After two very poor years for Red Bull’s standards, it seems Red Bull and Renault will be splitting up at the end of the season.
Despite winning four drivers’ and four constructors’ championships between 2010 and 2013 (and it may well have been five if not for Brawn GP in 2009), Renault have struggled since 2014 and the introduction of new power units.
Red Bull and Renault still picked up three wins in 2014. In 2015, though, it seems Renault went a step backwards. Yet to record a win this season, Red Bull have rarely found themselves in the mix this season.
In fact, they’ve only been on the podium twice: Hungary, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, and Singapore, with the Australian driver taking second place.
So what next for Red Bull and Toro Rosso?
It seems likely that they will not be powered by Renault next year, and increasingly likely that Ferrari will give the Milton Keynes outfit power units.
Red Bull, understandably, want engine parity with Ferrari. They want to have the same level as performance as the works team.
After all, Red Bull have gone from the party team of F1 to a winning team, and they want to continue winning.
If Red Bull were to withdraw from F1, the sport would lose two teams: Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Four drivers would be without a drive: Ricciardo and Kvyat as well as the two highly-rated Toro Rosso drivers, Verstappen and Sainz.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Red Bull and Toro Rosso employ lots of people behind-the-scenes, who could all potentially lose their jobs. Some may get snapped up by other teams, but some may not.
And there will be no more hugely successful, and ruthless, Red Bull young driver programme. The same programme that brought through four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, as well as the four drivers mentioned already.
In terms of teams, it would leave Formula One with 18 cars as a maximum. When the issue of cost-cutting is still a huge topic in the sport, there are a number of questions about the finances of a number of teams.
F1 cannot afford to lose more teams. In 2012, there were 24 cars on the grid. Next year, it could have been reduced by 25% since then if Red Bull pull out.
Red Bull hold the key to F1’s future, and Ferrari must give them what they want, for the sake and future of the sport.