Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed on Friday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that they now have a power unit agreement in place for the 2016 season.
Horner said “We have an agreement with an engine [supplier] for next year which hopefully will be confirmed in the coming days. It will have a development path, which ironically, in a way, is what we were trying to achieve 12 months ago, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Christian Horner may not have named the manufacture the deal is with but everyone is aware they will once again be using Renault power units. This comes after a very public fall out throughout the season when Red Bull made it clear on several occasions they were not happy with the power units reliability or performance. This lead Red Bull to inform Renault they would be leaving their contract one year ahead of schedule and they would instead look elsewhere for their power units.
Red Bull then went in search of a new power unit, they contacted both Ferrari and Mercedes only for the latter to flat-out refuse a supply to their rivals whilst Ferrari would only supply them with power units built to the same specification as the 2015 Ferrari engine instead of the new improved model Ferrari will use for the coming season. Both of these options were no good for Red bull who were hoping they would be more competitive for the coming season, this left them in a precarious position. Many believed the damage had been done with Renault and the bridges had been burned so there was no way their relationship could be saved which made it look certain the team would instead drop out of Formula One all together. Of course Bernie Ecclestone was not going to allow that to happen so during the Russian Grand Prix race weekend he stepped in and held meetings with various team principles and Renault management to make sure Red Bull did not leave. It is not known what he said or did to turn the situation around but once again the F1 supremo has stepped in and got what he wants.
It remains to be seen how good this Renault power unit will be next year, Daniel Ricciardo used a new improved Renault power unit in Brazil which showed no signs of improvement and he has now gone back to the old specification unit for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
By: Chris Laker
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