For the first time, Renault has declared Red Bull as its official 'works team'. Recently, amid a Red Bull-pressured restructuring of the struggling French supplier, Cyril Abiteboul returned from Caterham to head Renault's preparations for a stronger 2015.
He admitted to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that not making Red Bull its clear focus for the new turbo V6 era was a mistake by Renault. "Renault has tried in recent years to treat all four of its customers equally," Abiteboul said. "From the perspective of Caterham, where I worked a year ago, it was nice. But for Red Bull it was counterproductive," he explained.
So Abiteboul declared that, now, Renault's "works team is called Red Bull". He therefore dismissed claims that Red Bull has or intends to take over so much responsibility on the engine side that it is planning for a future with its very own 'power unit'.
"Red Bull is a chassis manufacturer and that's what they want to focus on," said Abiteboul. "Development of an engine is a far too complex task to be established quickly. But it is true that there will be a much closer integration between Red Bull and Renault."
It has been rumoured, for instance, that Red Bull will exclusively take over the entire electronic side of the project, with Renault remaining in charge of the engine. Renault, Total and Red Bull's title sponsor Infiniti are expected to contribute the funding.
Abiteboul replied: "We are in the process of distributing the tasks as efficiently as possible. The question is where Red Bull can help us in the best way. The plan should be decided at the latest by October." (GMM)