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Red Bull set for Infiniti-branded engines in 2016

  • Published on 12 Nov 2015 11:45
  • comments 2
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Pending a green light from owner Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull will stay in formula one with Renault engines next year. That is the claim of Germany's Sport Bild, and if true it will mean the end of the engine supply crisis that threatened to push the energy drink stable off the grid.

One by one, alternative plans to run Mercedes, Ferrari and even Honda power next year were ruled out, meaning efforts were re-focused on finding a solution involving Red Bull's existing partner Renault. However, the French carmaker is reportedly poised to announce its Lotus buyout and return to full works team status later this month in Abu Dhabi.

So the Red Bull solution, according to Sport Bild correspondents Ralf Bach and Bianca Garloff, will probably involve the Renault 'power units' being re-branded as Infiniti in 2016. And that may just be a one-year, stop-gap solution, before the FIA's plan to introduce a parallel engine formula based on Indycar's twin-turbo V6 and involving an independent supplier hits the paddock.

Some have suggested the affordable 'client engine' idea is simply a complex political ploy by Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone. But Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Der Spiegel that he had a "very long and constructive discussion" with the FIA president in Mexico and "he (Todt) has promised us" that the parallel engine regulations will be introduced.

Marko said that Red Bull will accept one more year in the F1 midfield as the team takes a "longer term perspective" of the unfolding situation. All that is missing now is for Mateschitz to rubber-stamp the Infiniti-branded Renault deal for 2016, which he is expected to do before November 20. Toro Rosso, meanwhile, appears set to switch to 2015-specification Ferrari power.

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner said recently he is confident Mateschitz wants to stay in F1. "He recognises the commitment and the skill and determination of the team," he said. "He wants to find a solution going forward, he is committed to helping that and behind the scenes is involved in numerous discussions to try and facilitate that," Horner added. (GMM)

Replies (2)

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  • I sort of wondered why they didnt go for this option in the first place, as it feels like a very logical solution. They've always been displaying Infiniti logos everywhere on their car anyway, and are even called called "Infiniti Red Bull Racing", so it just makes sense in so many ways. Although one could speculate that since Infiniti is a Renault-Nissan brand, they'd not want anything to do with Red Bull. In any case, this could mean that rookie team Toro Rosso will outpace Red Bull next year, as TR's 2015 spec Ferrari PU will likely be slightly or moderately better than Renault's/Infiniti's 2016 spec PU.

    • + 0
    • Nov 12 2015 - 11:58
    • khasmir

      Posts: 893

      It's probably the only remaining option to solve this PU debacle. Even a Renault PU is better than no PU ;)

      • + 0
      • Nov 12 2015 - 18:13

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