The Red Bull Racing team has renewed their contract with Renault to supply their engines for the next two seasons, whilst sister squad Scuderia Toro Rosso will also return as a customer to the French manufacturer.
After going through a somewhat messy break-up with Renault only last season, when the Milton Keynes based squad felt the French manufacturer were not producing the goods performance wise, Red Bull had threatened to go elsewhere for their power unit. However, after having no luck finding another manufacturer to go into partnership with them, the Austrian owned team had to eat humble pie and persuade Renault to be their engine supplier for 2016, which they duly obliged.
Following a management re-structure at Renault before the start of this season, the performance of the Renault engine has been much improved so far in 2016, allowing the Red Bull Racing team to score a win at the last round in Spain and even challenge the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS squad at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. That has prompted Red Bull chiefs to ensure they can secure the French manufacturer’s assistance again in 2017 and 2018, for not only themselves but Toro Rosso too. The deals for both teams will be set out the same way as is currently the case with Red Bull, whereby they are able to put their own stamp on the engine.
Speaking to motorsport.com, Red Bull Boss Christian Horner, expressed his delight at having completed the deal.
“After the reconstruction that Renault has undertaken, clear progress has been made which has made it logical to continue with the TAG Heuer badged engine.”
Renault Chief Jeremy Stroll also confirmed his approval of the arrangement.
“We are very pleased to partner with two such strong teams as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“Having competitive partners demonstrates the confidence both have in the improved Renault power unit and in our organisation as a whole.”
It is an interesting move for Toro Rosso, who opted to switch from Renault engines to 2015-specification Scuderia Ferrari engines late in the day last year, a move that does not appear to have worked out quite as the Faenza-based team would have liked, as it means they are now unable to receive any engine upgrade during 2016. They will therefore be pleased they can move back to the French manufacturer next year and hopefully remain competitive throughout the season.