Christian Horner says that Red Bull Racing will announce an engine deal for 2016 “in the coming days.”
Although he wouldn’t be drawn on the identity it is now clear that Red Bull has finally agreed to stick with Renault, on the basis that the French manufacturer is accepting outside help on development.
Mario Ilien’s input was offered, and rejected, last year, but the Ilmor boss is now expected to play a role.
“Next year will be a transition year,” said Horner. “We have an agreement with an engine for next year which hopefully will be confirmed in the coming days. It will have a development path ironically in a way of what we were trying to achieve 12 months ago, and then we’ll see how that goes.
“Then the manufacturers are under pressure to come back by the 15th of January with an affordable, available engine that addresses all of the current issues. If that doesn’t happen then I believe that the independent engine will be brought into play. So we’ll wait with interest to see what comes back on the 15th of January.”
Asked if he was confident that the development would pay off he said: “It’s difficult for me to say at the moment without announcing what our engine plans are, but yes I believe we should be in a better position.”
Renault cannot build a “bespoke” engine for Red Bull, so any engine development will also be useful to the works Enstone team. However Horner says he isn’t worried about another team sharing any benefits.
“I think in the scale of things we don’t fear another team having the same power unit.”