Lotus and Caterham go under. I see RB having a season of reliability problems all season regardless, which would suit me fine, I can’t stand the team….

  • RBC


    It’s obvious the Red Bull caught on fire multiple times which none of the other Renault powered cars did. You idiot.

  • stoner

    Vettel loves the wang

  • o’ferrari


    Hahahahahahahah yes!!!!

  • Serpo

    One word KARMA

  • Stroke the fury wall

    Never go full retard

  • farizY

    Nah..this has nothing to do with karma, radical regulation change is to do just this,stop total domination. I guess we will see a new team dominates for the coming years. Unless everyone got it right, we won’t have nothing but total dominance from one team,this is F1afterall where money and the pace of development with regards to the regulations conquer all.

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Bull crap. Its neweys packaging desing. But when newey does something amazing they credit vettel not newey and when he does something wrong they blame renault. Wow! Looks like their reign is over. Thank the Lord!

  • Brave_Heart

    Hope they can sort that motor out quickly

    Also compact packaging might not help newey this time, also I heard the motor is a bit heavier then competitors

    Lets see whats waiting for us in melbourne

  • Tamburello_1994

    I’m predicting when RB gets the car sorted the meme will change back to they are “somehow cheating” (again).

  • RBC


    There was no Meme. There was actual evidence of cheating. There were cases put in front of the FIA. There was video evidence. There were actions taken against Red Bull by the FIA for cheating being putting stickers on the car to stop them adjusting their illegal ride height adjuster.

    Red Bull used lawyers to come up with excuses as to why they didn’t know they were cheating, and got away with it.

    Perhaps you can look on the web for these FACTS and get over the lie that Red Bull don’t cheat.

  • Serpo

    If it’s on the net it must be true….

    Never go full retard

  • Kenny

    Typical Redbullshit it’s always somebody elses fault, I spent the last few months wondering who they were going to blame when things went wrong now that they no longer have Webber to be the fallguy any more.

  • RBC

    @ Kenny,

    What a classic. Now they will blame Renault.

    Newey takes the credit for the team winning, because he gets $10m a year in salary.

    Vettel takes the credit for the team winning because he holds his finger up like an arrogant s#!t.

    But it is really Mateschitz who sucks up Bernie’s a$$ that causes him to tell the FIA to not catch or punish Red Bull for cheating that really allowed them to win 4 WDC.

    Mateschitz sells sugar and caffein, using extreme sport as the marketing brand, and make people sick in the process.

  • Steve W

    I hope the “blame assessment” meetings between Red Bull and Renault don’t go on for too long… They both have work to do.

    And hey, if ever there was a time to push for double-points in the last three races…

  • Formula Future


    You’re right man.
    Addtionally, to be fair, I think Redbull Racing surely deserved some of its success but no doubt the last 4 years of F1 history has also been written with lies/cheating; money has been the tool to get away without heavy penalties, allowing RBR to win 4 titles in a row.

    Time for a new chapter, it’s also arguably unethical to sell that unhealthy sugar+caffeine chemical cr@p to a generation of youngsters.

  • Karlich

    It’s amazing what people conjure up here.

    First, saying the problem is in “the engine area”, as Mateschitz said, is not the same as pointing fingers at Renault.

    Second, Renault’s Rob White has stated “It is unacceptable that we have not been able to mitigate the problems sufficiently to allow our partners to run at any length.” thus taking a lot of blame themselves.

    Third, I am quite tired of reading about various cheating allegations regarding Red Bull Racing. You people love to reiterate over and over how the Red Bull lot are an amoral bunch of fizzy drink sponsored wannabes. Have a look at Ron Dennis’ track record of keeping his team legal. Paddy Lowe, now at Mercedes, was also involved in the espionage scandal. Ferrari have a long lasting history of cheating and lobbying to their advantage in F1 – ’94 season anyone? Let’s not mention their famous driver positioning antics.

