Horner: Renault were not ready, they started too late

Christian Horner

Christian Horner

It is no secret that the dip in form afflicting Red Bull this season can be attributed to their Renault built power unit simply not delivering at the level of pace setters Mercedes, which Team Principal Christian Horner puts down to the French manufacturer being unprepared for Formula 1’s new V6 turbo era.

Horner told Sky Sports, “It’s quite simple really: we’ve had a massive engine regulation change and Renault have turned up and they weren’t as ready as some of their competitors were.”

“So we’ve been playing catch-up. They’re working tremendously hard at it and we’re slowly closing that gap down. As you can see we’ve got a very good chassis, I just think that they started too late. It’s as simple as that,” explained the world champion team boss.

Renault were the first to release highly detailed press releases and press photos of their power unit, suggesting at the time (circa June 2013) that they were well on schedule as nothing of the sort was forthcoming from Ferrari or Mercedes.

Red Bull were plagued with problems during preseason testing

Red Bull were plagued with problems during pre-season testing

Thus it came as something of a surprise when in late January, at Jerez, when the Renault brigade (and the world for that matter) realised that they had a dud of an engine on their hands and the beleaguered French manufacturer – the pioneers of turbo technology in Formula 1 – were on the back foot, from where they have been playing catch up ever since.

All indications are that Renault began developing their engine and related gizmos way too late, despite being lobbyists in chief – several years earlier – for the shift from normally aspirated 2.4 litre V8’s to the current 1.6 litre V6 turbo power units.

Asked how this was allowed to happen, Horner replied, “That’s a very good question and perhaps one you should ask Renault because they were the guys who pushed very hard for this regulation change, so one would have thought that they’d have been the most prepared for it.”

The Red Bull team boss pointed out, “The guys [at Renault] are having to recover lost ground and they’ve got a recovery plan, they’re working to that, they’re trying to close that gap.”

“Mercedes, take nothing away from them, they’ve done a fantastic job and turned up with a very strong engine unit this year,” conceded Horner. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

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