Red Bull assured engine equality by Renault

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images). Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says he has had confirmation from Renault that there will be no difference between the engines they supply to their own works team, and those that will be produced for the Milton Keynes based squad next season.

Following a much publicised falling out between the two companies in 2015, when Red Bull felt that Renault were not pulling their weight on the power unit front and made those feelings very clear, they finally put their differences aside to join forces once again in 2016, although this time Red Bull re-branded their engines as TAG Heuer and put their own input into the development.

The deal worked well for Red Bull, who were the most improved team of last year, and were able to garner much bigger gains than the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, when an upgraded engine was brought in at Monaco.

In 2017 however, the French constructor are looking to have made a much bigger step forward, and Horner was keen to ensure that would not be to Red Bull’s detriment, as he explained to recently.

“We have the guarantee of absolute parity – and setting that benchmark is great for them to be able to evaluate themselves against.

“They are in a building process and will have an immediate reference of what their engine is capable of.”

The Englishman also believes that Renault have learnt from their struggles in 2015, and are now much better at their job for it, which could be seen in their progress during the latter half of the 2016 season.

Ahead of 2017 therefore, Horner expects even further improvement, resulting in the French manufacturer possibly producing one of the most competitive engines out there next year.

“I think things have changed internally on the engine side. After the difficulties we had last year, that was actually the catalyst for positive change and that change has happened – and the benefit we are starting to see over the course of this year.

“So long as that continues then hopefully it should put us into an area within the next 12 months of where we were with the V8s – within a couple of percent of the best engine.

“And as far as their own team is concerned, I think we are a great benchmark for them.”