NOVEMBER 15, 2015
Renault and Honda facing tough winter
Red Bull will use an unbranded Renault engine in 2016, in a deal that is expected to be announced officially in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The story is now little less than an open secret in the Interlagos paddock, with Auto Motor und Sport claiming that although the warring parties earlier appeared divorced, the contract was in fact never legally annulled.
It means that even if Renault fails to buy out Lotus and pulls out of F1, Red Bull is still guaranteed an engine.
But it seems that Renault is staying, with former McLaren powertrain chief Axel Wendorff spotted in the French marque's colours this weekend at Interlagos.
The report also said the French carmaker is completely re-designing its 'power unit' for 2016, which will be music to Daniel Ricciardo's ears, after the Australian used the latest specification in Brazil this weekend.
"For Renault it's back to the drawing board," said Ricciardo, revealing that in his opinion the 'new' engine is even worse than the old one.
"We need to try a different path or something if we are to continue together next year," he added.
Also with a lot of work to do ahead of 2016 is Honda, after Fernando Alonso's obvious frustration was on display in Brazil as yet another engine failed.
The Spaniard then set social media alight after qualifying by sitting in a picnic chair on the track verges with his face turned towards the sun, as F1 fans adept at photoshop wondered about '#PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe'.
"I need to be more prepared next time," Alonso joked, "and take my phone and sun lotion in the car."
He and teammate Jenson Button then posed together at the top of the Interlagos podium, joking that it may be their only opportunity this year.
Still, Alonso insists he is patient.
"We know the situation we are in, with big problems that need big solutions, which is what is being done for next year," he said.
Indeed, Honda chief Yasuhisa Arai insisted the Japanese marque's latest engine specification is not fundamentally flawed, despite the constant problems.
"I must say that the problems (in Brazil) are probably related to the quality of the individual components, not with the engine as a whole," he said.