Tuesday or Wednesday have been tipped as the most likely days for Renault to announce its decision to stay in formula one next year and beyond. That is the claim of Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper, reporting that after four meetings between Group Renault marketing chief Jerome Stoll and Bernie Ecclestone in Abu Dhabi, a positive outcome was finally reached.
The report said: "Ecclestone agreed to make special payments to the French, although not quite as high as had been requested. We have learned that Renault can live with the compromise, which must still be approved by (CEO) Carlos Ghosn." The deal between Ecclestone and Renault will not only show the green light to the Lotus buyout, but also the 2016 engine deal for Red Bull, including the involvement of Ilmor chief Mario Illien.
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko confirms: "It looks good that the agreement that we have, with whoever it is, can be announced during the (current) week." He also said the former quadruple world champions have hope that "We can be somewhat competitive and take another step closer" to the front of the grid in 2016. Lead driver Daniel Ricciardo is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport: "It is good news that it (the engine question) is finally resolved."
As for the likely competitiveness of next year's engine, following the disappointments of the past two years, the Australian added: "I'm sure the (Red Bull) team knows what it's doing. I think if they had the feeling that it would be another season like this, they would not have decided to keep going." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing