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Renault terminate Red Bull Contract end of Next Season

by 14/09/2017 19:41:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Renault told Red Bull they want to terminate contract from end of next season
  • Decision casts doubt on the future of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo
  • Renault will enter into a new affiliation with McLaren for future seasons

By Jonathan McEvoy for the Daily Mail

Published: 03:19 EDT, 14 September 2017 | Updated: 19:41 EDT, 14 September 2017

Red Bull are facing up to the prospect of losing both their star drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, after Renault told the team they will not supply them with engines beyond next season.

Renault's unexpected decision – revealed by MailOnline yesterday – also raises the possibility of Red Bull's Austrian billionaire owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, growing so tired of a barren run that he could even decide to pull out of Formula One.

Losing Renault is a blow to Red Bull pride, not least given how they were tipped to push Mercedes close this season. Instead, they have managed just one victory, in Azerbaijan, and are a distant third in the pecking order, with Ferrari proving to be Mercedes' nearest rivals. 

Red Bull have been told by Renault they want to terminate their contract with them
Red Bull have been told by Renault they want to terminate their contract with them

Red Bull have been told by Renault they want to terminate their contract with them

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo arrives at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore

The decision could have implications for Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) and Max Verstappen
The decision could have implications for Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) and Max Verstappen

The decision could have implications for Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) and Max Verstappen

Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix
Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix

Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix

F1 TEAMS' SUPPLIERS

Team in bold  

Ferrari - Ferrari

Force India - Mercedes

Haas - Ferrari

McLaren - Honda

Mercedes - Mercedes

Red Bull - Renault

Renault - Renault

Sauber - Ferrari

Toro Rosso - Renault

Williams - Mercedes 

The unspectacular form of the Milton Keynes-based team, which won eight constructors' and drivers' titles between 2009 and 2013, had already prompted both Verstappen and Ricciardo to question whether enough progress was being made to sate their competitive appetites.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, had always insisted that Verstappen would stay put until the end of 2019. But with Renault intending to move out, Verstappen could be tempted to press an escape clause to leave when the French manufacturers do.

'I'll want to see what happens at the beginning of 2018,' said Verstappen yesterday. Ricciardo is a free agent from the end of the same year. 

Red Bull's ready-made replacement as engine suppliers are Honda. The Japanese company are splitting from McLaren, whose new relationship with Renault from next season will be announced today, ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. 

Worryingly for Horner, Honda, who will power Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso next season, have shown few encouraging signs during their last three years in Formula One.

That would appear to explain why Verstappen declined Sportsmail's offer of a £1,000 bet on whether he would remain at Red Bull into the final year of his contract or beyond it. The Dutchman said he would be seeking assurances from the Red Bull hierarchy right up to Mateschitz.

At 19, Verstappen has carved a reputation as one of the supreme talents of his time and is likely to attract interest from Mercedes and Ferrari, or even McLaren if they are revitalised with Renault. The same could equally be said of the more mature driving of the 28-year-old Ricciardo.

At 19, Verstappen has carved a reputation as one of the supreme talents of his time and is likely to attract interest from Mercedes and Ferrari as could the more mature driver Ricciardo
At 19, Verstappen has carved a reputation as one of the supreme talents of his time and is likely to attract interest from Mercedes and Ferrari as could the more mature driver Ricciardo

At 19, Verstappen has carved a reputation as one of the supreme talents of his time and is likely to attract interest from Mercedes and Ferrari as could the more mature driver Ricciardo

Indeed, Horner has described the pair, with some justification, as the best driver line-up on the grid.

Fernando Alonso, another performer of the first rank, was due to announce after qualifying tomorrow that he would be staying at the new Renault-powered McLaren team, but sources indicated there has been a delay.

Alonso stonewalled questions about his future yesterday. But the truth is that he has agreed a one-year deal worth about £20million to stay at McLaren. 

Fernando Alonso has also agreed a one-year deal worth about £20million to stay at McLare
Fernando Alonso has also agreed a one-year deal worth about £20million to stay at McLare

Fernando Alonso has also agreed a one-year deal worth about £20million to stay at McLare

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