The Red Bull Formula 1 team has elected to extend their engine deal with Reanault through 2010, according to a report in Auto Motor und Sport. Apparently, the decision was reached just prior to this season’s final race in Abu Dhabi.
Said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, “We have been well supported by Renault as you don’t win races and achieve the kind of results we have had without great support from your engine supplier.”
Earlier in the year, it had been reported that Red Bull was interested in making a switch to Mercedes power. The Mercedes engine has been widely regarded as the most powerful powerplant on the grid this year, the FIA regulation mandating engine parity not withstanding. The sudden leap in the performance of the Brawn chassis, when compared to last year’s Honda-powered iteration, would seem to be an illustration of this.
The putative deal with Mercedes never fully materialized, however, as a result of a veto by the McLaren team. The executives at Woking, seeing how much the Red Bull package had advanced, were unhappy at the prospect that the energy drink sponsored team might enjoy an additional performance enhancement from the Mercedes engines. This left Red Bull to chose between Renault and Cosworth power. In the end, they opted for the known quantity.
Cosworth have not supplied engines to Formula 1 teams since 2006, when both Williams and Toro Rosso used their powerplants. At that time, they were considered to be down on power. A switch to Cosworth power now could pose risks in terms of horsepower, fuel efficiency and reliability. Clearly, at a time when Red Bull have made a big step foward, they believe it is more prudent to continue with their current relationship with Renault, rather than risk slipping back to the middle part of the grid because of engine issues.
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