Renault open to extending Red Bull deal

Although Renault signed a one-year contract with Red Bull, managing director Cyril Abiteboul says it “may go further.”

Last season Red Bull sought to end their relationship with Renault as they blamed their engine partner for their disappointing results.

But with none of the other engine suppliers willing to team up with them, Red Bull were forced to sign a new deal with Renault.

That contract runs for one year during which time the four-time World Champions will run TAG Heuer-branded Renault engines.

The deal, though, could yet be extended beyond 2016.

“We have announced a one-year contract, but it may go further,” Abiteboul told Autosport.

“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 also revealed that despite now being a works team – Renault purchased the Lotus outfit at the end of 2015 – Red Bull will still receive the company’s “full support” and “latest” spec engines.

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

“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.”

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