LONDON (Reuters) – Renault will meet their obligations under the rules if Red Bull ask for an engine supply after Honda leave Formula One at the end of 2021, the French team’s boss Cyril Abiteboul said on Friday.
Honda announced their departure earlier, leaving Red Bull Racing and sister team AlphaTauri seeking a new power unit supply for 2022.
The sporting regulations state that “each manufacturer must, if called upon to do so by the FIA, supply at least three teams.”
Mercedes are due to supply four teams next year, with Ferrari powering three, Honda two and Renault only their own factory outfit.
“We know the regulations and we would comply with the regulations,” Abiteboul told Reuters.
He said Red Bull, who won four drivers’ and constructors’ titles in a row with Renault engines between 2010-13, had yet to make a request and there was plenty of time for any discussions.
The rules provide a window from May next year for the engine manufacturers to notify the governing FIA which teams they intend to supply.
“I guess that it is only at this point in time that will be discussed if Red Bull fail to find a solution, which I really hope will not be the situation,” said Abiteboul.
“When you participate in a sport you need to accept the obligations that are associated. As far as we are concerned, it’s part of the sporting regulations and we would comply to this obligation.”
Renault and Red Bull fell out over the engine’s poor performance in the V6 turbo era that started in 2014 to such an extent that they used the French manufacturer’s power units under Tag Heuer branding.
Red Bull switched to Honda in 2019, winning races with the Japanese company. This season Red Bull and AlphaTauri have had grand prix victories.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)