Renault open to supplying engines to more Formula 1 teams in the future
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, September 13th 2011, 16:34 GMT|
Renault is open to supplying even more teams in Formula 1 in the future, as it edges closer to extending partnership deals with Williams, Renault and Team Lotus to add to the long-term tie-up it agreed with Red Bull Racing last weekend.
After concluding a lengthy technical collaboration with Red Bull Racing that means the team and engine partner will work together until the end of 2016 at least, the French car manufacturer is believed to be close to agreeing long-term customer deals with the three other teams it will work with next year.
And on the back of speculation that a fifth team could even be a possibility, with rumours at Monza linking HRT with a future deal, Renault's COO Carlos Tavares has confirmed that he would not be against adding more teams to its roster.
"Our strategy hasn't changed," Tavares told the Renault Sport website. "We have refocused our operations to supplying engines. I am very happy with this as something I am trying to achieve with the teams within Renault is that we concentrate on the essentials and not spread ourselves too thinly.
"The heart of a car is its engine so I am very happy that we are focusing on this element. I think we are doing very well in this area and the results speak for themselves.
"That four teams are coming to us to supply their engines and we have the ability to satisfy them is very positive. If we have to supply more partners I would not be opposed to it. As we have more partners we dilute our costs."
Tavares has said he expects the tie-up with Red Bull Racing in particular to help drive forward the performance of the car and the engine in future years.
"We believe that the engine isn't simply a power unit or a means of producing torque, it can also have characteristics that can allow for formidable aerodynamic packaging. So this collaboration has the dual aim of wanting to stay as the best engine in the field, but also to make sure its characteristics allow the chassis team to optimise the chassis aerodynamics."
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said he expected the true benefit of the Renault partnership to become clear once the 2014 regulations were under way - as team and engine supplier could work together to deliver the perfect package.
"The partnership with Renault/Nissan alliance is an important one for the team," he told the Red Bull website after the Italian Grand Prix. "It guarantees stability, it makes us the premier, factory team of Renault Sport, so our colleagues where the engines are produced will be working hand in hand with the engineers and designers at Red Bull.
"We will be entering into a joint venture to supply drive-train solutions, KERS solutions as well, so it's, especially with the new 2014 engine regulations, important to have the right partner. It was entirely logical to extend and commit to the alliance, there was a strong desire from both sides and it was easy to reach an agreement."
• For a full analysis of the long-term plans for Red Bull Racing and Renault, see this weekend's AUTOSPORT, which is out on Thursday.