SEPTEMBER 13, 2006
Red Bull and Renault
It will shortly be announced that Red Bull GmbH has signed an engine supply deal with Renault for a supply of Formula 1 engines for 2007 and beyond.
At the moment Red Bull Racing is using Ferrari V8 engines and it is anticipated that this deal, which is supposed to continue in 2007, will be honoured and that the new engine deal will be for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
At the end of 2007 Red Bull will look at the performance achieved with the two different engines and will then conclude which team will have use which engines in 2008 - in indeed it agrees a new deal with Ferrari.
If not we would anticipate both Red Bull teams using Renault engines in 2008. One might speculate that such a deal could ultimately provide Renault will a perfect way in which to slip quietly out of the world of team ownership by leaving Red Bull to represent the company in F1, a scenario that would not be dissimilar to what happened in the 1980s when the Renault Sport team was closed down but the company went on supplying its engines to Team Lotus, Ligier and Tyrrell.
The two Red Bull teams will ultimately use the same chassis, but in 2007 will be muddling through with cars that will probably look rather similar but which will, officially, be the work of two separate design teams. It remains to be seen whether this will create problems with other F1 teams but, in the overall scheme of things, the F1 authorities will probably be more keen to help Red Bull than to hinder it, as the Austrian drinks company is an important player in F1 these days.
A double Renault deal with Red Bull in 2008 would leave Ferrari free to conclude an engine deal with Spyker MF1, which has links with Ferrari through a mutual investor - and possible tie-ups in the automobile world.
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