Red Bull Racing will enjoy the very same equipment as the Renault factory team in 2016 F1, the French carmaker has assured.
Even though Red Bull has reverted to mere customer status for the new season, even re-branding its power units as ‘Tag Heuer’, official Dr Helmut Marko said recently that the team’s Renault deal ensures technical equality.
Cyril Abiteboul, Renault managing director, confirms that.
“Red Bull is a customer team but they will have the same power unit and during the season will benefit from the same technical development” as the works team, he is quoted by Italy’s Autosprint.
“However, clearly the reference team for Renault will be our own,” he added.
Abiteboul was also quoted by Brazil’s UOL Grande Premio as saying: “It will be exactly the same engine (for Red Bull).
“In fact, we have an obligation in the regulations to provide the same equipment for them as we use ourselves. But for obvious reasons, there will be no form of association of the brands.
“Of course we will work differently for the teams, but the philosophy of Renault and also the regulation is that when we get an evolution, Red Bull will get it as well.
“But our first team is Renault, the factory team, so we will make an engine that perfectly fits our car. They (Red Bull) then get the same thing,” he added.
Abiteboul also cleared up any confusion about the involvement of Mario Illien, who was drafted onto the Renault project by Red Bull last year.
“With Mario Illien we all work in the same direction; we are in the same boat,” he said.
“Last year it was not like that, he had a more external role, but now it is part of the Renault group.”
Abiteboul said the Renault deal is currently for one year only “but it can end up going further”.
“And if we have a good engine as we did in the V8 times, more teams will want to be with us,” he added.