Red Bull racing boss Christian Horner finally announced his Formula One team would stay on for the next season. They realigned their relationship with long-term supplier Renault, but this time the engine will be called something different.
Words: Ena Bilobrk, Subeditor:
After months of struggle finding the perfect engine and living in danger of not starting next season, Red Bull can have a sigh of relief. Their new power unit will be supplied by old acquaintance Renault, who have announced a collaboration with British engine designer Ilmor.
Due to a new sponsorship by Swiss watch manufacturer TAG Heuer, who has bought the naming rights, the engines name for 2016 has changed to ‘Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer RB12’.
Horner happily announced: “TAG Heuer has been an icon in the world of Formula One for many years and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to continue their association with the sport by teaming up with us. Our shared values of innovation and a desire to stand out from the crowd make this one of the most exciting partnerships in Formula One. “
“We are also pleased to see Renault confirmed its long-term commitment to F1 and would like to thank them for their contribution to the team since 2007. Their technical partnership with Ilmor gives us confidence and we look forward to the 2016 season”, he added.
It is the best compromise Red Bull could have possibly made. Previously, the racing team has split their long-term relationship with Renault, as the French manufacturer wasn’t able to produce an engine powerful enough to compete with their biggest competitors Ferrari and Mercedes.
With the support of Ilmor, TAG Heuer and Renault, Red Bull could start a comeback in 2016 and live up to the golden days of winning four consecutive Drivers and Constructors Championships between 2010 and 2013.
It is the second time in the history of F1 that an engine carries the name of TAG. Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) has previously financed McLaren’s turbo engine, with which F1 legends Niki Lauda and Alain Prost have won five Championship titles in the 80s.
Red Bull motorsport boss Dr. Helmut Marko has also announced the team will be ready for the first testing of 2016 in February, besides the late engine decisions.
He told Speedweek: “We have to cope with being two months behind, but we will manage this. We will be ready for Barcelona.”
On December the 2nd, the FIA has changed the rules so that engine manufactures can hand-in engines from the previous season. This decision will hopefully resolve another engine issue at Scuderia Torro Rosso, who hope to receive Ferrari’s 2015 engine.
Engines belong to motorsport as the heart belongs to the human. But with rising issues of air pollution and climate change even its supreme discipline has to work on downsizing the emissions.