Renault promises Red Bull engine equality in 2016

Renault has promised to supply Red Bull with the exact same Formula 1 engines its works team uses in 2016.

Red Bull will continue to use the French power unit this year - albeit re-badged as TAG Heuer - after failing to secure a deal with a different manufacturer, having made it clear it did not want to stay with Renault during the past season.

Speaking during the launch event of its motorsports programme in Paris on Wednesday, Renault's managing director Cyril Abiteboul said the current rules meant the Milton Keynes team had to have the same engines used by the French squad.

"Exactly the same. Actually we have an obligation from the regulations to supply exactly the same equipment," said Abiteboul.

"But there will not be any form of branding or marketing association for obvious reasons," he added.

"In terms of continuity – there will be the same faces you have seen last year, there will be the same faces in the Red Bull garage. They will be dressed different but the faces will be the same."

Abiteboul said Red Bull will also get the same upgrades as Renault.

"You always need to manage the pool of engines, and maybe we are out of sync with what we are doing for the Renault team and what we are doing for the Red Bull team because of the introduction of the engine," he said.

"But the philosophy of Renault and the obligation from the regulation perspective is to have exactly one technical specification. If we have upgrades they will have upgrades too.

"The works team is Renault, obviously, so we will design and specific the engine for the Renault team and they will have exactly the same."

Longer deal not ruled out

Although the current deal with Red Bull is for one year, Abiteboul admitted he is not ruling out extending it beyond 2016 if the team is interested.

"We have announced a one-year contract, but it may go further. We have always said that we would continue to supply Red Bull or anyone else, if this is in our strategic interest to do so.

"It is in our strategic interest to do so this year, if it continues next year why not?"

He also suggested Renault could supply to more teams in the future if there is a desire for it.

"If we have good technology then I am sure teams will be interested by what we have to offer," the Frenchman added. "Like when we had the V8 that was extremely successful, everyone wanted to have Renault engine.

"It seems it is very different, I am sure if we can catch up it will be the same again because we are extremely loyal in the way we deal with customer teams.

"This is a fact if we have a factory team or not. We will always be loyal to the customer teams and independent teams."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team , Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news