Rumours that Red Bull and Renault are definitely splitting is no surprise to Gerhard Berger. It is believed Red Bull has now triggered the end of the agreement with a full year still to run, citing a clause that Renault must supply state-of-the-art technology.
Reports suggest Renault has now verbally accepted the end-of-season split. Indeed, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said Red Bull is so determined to take a new direction that it is prepared to forego the EUR 88 million brought by Renault-linked sponsors Infiniti and Total.
"I can understand that Red Bull is very unhappy about the last two years," Berger, famously close to Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz, told Austrian Servus TV. "In its development, Renault has gone more backwards than forwards and Red Bull has seen that the train has departed."
The big rumour now is that, with Mercedes reportedly ruling out working with Red Bull, the next best option for the energy drink-owned stable is a deal with Ferrari. "With its place in F1, Red Bull is configured only to win, but today that is possible only with the Mercedes engine," said Igor Ermilin, a top Russian motor racing official.
"Ferrari is close to that top level now, and there is a chance that they will catch up completely," he told Izvestia news agency. "The only other option is Honda, but when and how they will be in a position to go for championships again is a big question. So I think Red Bull's first priority for talks was with Mercedes, then with Ferrari and finally Honda," Ermilin added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing