Skip to main content

Red Bull’s Renault engine frustration fuels Audi F1 rumors

Red Bull Racing RB11
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Red Bull Racing, in its current form, has been around since 2005 and has spent almost half the time since then winning championships. After four consecutive years of victory, the sport’s regulation change from V8 engines to turbo V6 powerplants last year seemed to have been too big a shake up for Red Bull to maintain the winning balance it had achieved.

After failing to defend its title and performing even worse in the current season, Red Bull is ready to pack up its garage and call it quits unless help from an unlikely source comes into play.

Speaking to the BBC, former race car driver and current adviser to Red Bull Helmut Marko stated that the team is frustrated with the lack of reliability from the Renault-provided engines since last year’s regulation change. We’re about halfway through the current season, and driver Daniel Riccciardo has already gone through four engines — the maximum number a driver is allowed to use in one season.

“If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” said Marko, which is an interesting thing to say for several reasons.

Red Bull Racing RB11
Image used with permission by copyright holder

First off, Red Bull is contractually obliged to participate in Formula 1 until 2020, so taking its ball and going home isn’t that easy of an option. Red Bull’s deal with Renault concludes in 2016, however, so the team is free to court other suppliers, but why say Audi?

At the moment, the Volkswagen group is going through a strange power shift as VW group chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned after a move to oust Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn backfired. Piëch long opposed any involvement in Formula 1, but with him gone, VW-owned Audi now has an avenue opened to them.

Again, why Audi specifically? Why not another Volkswagen family company like Lamborghini or Bugatti? Well, despite having Audi boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich straight up denying the brand will enter Formula 1 in 2016, it hasn’t done much to quell the still churning rumor mill.

Red Bull Racing RB11
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is mostly backed by hints that point to Audi’s departure from the World Endurance Championships, a sport the team has dominated for almost 20 years. With Porsche’s return to endurance racing, another Volkswagen-owned brand, Audi may pass the baton to them, seeking out fresher challenges.

Nobody, save for the key players in the sport’s ongoing dramas, knows for sure whats going on, but all it took was one Red Bull adviser’s frustrated outburst to add fuel to already sparked rumors. Until we get any official statements, we’ll see how Red Bull endures the second half of the season and continue connecting the pins on our motorsport conspiracy theory wall charts.

Editors' Recommendations

Alexander Kalogianni
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex K is an automotive writer based in New York. When not at his keyboard or behind the wheel of a car, Alex spends a lot of…
The 6 best remote car starters in 2024
Best car remote starters

While some modern vehicles come standard with remote start features, it's still relatively uncommon. That's a shame because if you live somewhere where cold weather, snow, and ice are frequent concerns, a remote car starter is one of the best auto accessories you can have. If you're not familiar with them, a remote car starter works similarly to a key fob, except it will actually start your car from a distance instead of just unlocking the doors or trunk. That means you can start your car from the warm comfort of your home or office before venturing out. If you live somewhere hot, you can even start your car and let the AC run for a little bit. You'll never enter a freezing cold or scorching hot vehicle again.

The best remote car starters have long ranges, replaceable batteries, and other handy features — but how do you know which is best for you? We’ve compiled a list of the best car starters in a range of prices and features. Keep in mind that while you can install some yourself, some will require a professional.
The best remote car starters in 2024

Read more
The best portable jump starters for cars in 2024
The Clore Jump-N-Carry JNC660 portable jump starter connected to a truck battery.

Any time you hit the road, whether you're taking a short or long trip, it's a good idea to have backups handy. A spare or backup tire, some anti-freeze, windshield wash fluid, a road hazard kit, and, last but not least, one of the best portable tire inflators and a portable jump starter. You never know when cold weather, inadvertently leaving the dome light on, or plain old Father Time can curse you with a dead battery. Ensure you have one of the best portable jump starters that can save you in a jam, kickstarting your car even when there isn't anyone around to jump the battery. Naturally, that's why we’ve rounded up what we feel are the best portable jump starters for 2024.
The best portable jump starters in 2024

Buy the if you want the best portable jump starter overall.
Buy the if you want the best portable jump starter runner-up.
Buy the if you want the best portable jump starter and tire inflator combo.
Buy the if you want another name-brand option.
Buy the if you want the best portable jump starter for cheap.

Read more
The 6 best car GPS trackers in 2024
For the ultimate peace of mind, equip your car with a GPS tracker
GPS Tracker for your car

Whether you’re concerned about your vehicle being stolen or just want to keep tabs on a teen driver, you’ve probably considered installing one of the many car GPS trackers. The high price for LoJack or other subscription-based tracker services may have kept you from pulling the trigger, but these days, a highly-rated device is much more affordable. They do come standard in some modern vehicles, but not all, and sometimes cost extra to have installed even by the manufacturer. There's no denying that they are useful. So, if you want to treat yourself to some peace of mind -- whether your vehicle is parked right outside or thousands of miles away -- it might be time to think about installing one of the best GPS trackers for your car.

 
The best car GPS trackers in 2024

Read more