Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has warned Red Bull the French manufacturer wants a decision taken over next year’s power unit supply by May.
The contract between Red Bull and Renault is due to expire at the end of the season, and the latter is understood to have informed Christian Horner that it doesn’t intend to continue supplying his team in 2019. With Toro Rosso partnering with Honda this year, Red Bull’s most likely future is with the Japanese manufacturer but Horner claims “all things are open for 2019” and that an extension with Renault is “absolutely” a possibility.
“Yeah but we are not going to hang around forever!” Abiteboul said in response to Horner’s comments. “I know what Christian is referring to when he says that he has options. He’s right, he’s absolutely right.
“Like him I know and read contracts and obligations that we have to help the sport, not to help Red Bull Racing, but there is one thing that is clear, that’s planning. There will be a deadline for Red Bull Racing to define what they want for the future.”
Asked about that deadline, Abiteboul highlighted the May 15 cut-off for intention to supply that is written in the FIA’s sporting regulations.
“I believe it’s the end of May there needs to be some clarity as to who is supplying which team – which supplier is supplying which customer team. As far as I’m concerned that will be our deadline.
“I guess that will be the baseline for any discussion. Then when you [have spoken to] teams there is obviously a number of specific services that you want to have. Do they want to have their own petroleum companies? Do they want to have some specific dyno tests? And so on and so forth.
“So the fact that we have that framework in the regs will not prevent any more specific, bespoke services or commercial discussions between auto companies.”