This season Renault is powering three teams, and will power Williams once again starting next season. But without a doubt its most successful partnership has been with Red Bull Racing. The team is the current reigning champion in both the drivers' and constructors' categories, and looks poised to repeat this year. Little surprise, then, that the two outfits have opted to renew their partnership for five more seasons.
The newly announced agreement will see Red Bull running the current V8 engines and KERS hybrid system for the next two seasons, during which it will collaborate directly with Renault Sport on the development of the new 1.6-liter turbo V6 units for use starting in 2014. With Red Bull and Renault stepping up to such "premium technical cooperation", we can't help but wonder if the French manufacturer is looking to further decrease its direct involvement with its own works team and elevate Red Bull – long rumored to switch its engines to Infiniti branding – to its principal collaborator. Official announcement after the jump.
Red Bull Racing and Renault Sport F1 are pleased to confirm the extension of their successful partnership for a further five years. The new fuel efficient 1.6L V6-turbo power unit to be introduced from 2014 will be incorporated into the framework of an enhanced collaboration.
Building upon the existing world championship winning partnership, Renault Sport F1 will continue to supply V8 engines and KERS Motor Generator Units to Red Bull Racing for 2012 and 2013, with the new agreement repositioning the relationship between Red Bull Racing and Renault to a premium technical co-operation.
Within the new agreement, a technical joint venture will be set up, in which Red Bull Technology and Renault Sport F1 will collaborate to develop innovative technical solutions for the V6-based power unit that will be introduced from 2014. Red Bull Technology and Renault Sport F1 will contribute their respective know-how, experience and specialist personnel to the project to achieve a competitive and reliable power train to be used by Red Bull Racing and other customer teams.
Bernard Rey, President of Renault Sport F1, commented, "We are delighted that the Red Bull Racing-Renault partnership has been extended for a further five years, which will take us to a decade of collaboration. Red Bull Racing and Renault share the views that stability is a fundamental condition to perform at the top levels of competition. As well as being a unique opportunity to showcase the performance of the Renault engines at the highest possible level, it is also a fantastic arena to develop the technology and expertise within the Renault-Nissan Alliance."
Jean-François Caubet, Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, added, "The V6 power units due to be introduced from 2014 represent a huge undertaking and to have the input, resources and vast in-house F1 car expertise of Red Bull Technology will help the team at Renault Sport F1 in Viry-Châtillon specify, design and develop a competitive unit from the start of the new regulations and optimize its structural integration into the chassis. Having this particular support will of course be to the advantage of our other team partners, who will indirectly benefit from the joint expertise of the Red Bull Racing and Renault Sport F1."
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, said: "We're obviously thrilled to announce this significantly enhanced agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, who we have enjoyed a close working relationship with since 2007. Renault Sport F1 has always been very straight-forward to work with, which has been a contributing factor to the on-going success of the Red Bull Racing-Renault partnership. Together we have so far achieved 22 wins, 32 pole positions, 1130.5 World Championship points and two World Championships. As the relationship moves forward, we intend to build on this and look forward to working with the Renault-Nissan Alliance during future Formula One World Championship campaigns."
The Red Bull Racing-Renault collaboration started in 2007 and has since matured into one of the most successful chassis-engine partnerships. The crowning moment came in 2010 with the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. At present Red Bull Racing-Renault leads the Constructors' Championship with 131 points, while reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers' title race.