2017 F1

New Renault F1 engine deal not awkward – Red Bull

Renault Sport F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul and Red Bull boss Christian Horner

Renault Sport F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul and Red Bull boss Christian Horner

Christian Horner says Red Bull is now looking confidently into the future with engine supplier Renault.

Actually, the parties fell out spectacularly last year, with only a Tag-Heuer rebranding ensuring that French power units remained in the dark blue cars.

Team boss Horner admits “frustration” boiled over after 2014 and 2015.

“But there was restructuring and personnel changes and new enthusiasm and we hope that will remain for the next two years, as we have already extended the cooperation,” he told Speed Week.

But asked if it is now awkward that Tag Heuer is actually getting the credit for Red Bull’s ‘Renault’-powered wins, Horner insisted: “No, because everyone knows we are using a Renault engine, even if it is called Tag Heuer.

“The Renault people are just proud that their product wins races.”

So now, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen at the wheel, Horner said he is confident they could have a fully competitive car at their disposal in 2017.

But he admitted: “There is a lot of uncertainty about next season. These are the most serious changes since 2008 and at this point no one knows what the others are doing so all you can do is concentrate on yourself.

“It’s possible a team will find something like the (Brawn) double diffuser.”

Asked if Adrian Newey’s RB13 car is on schedule, Horner answered: “As usual, our timetable is very, very tight, but we have to and will be ready for the first test.”

As for his own future, Horner played down any claims he might be interested in replacing F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

“I am very, very satisfied with my job at Red Bull Racing,” he answered. “I want to make the team world champion again.”

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