Red Bull have engine deal for 2016

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Red Bull Racing’s team boss, Christian Horner, says the team will be in the 2016 Formula One World Championship as they have a deal struck for an engine supplier. While not revealing who that deal is with, most of the speculation is that it will be with Renault for a white-label engine in which Red Bull may brand.

The lack of naming the engine supplier is said to be tied to Renault’s coming announcement of their takeover of Lotus F1. Horner said:

“We’re announcing different partners – and we’ve some great partners to be announced in the week ahead – so yes we’ll be there unless something extremely untoward happens,”

The challenge is the development of the engine and many believe that the team will be allowed, through this arrangement of a white-label power unit, to hire the likes of Mario Illien to help progress their engine throughout the year.

As it is, the team will be on the back foot as it is late in the day to start trying to develop a competitive white-label engine for the first race in Australia in 2016.

Regardless, if the team is master of their own destiny and not beholden to Renault for their development path, perhaps running off the podium or mid-field will be easier to take and provide fewer targets for their outrage should they prove to have a lack of performance.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT and Sky Sport F1

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Paul KieferJr

So, why this “white label” business? I’m wondering if it’s simply Red Bull trying to save face for the blunders they’ve made with regards to negotiating engine contacts.

John The Race Fan

Since Red Bull is partnered with Infiniti, I’d think they want to brand the engine to reflect that partnership.

But would that not also open the door to other sponsorship/partnership opportunities to replace Infiniti? Depending on the wording of the deal, RBR could potentially have the ability to change the branding nearly at will, providing anyone with the money to partner with the team to provide engines, if in name only.

Paul KieferJr

1. Infiniti is a subsidiary of Renault (or so I hear).
2. That could happen. I would not be surprised if RBR decided to replace the engine manufacturer with their own.

Fred Talmadge

They are also hooked up with MB in the USA and Mexico so they could brand them MB if MB would actually want that.

Tom Firth

Renault Group (Renault, Dacia & Renault-Samsung Motors) have a 43.4% stake in the Nissan Motor Company (Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun) whilst in return, Nissan Motor Company have a 15% stake in Group Renault. Both have a 50% share in the Renault-Nissan BV Alliance board. Additionally as Fred mentions, Daimler has a 3.1% stake in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, for both companies which form it, in exchange for Group Renault and the Nissan Motor Company having a 1.5% stake in Daimler. The reason for it is effectively to secure the powertrain development and platform sharing agreement the Alliance has with Daimler. Furthermore Nissan-Renault… Read more »

MIE

So a Red Bull Lada racing in 2016?

Tom Firth

Heh, that would be interesting in terms of changing brand perceptions now wouldn’t it? The slight issue of the other owner being Russian State but Putin likes F1.

Andreas Möller

Infiniti is the luxury car arm (the “Lexus”, if you will) of Nissan. Nissan, in turn, is in alliance with Renault. So there’s a relation there, but Renault is more Infiniti’s uncle than parent.

The Sarcastic SOB

RB should just get on with it – buy Cosworth and spend some of that money!

Achim

Horner said it an interview that the new engine deal will annoy Ron Dennis. I’m just wondering, since the sponsor went from McLaren to Red Bull, if they name the engine “Tag-Heuer”

Andreas Möller

It has been suggested that the white label would allow RBR to develop the engine more freely, but I don’t know how that’d work, seeing as the regulations clearly state there can only be one spec of a certain manufacturer’s engine in play, and the IP of said engine is quite closely scrutinized. Christian Horner (I believe) mentioned that the engine deal they have in place will be closer to what they originally wanted to do, suggesting that Renault might have bitten the bullet and adopted some of Mario Illien’s concepts. Still, that bit of the engine would have to… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Are Toro Rosso included in the white label engine deal?
I wonder how much RBR will have to tip into the engine development to turn the Renault package into a true Mercedes competitor? And will they get there before Rnault themselves?

Tom Firth

Most hints seem to point towards Toro Rosso having Ferrari power in 2016, but with a 2015 spec unit? Nothing confirmed though

jakobusvdl

Thanks Tom, would that be the ‘red label’ unit?