Exclusive: Red Bull ditch Renault to use their own F1 V6 turbo engines from June onward

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit

Grand Prix 247 can reveal exclusively that Red Bull Racing are soon to announce to the Formula 1 world that they have committed to building their very own V6 turbo engine, which will make it’s debut at the Austrian Grand Prix in June.

The directive, to build their own power unit, has reportedly come from Red Bull’s billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz in the wake of his team’s countless problems during testing at Jerez and Bahrain.

Earlier this year Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo suffered with the problematic all new Renault V6 turbo power unit – the catalyst being front page images of Vettel pushing his car up the pitlane, whereupon Mateschitz made the decision to break away from the engine supplier which helped the fizzy drinks team to eight world titles in four years.

Renault powered teams were plagued with problems during preseason testing

Renault powered teams were plagued with problems during preseason testing

The new power unit, said to be based on the Cosworth engine which was built and ready to run but no customers wanting to buy it. As result the project was shelved until Red Bull came knocking. After a short period of negotiations a deal was struck and the entire Cosworth F1 turbo project was airlifted to Milton Keynes and Cosworth agreeing to a no disclosure clause in the lock, stock and barrel buy out.

Since late February, when the deal was struck, Red Bull engineers in conjunction with Infiniti [Nissan] engineers have secretly put the final touches to the power unit which has been designated ‘Red Bull Wings DM-1′ – DM initials in honour of Dietrich Mateschitz.

A source close to the project revealed, “Red Bull have toyed with the idea of their own engine for some time now, even before the Renault crisis – where they were made to look like fools – and in the end was the catalyst for the decision to launch the project.”

Diterich Mateschitz with Christian Horner

Diterich Mateschitz with Christian Horner

“The emphasis is to create a power unit around the aggressive packaging of the original [Adrian] Newey designed Red Bull RB10, which has been compromised by the cooling requirements of the Renault PU.”

“When the boss [Mateschitz] set the goal of the engine making it’s debut at the Austrian Grand Prix, at the Red Bull Ring it was suggested this would be a tad ambitious. But he insisted telling us that his dream was to have a Red Bull car, with a Red Bull engine racing at the Red Bull Ring and simply said make it happen – money is not an issue,” divulged the source who opted not to be named.

Ominously for rivals the engine has been bench tested relentlessly, and subjected to intense Le Mans 24 Hours style evaluations which Nissan [Infiniti owners] are very familiar with.

Furthermore the new Wings DM-1 unit is reportedly flirting with four figure horsepower figures at full capacity, and is said to weigh “substantially less” than rival power units, with a “hugely effective and revolutionary” Energy Recovery System (ERS).

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit is of a blue hue as part of the brand

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit is of a blue hue as part of the brand

Hence the insistance that the power unit be bolted on to the Red Bull RB10s sooner than later, as engineers are confident that the unit will be plug-and-play thanks to the challenges endured and experience gained during preseason testing

When asked recently by APA what the power unit options are for the world champion team, Matechitz replied, “Probably just to make an engine ourselves.”

The project has been kept secret from all but the key personnel at Red Bull, and Infiniti who have sponsored the team for some years. The Nissan owned brand have long lamented not having a technical role in Formula 1 with the world champions and seized the opportunity to be part of the project.

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit

Red Bull Wings DM-1 power unit

The Wings DM-1 engine features Red Bull badging, with the following specifications:

  • Displacement: 1.6l
  • Rev limit: 15,000 rpm
  • Pressure charging: Single turbocharger unlimited boost
  • Fuel flow limit: 100 kg/h (-40%)
  • Permitted Fuel quantity per race: 100 kg
  • Configuration: 90° V6
  • Number of cylinders: 6
  • Bore Max: 80mm
  • Stroke: 53mm
  • Crank height: 90mm
  • Number of valves: 4 per cylinder, 24
  • Exhausts: Single central exhaust outlet from turbine
  • Fuel: Direct fuel injection

In typical Red Bull fashion the attention to detail has prevailed throughout the project, and the exercise has evolved into a marketing opportunity which will be maximised by the team. An example is the fact that the metal and alloys used to build the engine will be of a blue hue, in keeping with the brand.

Sebastian Vettel leads Daniel Ricciardo during the Malaysian GP

Sebastian Vettel leads Daniel Ricciardo during the Malaysian GP

Ironically the Renault powererd Red Bull performed well above expectations in Australia and Malaysia, where Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in second, but was disqualified for a fuel flow issue hours later.

More recently Vettel scored third place in Malaysia and the Red Bull’s are best of the Renault brigade, in fact next best to the works Mercedes outfit. Truth is that the pace of the RB10 was not as woeful as many predicted it would be.

Although it appears that the project is now beyond the point of no return as the team’s F1 advisor Helmut Marko told media immediately after Sepang, “Yes, [with a better engine] we would be at the top again. But right now with a deficit of around 80 horse power that’s simply not possible.”

red-bull-turbo4Our source confirmed, “It is too little too late, and it would be foolish to turn back now that the DM-1 project is so advanced, furthermore second best is not where the Red Bull big boss [Mateschitz] wants to be.”

This development effectively marginalises Renault who will still be paid by Red Bull as per contract, but does little to bolster the image of the French manufacturer who suffered bad publicity during the preseason. Renault have yet to respond or comment to this news, as they too are probably unaware of the Wings DM-1 PU project.

Thus the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix on 8 June will be the final race of the Red Bull Renault era, and two weeks later starts the Red Bull Wings DM-1 era for the team.

Together Red Bull and Renault won four F1 Constructors’ titles, four F1 Drivers’ titles, scored 47 victories, 57 pole positions and 41 fastest laps. (GP247)

Note: This was an April Fool’s story!