With Friday morning’s announcement by Christian Horner to the BBC that Red Bull has agreed a power supply to put them on the grid for 2016, there is still not complete certainty whether this is with their current supplier Renault.
It is believed to be understood in the paddock that Red Bull had declined the offer of a Ferrari 2015 tech supply, but Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne had told media this week that he was still open to forging a new type of relationship with the Red Bull team.
Red Bull had insisted on works parity status, but it appears that Marchionne believes in his interview with the media that there is a ‘third way’ that would allow Red Bull to plot its own power plant development path. This would remove Ferrari’s concerns about compromising their competitive edge for 2016.
In an interview with the media, Marchionne explained the current situation with working with Red Bull as follows:-
‘The possibility of collaborating with Red Bull regarding the development of the power unit is still a valid option. I continue to re-affirm that. But it will not be in the context of Ferrari providing Red Bull with an equivalent engine to the one used by Ferrari in the races.’
‘The company is available to provide engineering and production services for an engine in a separate project for Red Bull, where Ferrari can commit to provide all its best in terms of engineering and give the chance to Red Bull and other manufacturers to have these engines.’
However, in the latter stages of his interview with the media Marchionne firmly repeated this:-
‘But they cannot be the same Ferrari engines that race on our cars.’
At the moment, it is clear if the Red Bull team would agree to terms that other manufacturers have access to is yet to be seen. There are rumours circulating that link the Red Bull team to a last minute reconciliation with Renault. Although Friday’s announcement by Christian Horner confirmed they had an engine deal, he was careful not to specify with whom the supplier was at this moment in time.