    Unfair advantages created by Mr. Newey? Oh give me a break already! F1 is littered with lore of controversial innovation – McLaren’s MP4-12, Brawn’s double diffuser, again McLaren’s MP4-25 F-duct to name just a few. So Red Bull dominated the past 4 years. Big deal! Some of you may not be happy about it, but that’s not to say that their success was solely based on cheating. Unfair advantages… maybe? But if any are deemed illegal, they would have been punished – as for allegations, they remain no more and no less than that: allegations without proof beyond doubt. If we look towards 2014, McLaren’s “butterfly suspension” looks mighty creative. So does Mercedes’ interpretation of front camera mounts. Ferrari may have found a way to shed weight on the turbo shield. All fine by me, though admittedly I am not a technical expert to judge the legality of any of those. I am just saying, even though I don’t support any of these teams, that if these parts give them an advantage if ruled legal though not “in the spirit of the rules”, so be it. That’s F1.

    I’ve read my share of Adrian Newey related bickering in the past 5 years, and now that Red Bull look to have a problem, I read how he’s created a dud or that he’s an incompetent muppet who cannot read Renault guidelines. Really?

    Last point: Red Bull sponsorship. What’s the problem? A fizzy drink company has no place in F1 you say? And how exactly are they any different than all the petroleum sponsored teams? Or those backed by financial institutions? Or those funded by far-eastern royalty? Some of you may forget the colors many of your favorite teams wore in times where tobacco and alcohol were big in F1. Mateschitz got rich selling drinks. So what? The drinks aren’t healthy you say. So? Oh but it’s unethical because Red Bull itself isn’t a healthy drink you say. Oh please, go preach to someone else. Coca Cola and Pepsi have been doing far worse for a century (the world over), yet I don’t hear so many complaints come Superbowl and other major US events. Further, driving a Ferrari, McLaren road car or Mercedes is a health hazard. Probably more people died doing latter than from drinking Red Bull. Red Bull use (some might say abuse) extreme sports as an effective marketing tool to support their sales? Uhm, yeah, is that wrong? I’d argue that Red Bull and their clever marketing campaigns popularized several fledgling niche sports and allowed them to gain global attention, helping grow whole new sports industries and expose and support hundreds of new sporting talents from all over. I find that a good cause!

    As for Mateschitz himself – the man’s a legend! He’s well in to Formula 1 and anything with wings. So what if a billionaire wants to own a few F1 teams and a F1 race track? Plenty other billionaires own sports teams and venues of some sort.

    Anyhow… enough of that. Here’s to a new season. Here’s to all the teams and drivers. Let’s hope it will be an interesting season with good battles on the track and may the better win – whoever that may be!

  • Tamburello_1994

    Right on Karlich. Strongly seconded.

    If Red bull is guilty of cheating, That would make Jean Todt, ye of Ferrari fame, is a paid stooge whom is willing to look the other way because, What? – D. Mateschitz is “kissing up to Bernie”? Seriously! Or my all-time new fav – “Its on the internet” conspiracy because if it’s on the net, it must be true.

    It’s very clear some here have an agenda to push – And will push that meme out there no matter how silly and or asinine they look doing it.

  • kevinp4966

    I would like to point out that Renault have confirmed that red bull ran the engine on full wick to extract the poerformance that the units claimed to offer. The other have been confirmed to run it at “poor performance levels” to get the test time in for the chassis and still had major problems.

    Source: SKY sports interview with Renault Sport.

    Great job by Ferrari and merc though their units are solid and cars look to work well. With a bit of luck Renault and redbull sort their problems so we can get an idea of where the pace lays between the 4 main contenders. (mclaren, Ferrari, merc and red bull)

  • Red Horizon

    I agree with you about the fact that Ferrari lobbies in his own favor in F1, but it’s not true, my friend, that Ferrari have “a long lasting history of cheating” in F1. Indeed this is definitely a lie. And I also suspect that you’re talking about Benetton, since you’re referring to 1994. No offense but this only shows, without every doubt, your total ignorance of F1.

  • Guest

    Karlich I agree with you about the fact that Ferrari lobbies in his own favor in F1, but it’s not true, my friend, that Ferrari have “a long lasting history of cheating” in F1. Indeed this is definitely a lie. And I also suspect that you’re talking about Benetton, since you’re referring to 1994. No offense but this only shows, without every doubt, your total ignorance of F1.