Friday, 9 October 2015

Red Bull, Renault set for dramatic U-turn?

Just weeks after announcing a split with engine supplier Renault, Red Bull are said to be in talks with the French manufacturer to continue their partnership next season.

Red Bull, who's main team has ran Renault engines since 2007, confirmed the split last month after a tough two years following the introduction of the new V6 hybrid turbo power plants prior to last season.

The energy drink team's second team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, have also been running Renault engines since 2014 after previously using Ferrari and Cosworth units.

Red Bull had been in talks with Ferrari to secure a 2016 power supply for their two teams after both Honda and Mercedes declined to agree to a partnership.

Red Bull were holding out for parity with the Ferrari factory team, something the Italian manufacturer was apparently unwilling to guarantee. Now, Ferrari is said to have withdrawn from a verbal agreement between the two parties - agreeing to only supply Toro Rosso instead of both of Red Bull's teams, leaving them in a race against time to secure an engine supply for the 2016 season.

With all other options seemingly exhausted, Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo believes that sticking with Renault would be an avenue to go down if they can improve their performance.

"They [Renault] can prepare something better than we've had this year and it gives us a chance to fight further up the grid, then yeah, it's one of our better options for now," said the Australian. We can't rule out anything, but we do want something competitive. Just to run around and make up numbers is not what we're about, and as a driver I'm not really interested in that."

However, Renault themselves believe that continuing the partnership which has produced 50 wins as well as four drivers and constructors titles will not be easy.

"When you see the way we have been treated, it's going to be a very difficult sell to my board and to my executive management to do something else to what is currently planned," said Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport. "What matters is the intention of Red Bull and Renault, and this is what needs to be looked at."

Renault has been openly criticised by Red Bull over the last two years, despite their successful past, and although Red Bull have insisted the partnership - which still has a contracted year remaining - is over, Abiteboul has stated that Renault had never "never made any formal comments" with regards too next year, seemingly leaving the door open for the two sides to continue together next year.

Image: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

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