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.