Red Bull appears set to stay in formula one with Renault power in 2016. Earlier, the energy drink company risked dropping off the grid amid its crumbling relationship with the French carmaker and failed negotiations to secure an alternate deal.
"Quite a few engine suppliers said no, which is a shame," Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo was quoted as saying on Friday by Speed Week. "But I can understand their reasoning: we have a pretty good chassis so they're probably a little scared of us."
It has been an uncertain and speculation-filled period for the energy drink-owned outfit, but it appears now that Red Bull is staying with Renault - to run unbranded or perhaps Infiniti-labelled power units - while Toro Rosso moves on to Ferrari. "Both teams will be there next year," confirmed Dr Helmut Marko. "Exactly how it will look, I can't talk about at the moment so I ask for your patience."
It appears that both deals will be for one year only, as Red Bull is keen to leave the grip of the car manufacturers and link up with the sport's new independent supplier from 2017. Reportedly to be paid EUR 30 million next year, Renault seems happy to keep working with Red Bull.
"For me it has always been clear that we do not want to burn bridges," Renault Sport F1's Cyril Abiteboul is quoted as saying. "It is no secret that we want to catch up, and I think you can always do better with two teams rather than one," he added, undoubtedly referring to Red Bull and also Renault's own plans to buy Lotus and run it as a works outfit.
As for when the news will be made official, Ricciardo suggested it is coming soon. "Basically, Dr Marko has confirmed that we will be on the grid next year, so I'll have a job which is good news. I guess around Abu Dhabi time we will have something to announce. I can't promise anything, but in the coming week, we should know more," he added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing