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Renault trying to crush Cosworth? Craig Pollock has raised concerns over Renault Sport providing engines for four F1 teams from 2012, with the French company adding that it is open to supplying more in the near future. The CEO of PURE, which will enter the sport as an engine supplier in 2014, is also highly concerned about the future of Cosworth.
At present, Northampton-based Cosworth produces powerplants for Williams, HRT and Virgin Racing, although Williams will be joining Red Bull, Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus as a Renault-powered outfit next year. With this in mind, Pollock admits that worries continue to mount inside Formula 1.
“There is a problem inside the sport and everybody is extremely aware of it,” Pollock told GPUpdate.net on Thursday. “Nobody has got any idea of what is going to happen with Cosworth; nothing is coming out, nobody is talking about it and nobody has really picked up on the fact that the head of their Formula 1 side (Mark Gallagher) has quit the team. It certainly looks from within the sport that the rat is jumping ship.
Pollock went on to express his fears over Renault gaining too much control which risks damaging the sport, should the company suddenly depart.
“I think everybody is very, very worried about that fact and the reason we are worried is that is it the same situation as Honda, Toyota and BMW,” Pollock continued. “They could take a board decision and Renault can withdraw from one minute to the next – it’s a big enough company and that is what they can do.
“So, if they over-supply the sport; one thing is that they have too much power inside the sport and they can start to dictate terms and the second thing is that they are not independent, they are a biased company and they can withdraw. If they withdrew and, let’s say there was only Mercedes and Ferrari supplying engines, then Mercedes and Ferrari are going to be hit within months…bang, they would have to supply three extra teams each and they don’t want to do that.”
The former manager of 1997 Champion Jacques Villeneuve then described how Renault Sport is able to provide for more than the habitual three teams:
“There is a rule that, as a car manufacturer, you can only supply two teams other than your own team, which means three teams. But Renault will be claiming that they are an independent engine supplier. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation; the sport does need engine suppliers and Renault are fulfilling that niche at the moment because they have a current V8 with which they can supply as many teams as they want by simply asking Mecachrome to produce the engines. It can still be under the Renault brand and the teams are going to have to pay what they were paying in the past for a Cosworth engine, but Renault can fill that that gap.
“I’m sure they are in a position where they are trying to corner the market, there’s no question about that.”
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