- Jul 23, 2014
Red Bull's two Formula 1 teams announced new engine deals for the 2016 season, which will see Infiniti Red Bull Racing run TAG Heuer-badged Renault power units, and Scuderia Toro Rosso re-align with Ferrari in a last-minute deal.
The 2016 Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 will also receive additional technical support from legendary engine builders Ilmor. TAG Heuer will become a prominent backer of Red Bull Racing as their Official Timekeeper, Official Watch Partner, and Team Performance Partner, beginning in 2016.
"Our shared values of innovation and a desire to stand out from the crowd make this one of the most exciting partnerships in F1," said Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner. "We are also pleased to see Renault confirm 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."
The agreement brings an end to a lengthy search for a power unit supplier for Red Bull. Public dissatisfaction with engine partners Renault for much of 2015 led to a season-long saga wherein Red Bull had been linked to Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Honda, and even Volkswagen as prospective engine suppliers for the future.
On track, Red Bull struggled with reliability for most of 2016, and fell to fourth in the World Constructors' Championship. Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were unable to record a victory for Red Bull - their first winless season since 2008.
TAG-Porsche turbocharged engines powered McLaren's Niki Lauda to his third World Drivers' Championship in 1984, and Alain Prost to consecutive championships in 1985 and 1986.
Also on Friday, Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost announced that the Italian squad will use Ferrari engines in 2016, after a two-year partnership with Renault. They will use the 2015-spec Ferrari power unit that was also used by Sauber this past season.
“It’s great to be working with Ferrari again," remarked Tost on Friday. "We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I’m sure it won’t take long for us all to be working together very well again. It's true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I’m confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year – bring on 2016!”
Ferrari engines powered Toro Rosso from 2007 to 2013, and powered Sebastian Vettel to a popular victory for the Italian constructor in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Toro Rosso enjoyed their most successful season since then in 2015, thanks in large part to the sensational first-year performances of rookies Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Image: © Red Bull Media House
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