Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko thinks Renault should focus its 2016 efforts on Milton Keynes, saying the French manufacturer “will achieve practically nothing” with its works team this year.
Renault bought a 90% stake in Lotus last December to complete its takeover of the cash-strapped outfit. Viry will also carry on supplying engines to Red Bull - though under TAG Heuer branding - after the four-time world champions failed to secure another power supply.
Although tensions between the two partners have grown in the latest turbo era, Marko feels that Red Bull’s pedigree should entice Renault to support them over its factory team.
“When I look at the ex-Lotus team, which is now the Renault works outfit, then I believe it would be clever for Renault to concentrate on us,” he told German-language publication Motorsport-Magazin.
“With the team they have now, as well as the drivers, the Renault factory team will achieve practically nothing,” Marko added, clearly indicating that he does not hold 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado, nor British rookie Jolyon Palmer in high regard.
Red Bull and Renault won four consecutive Constructors’ championships from 2010-13, with Sebastian Vettel claiming four Drivers’ titles over the same period. However, relations have turned sour since the introduction of the new 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units amidst poor engine performance and reliability.
Renault’s senior management have already said they are expecting 2016 to be a transitional year, with company CEO Carlos Ghosn giving a three-year timeframe before returning to winning ways.