Renault open to extending Red Bull F1 engine deal beyond 2016

Renault is open to continuing its relationship with Red Bull beyond the 2016 Formula 1 season, according to managing director Cyril Abiteboul

Renault open to extending Red Bull F1 engine deal beyond 2016

Last season Red Bull endured a fractious partnership with its power-unit supplier, opting to end the contract between them a year early.

Its hunt for another engine manufacturer than ran into a dead end, forcing a reunion with Renault - under TAG Heuer branding - for the final year of the existing deal.

Despite those issues, Abiteboul has not ruled out a new Red Bull/Renault contract being signed.

"We have announced a one-year contract, but it may go further," said Abiteboul at the launch of Renault's new works F1 team.

"We have always said we would continue to supply Red Bull, or anyone else, if it is in our strategic interest to do so.

"It is in our strategic interests to do so this year, and if it continues next year, why not?

"If we have good technology then I am pretty sure teams will be interested in what we have to offer, just like when we had the V8 that was extremely successful.

"Everyone wanted a Renault engine. Now it is very different.

"But if we can catch up then it will be the same again because we are extremely loyal in the way we deal with customer teams."

Abiteboul has also promised Red Bull it will be given full support and provided with the latest engine spec when available.

"If getting full support means getting the same engine as us, and the same upgrade as us, then yes, absolutely [that will happen]," he added.

"They will have exactly the same. We have an obligation from the regulations to supply exactly the same equipment.

"But there won't be any form of branding or marketing for obvious reasons."

Naturally, priority in some aspects will go to Renault's own team.

"You always need to manage the pool of engines, and we may be out of sync between whatever we are doing for the Renault team and the Red Bull team because of the introduction of the engine," said Abiteboul.

"But the philosophy of Renault, and the obligation from a regulation perspective, is to have one technical specification at the end of the day.

"If we have an upgrade, they will also have an upgrade.

"To be honest it's great we will have another team that will be using the same equipment as us."

Abiteboul has also reassured Red Bull it will not be left wanting for technical support either.

"There will be continuity at the track, with the same faces as you saw last year in the Red Bull garage," said Abiteboul.

"They will be dressed different, but their faces will be the same."

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