It has been announced this afternoon that Red Bull is in a desperate search to locate an engine supplier for the 2016 season after terminating its deal with Renault in favour of Mercedes engines after the deal has fallen through, which now leaves the team without a supply of engines next season.
It’s believed the Red Bull team have written to Renault to formally cancel its agreement with the French manufacturer early, as its contract originally ran until the end of 2016.
With Red Bull publicly criticising Renault for its underpowered V6, continuing what has been a successful partnership – bearing four double world championships – would be difficult, particularly given Renault’s plans to leave the sport or become a manufacturer team by buying out the Lotus outfit.
Although Bernie Ecclestone was keen to see a Mercedes-powered Red Bull on the grid, the Daimler board have rejected the proposal and it will therefore not go ahead.
With the news being formally announced today, this now leaves Red Bull with just one option; Honda. But with Honda lagging behind Renault and committed to supplying only McLaren at the moment, Red Bull have now got to turn to Ferrari.
The Ferrari team has already stated that it would be willing to supply both Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso (which is already an old customer) as long as its deal with Renault is cancelled and both sides are happy to do so.
If the Red Bull team do get Ferrari engines, this would of course contravene the regulations as two further customers would see Ferrari supplying half the grid. They already supply their own team, Sauber and Manor, whilst Haas also has a deal in place.
Therefore it’s likely that Manor will switch to Mercedes which is also something the small outfit are keen to see happen, therefore then gives Mercedes the same number of customers as Ferrari – although that may be reduced should Renault confirm its purchase of Lotus and a switch back to Renault power.
But overall, it is the news that many of us expected and like I have stated in previous articles, I would have been surprised if Mercedes would have supplied Red Bull especially given how dominant they are in the sport at the moment. I now see Red Bull being supplied by Ferrari from 2016 onwards; but I will admit I think Ferrari should be worried as if Red Bull can do a “media war” like they have with Renault, they can do it here.
But let’s hope that Red Bull learn their lessons here and if they are to sign with Ferrari with an engine supply, then both parties will need all the luck in the world and let’s hope that they can work together with the goal of being competitive as possible in the near future. Because they will need it without a shadow of a doubt.