Renault boss Carlos Tavares has admitted the firm does not get enough recognition for its Formula 1 world championship success – but says the firm itself is at least partly to blame. Renault has powered Red Bull and Sebastien Vettel to all three of their world championships in the past three years.
“We are frustrated by the lack of recognition we get for beating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes,” said Tavares. “It is true that I think we deserve better.”
“But part of that problem at least must lie with our global marketing team. It is clear that we must create a bigger buzz around what we do. We are world champions, we are able to sell our engines to the teams because of that, but we do not get enough recognition beyond that.”
Tavares cited the shift to V6 1.6-litre turbocharged engines in 2014 as a key moment in which Renault must capitalise on its recent success. “The rule change will make it more a championship of the engine suppliers than in recent times; that will be key for our return,” he said.
He also admitted that alliance partner Infiniti’s branding deal with Red Bull lessened Renault’s benefit from powering the team to success, but intimated that closer ties with existing partners Williams, Lotus and Caterham could be used to get more publicity.
“The relationship with all our teams is warm, emotional even,” said Tavares. “Frank Williams himself is highly respected within Renault, not just for the championships and races we have won in the past together, but also for his humility and personality.”
“Lotus we have historic ties with, through the Enstone operation, while Caterham is our joint venture partner on the Alpine sports car project. All three of these teams have a specific link back to Renault, and that counts. Perhaps one day we can reach the same point with Red Bull.”