Marko: With a better engine we would be at the top, but we have 80 horsepower deficit


Red Bull’s Helmut Marko is continuing to pile pressure on the world champion team’s engine supplier Renault, despite a good showing at Sepang.

Although the total calamity of the winter season was overcome, the always-outspoken Marko insists Renault cannot even take the credit for the resurgence.

He told Formula 1’s official website that when the seriousness of the winter problems became clear, Red Bull “intervened”.

“Together with Toro Rosso and Renault we started a collaboration to move forward,” said Marko.

However, he still claims the only “sick” part of the RB10 package is the engine, insisting that designer Adrian Newey’s 2014 car is better than the dominant Mercedes.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 30 March 2014.

“Yes, [with a better engine] we would be at the top again,” said the blunt Austrian. “But right now with a deficit of around 80 horse power that’s simply not possible.”

Marko hinted that if it was technically possibly to simply dump Renault and switch to a better engine, Red Bull would do it.

“You are bound to what you have,” he said, “as there is no way of saying ‘hey, from tomorrow we will use a Mercedes engine’ – if they would give it to us – because this car is built around the Renault powertrain,” he said.

Marko claimed that Red Bull had to use Renault’s Melbourne-spec software in Malaysia because the Sepang version was “not working”.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Qualifying

But Renault insist that they are now ready to take the next development step for Bahrain.

“The positive is that, unlike Melbourne we don’t go to the next race with a substantial job list of rectifications, rather items that will deliver more power and performance in Bahrain,” said Remi Taffin.

Marko, however, suggested Red Bull is taking the problem of its straight-line speed deficit into its own hands.

“We are trying everything possible to find more speed on the straights without affecting the corners,” he is quoted by German television Sky, “and I have to say that from this point of view we are progressing.”

Marko told Bild newspaper: “We are bringing a few new parts from our factory to Bahrain, and also Renault has yet another update for the engine software.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

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

  • Jerry Holloway

    Maybe they need to get on the phone to Honda…

  • Raja Bomoh Nujum VIP

    marco a a ap apolllloooooooo

  • RetroRaceCars_ninjamonk

    Never going to happen. McLaren will have an exclusive contract for the first couple of years.

  • Robin Ducker

    Anything Marko says needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, however it’s clear that the unit is down on power but I don’t think it’s just the engine. Given their obvious struggle with fuel consumption it’s clear that it’s the ERS side that is a significant part of he problem. It was very noticeable that the fuel consumption graphics favoured Mercedes, so I think it’s fair to assume that they are able to recover more energy, store as much as allowed, and deploy it too when they need the xtra pace. RBR had the worst average consumption figures. If it was simply engine, then RBR would be in trouble given homologation is now set. 80 bhp mentioned is an interesting number, that being 50% of the maximum ERS output and the exact amount that can be harvested over 1 lap. Given their qually performance wet or dry I reckon they have the full 4mj available but cannot deploy it properly because of software issues. Knowing Newey it will be complicated, but when it works I bet we won’t see lurid tail slides from Red Bull at least.

  • haloguy628

    …and if pigs flew…

  • Amos James


  • Will Powers

    RBR-Renault perhaps should have started working on the 2014 package earlier, instead of trying to win the 2013 championship by hundreds of points!

    Maybe then we wouldn’t have a silly double points rule and the RB10 could catch Mercedes without cheating on fuel… We’ll never know.

  • McLarenfan

    So the Marko mouth campaign is off on a roll again the renault may well tell them to get a deal else where next year Cosworth I hear you say.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    «Marko hinted that if it was technically possibly to simply dump Renault and switch to a better engine, Red Bull would do it.»
    Wow, loyalty is not his forte, is it?
    That said, the whole straight line speed thing as evidence of their hp deficit is BS. In recent years, RBR always had of the slowest car in straight line, but more than made up for it in corners, yet no one complained about the Renault engine back then.
    This guy is a piece of work.

  • Krunksoft

    Have they already signed a contract? If the Mercedes power unit works well for them why would they switch? They look pretty good right now. Of course it’s still early but this has to been very encouraging considering what happened last season. Honda needs to prove their PU works as no one wants to wind up like Lotus, so far.

  • RetroRaceCars_ninjamonk

    Yeah its been officially announced that Honda are joining with McLaren and McLaren will be a Honda Works team. Mercedes have their own team now and McLaren have to pay for engines these days. Honda engines will be coming with a large pile of cash and help. Honda have been making V6 Racing engines for years so I expect them to be competitive.

  • Severn

    “Marko hinted that if it was technically possibly to simply dump Renault and switch to a better engine, Red Bull would do it.”

    Except that he didn’t actually “hint” any such thing. This entire article consists of some nameless reporter telling us that Marko said X followed by Marko actually saying Y. In other words, it’s a rather typical piece of F1 quality news coverage. As is the custom in these sorts of pieces, you are never shown the questions the person is responding to.

  • Will Powers

    Agreed. By saying “We are stuck with this lump”, Marko doesn’t imply or hint “we would change engine suppliers if it was possible”. Bit of a stretch, but an entertaining notion nonetheless.

  • jg,gt

    Yet more bullshit and sour grapes from Marko.

  • Krunksoft

    If Renault can’t find another 80hp from it’s PU I wonder if RB will consider switching to Honda or maybe replacing McLaren as a Mercedes customer next season.

  • Ruben blanco

    I understand why they made that show in winter testing.
    They knew the superiority of Mercedes and wanted to extend the engine deadline to catch up Mercedes.
    That didn’t do well so now they’ve bounced back its reliability in 5 days.

  • farizY

    New power unit in the future for RB, maybe? I am sure Renault will sort it out.

  • Dave Bates

    Fuel flow sensor scrapped before Bahrain,

    Considering how much money has been spent changing the face of F1 for 2014, nothing much has changed, ( apart from saving a little fuel, enough to get a few support vehicles back to the Ocean terminal ) I hope that giving the “race pace” back to drivers & teams will lead to a good 2014 season. But. …. FIA ” please don,t cry “! because you still have the 100kg max fuel in place to satisfy your global warming buddies of your serious attempt to ” green it up a little. I applaud Red Bulls stance in questioning the rule makers on this issue of “flow control” I guess it is now up to the FIA to grow some balls & question Global elite bodies on energy & global warming issues. Every man women & their dogs are well aware of the total scam being pulled off in front of our eyes, ” check out the internet” Billions of dollars raked in through carbon taxes. The FIA have been sucked in nicely, this energy saving image will not increase viewing numbers, so give up on changing F1 to suit elitist global warming scammers, & lets get back to the F1 that Joe public likes to see……! Formula E slots nicely into this global warming scam, ” although i do wonder how the batteries are charged up ? fossil fuel maybe ? I say lets use the last few gallons on the planet & use it on the best race ever, go out with a bang & not a wimper, we can use fart gas in the next series, whats the problem ? regards DB.

  • Jerry Holloway

    If you were Mercedes, would you sell your engines to your strongest rivals?