It was announced this morning that Red Bull and Toro Rosso have both signed two-year deals to run Renault power over until the end of 2018.
Red Bull has used Renault power since 2007, winning its four world titles in the V8 era with the French manufacturer, but the relationship broke down last season after a second consecutive year with an uncompetitive power unit. Unable to secure a supply of engines elsewhere for 2016, Red Bull stuck with Renault this season and badged its power units under the name of watch manufacturer TAG Heuer.
Toro Rosso has had to make do with year-old Ferrari engines this year, but under the new deal will have an up-to-date power unit until 2018 as well as the freedom to badge it with a sponsor’s name.
Significant upgrades over the winter and ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix have seen Renault narrow the gap to class-leaders Mercedes and Ferrari, with Red Bull winning the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago and taking pole position in Monaco this weekend.
In an interview with the media this morning, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the progress had been key to the new deal. Horner stated the following:-
‘We are delighted to extend our partnership which has proved very successful over time. After the reconstruction that Renault has undertaken, clear progress has been made which has made it logical to continue with the TAG Heuer badged engine.’
In his own statement to the media this morning, Jérôme Stoll, president of Renault Sport Racing, added the following:-
‘We are very pleased to partner with two such strong teams as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Having competitive partners demonstrates the confidence both have in the improved Renault power unit and in our organisation as a whole.’