Renault Formula 1 team seals BP and Castrol deals for 2017

Renault will join McLaren in switching Formula 1 fuel suppliers to BP/Castrol in 2017, following months of speculation about its plans for the season ahead

Renault Formula 1 team seals BP and Castrol deals for 2017

Amid uncertainty at the end of the last year about previous partner Total's F1 involvement, Renault had been expected to switch to BP and Castrol for its fuel and lubricants.

Inside Formula 1's oil war

McLaren is also expected to use the same products, but has not yet announced its intentions.

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes the change of oil supplier could deliver a competitive advantage, with the higher drag developed by this year's new breed of cars.

"With the new aerodynamic regulations for the 2017 Formula 1 season, power sensitivity will increase," he said.

"Therefore fuels and lubricants will make an even greater difference to the overall performance of the car than they have since the new power unit regulations have been introduced in 2014.

"The teams at BP and Castrol are very excited by the challenges offered by Formula 1 and we are confident they will help us achieve our ambitions for our new car in 2017 and beyond."

The French manufacturer last worked with BP/Castrol during the 1997 season, when the Renault-powered Williams won the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Renault's switch to BP/Castrol means its engine department will be working with two fuel suppliers this year, following Red Bull's switch to McLaren's former partner Exxon/Mobil.

Speaking to Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com late last year, Abiteboul believed that having such a split approach could actually bring some benefit in promoting competition between the different companies.

"I always prefer simplicity because we have enough complexity to absorb, so it is better if it is only one," he said.

"But there are a number of engine suppliers who have been very successful in the past with two homologations.

"I would say also having two creates diversity, creates competition, creates inspiration - just like having different customer teams, Red Bull is a great inspiration for Enstone and a benchmark.

"Benchmarking is not unnecessary in the sport - but it means something in terms of operations, in terms of ring fencing IP because we want to protect IP of everyone we are working with, and it is completely fair.

"It is an extra concern but not something that is not achievable."

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