Red Bull secures engine deal for 2016
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Red Bull's threats to quit Formula One are over, after team principal Christian Horner announced Friday that the team had agreed a new engine supply deal for next season and was committed to getting back to the top of the sport.
''We have an agreement with an engine for next year which hopefully will be confirmed in the coming days,'' Horner said. ''We've entered the (2016) world championship, we've signed a contract for an engine, but I can't tell you what it'll be or called at the moment.''
Following what seemed like a irreparable breakdown in the relationship between Red Bull and engine supplier Renault, the team had sounded out Ferrari and Mercedes about supply deals for next season but were rejected by both, who were unwilling to help a potential title rival.
Red Bull and Renault had been a highly successful partnership when Sebastian Vettel won four consecutive titles from 2010-13, but since the introduction of the complex V6 hybrid-power engines last year, the team has fallen off the pace behind Mercedes.
Public criticism by Red Bull, and even threats to withdraw from F1 entirely, proved too much for Renault, which announced the relationship between the two parties was over.
Renault decided instead to pursue the idea of buying out a team and returning as a constructor, not just an engine supplier. It is in the process of taking over the Lotus team, with an announcement expected next week.
While Red Bull and Renault had gone their separate ways, there was room left for a compromise under which Red Bull could use Renault-based engines in 2016 but with more design input from a third party, which would allow the engine to be branded with a different name.
''It's an engine that will hopefully improve during the course of the year, so it's going to be a tough start to the season for us but we're confident we'll make strides,'' Horner said.
Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz had been serious about quitting F1 following the row with Renault, but had since reconsidered.
''It's no secret that during the summer Dietrich Mateschitz became fairly disillusioned with F1, with the direction things were heading and certain conversations he had personally had didn't come to fruition,'' Horner said.
''Having sat down and thought about it, he's decided that there is too much at stake. Red Bull has invested so much into the sport, he wants to see the team get back to its former glory.''