Renault have revealed their frustration at the lack of recognition they have received despite playing a role in Red Bull’s recent success as engine suppliers.
Chief operating officer Carlos Taveres spoke about his reservations in an interview with Autocar at the Geneva motorshow.
“We are frustrated by the lack of recognition we get for beating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. 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.”
Despite withdrawing their works team from Formula One at the end of 2010, Renault have continued to supply engines to Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham, and they have met considerable success in the last three seasons with the Milton Keynes-based team. Tavares spoke of Renault’s good working relationship with the teams.
“Frank Williams himself is highly respected within Renault. 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.”
With 2013 marking the end of the V8 era, the next few years will be an important few seasons for Renault. They will be keen on strengthening these partnerships for the introduction of V6 engines next season, but if Lotus or Williams could establish themselves as Red Bull’s nearest challengers this season, it could herald the recognition of Renault as the leading engine supplier in Formula One.
Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”
The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.
“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”
Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.