Red Bull announce TAG Heuer engines, Toro Rosso reunite with Ferrari

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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Mar 12, 2010
Tag Renault , is not quiet Porsche is it now even will Ilmor . The Tag Porsche turbo engine kicked the Renault back then.
Just how much will they be allowed to change on the engine anyhow & is their not a risk that Renault could just copy anything that improves their current poor power unit.

Mark Aalberts

Mar 6, 2010
Tag Renault , is not quiet Porsche is it now even will Ilmor . The Tag Porsche turbo engine kicked the Renault back then.
Just how much will they be allowed to change on the engine anyhow & is their not a risk that Renault could just copy anything that improves their current poor power unit.
Renault will not improve their current power unit, at least not the ICE because they had 2 years the chance to do that since RB started to complain midway 2014 when they found out that the engine was behind. The TAG engine and the Renault engine will be the exact same engine just with a different badge on it. Initially it was the meaning to only deliver RB the (Renault ICE) and develop the hybrid systems and upper part of the engine by themselves. However the rules prevent this, a homologate engine can not be homologated under a different name because it must be a complete independent build. Basically if RB wants to homologate their own engine based on the Renault ICE with their own hybrid systems it will still be considered as a Renault engine because of the Renault ICE and not allowed. Basically it must be complete new design including the ICE, any part that has partly the same design will be considered as the same engine.

Now comes the interesting part, Renault actually hired Ilmor now and join forces with them so my believe is that the TAG engine and Renault engine is going to be identic. However it is getting even more interesting! Both engines will be homologated and both will get 32 tokens to develop. Basically the same engine will have 64 tokens to use on updates,... what if you develop simultaneously during the year for updates and split updates on both engines (teams) to test and see what is working and what the outcome will be.

Basically in theory Renault is going to have 64 tokens to spend next year and in theory should be able to develop twice as fast. Seems like they found a nice loophole. :D

The same counts for the 2015 Ferrari engine that goes to STR, it will also be re-homologated for 2016 and will receive 32 tokens for development. Basically this is the same situation as described above. STR could be used as Guinea Pig to test some updates for the Ferrari engine. Of course this is depending again on compatibility between old and new engines of course. The 2016 Ferrari engine could be well different than what they used this year of course.

These situations are now possible because the rules of the engines have been opened up. I could be wrong but I think this is how it is. The only question will be how much this will help them. Renault is a estimated 80hp short and this is something I already said last year,.. they need a complete new design in order to close this gap... im really curious to see if with the help of Ilmor they are able to close the gap.

I really hope this will work out For them and I really hope that Renault will solve their engine issues and that Ferrari can get on par with Mercedes.:)

Haas with a B-Ferrari car, Renault solving their issues, STR with Ferrari power, Manor on Mercedes power and Honda fixing their Hybrid systems,... we might be set for a very big and closely packed midfield next year.:rolleyes: