Poor Renault. After an abysmal 2015 Formula One season where Renault power units failed all the time, the Red Bull F1 team tried to dump Renault, but couldn’t, ultimately rebranding their engines as Tag Heuers for 2016. Now Red Bull’s mad tight brosephs at Scuderia Toro Rosso want to do the same.
Toro Rosso is switching from the year-old Ferrari power units they ran this year to brand new Renault ones for 2017, and team boss Franz Tost told Gazzetta dello Sport (as translated by WTF1) that he’s looking to call them anything but “Renault:”
We have the possibility to find a title sponsor to rebrand our 2017 engine, as Red Bull did last year. We’re in talks with a sponsor.
2016 was a better year for Red Bull, but it seems as though the Renault name is still about as toxic as a radioactive waste dump—though at least they’re not Honda. Renault’s own works team finished a miserable ninth in the constructor’s standings, three places under power unit grid penalty kings McLaren Honda, and only beating out the perpetually financially embattled teams of Sauber and Manor.
So, I can sort of see why Toro Rosso would rather call their engine anything else, even though Red Bull’s second-place team finish this year would have more than forgiven Renault for 2015. Old grudges die hard, and maybe Red Bull likes the extra cash from bringing on Tag Heuer as the power unit sponsor so much that they told Toro Rosso to follow suit.
I mean, I like money, too. Also, winning. Winning and money are both good things.
Do those two things, Renault, and you might get your name back on your own customer power units.