Marko: Renault should prioritize Red Bull over its own F1 team

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Helmut Marko believes that Renault should prioritize its power unit supply of Red Bull over its own team in 2016.

Relations between Red Bull and Renault soured dramatically in 2016 due to the quality of the power unit produced by the French manufacturer.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz threatened to quit F1 on a number of occasions, while team advisor Marko led the barrage against Renault.

After failing to secure an engine supply from Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda or Volkswagen for the new season, Red Bull ultimately struck a deal with Renault to continue using its power units, albeit rebranded as TAG Heuer.

Coinciding with this was Renault’s decision to return to F1 with a works team for 2016, taking over the financially-stricken Lotus operation in December.

Speaking to Austrian publication Salzburg Nachrichten, Marko said that Red Bull is contractually set to receive equal treatment as Renault’s own operation, but believes that it should be put first.

“We are contractually secure and we have the same status,” Marko said.

“When I look at the current Lotus team, if Renault has any sense, they should concentrate on us.

“With that team and those drivers they will achieve virtually nothing at all.”

Renault could be set to change its line-up for the 2016 season, with Kevin Magnussen widely tipped to replace Pastor Maldonado after talks with the Venezuelan driver’s backer, PDVSA, broke down.

Renault will publicly unveil its new team in a press conference on February 3.