Red Bull Racing has supplanted Lotus Renault GP as the 'factory team of Renault Sport', Christian Horner has asserted – as the energy drinks-backed operation homes inexorably in on the successful defence of its drivers' and constructors' F1 World Championship crowns.
Red Bull and Renault first hooked up back in 2007, and at Monza last weekend, the relationship was officially extended until at least the end of 2016 in what was described as a 'significantly enhanced agreement' [see separate story – click here
], with the two parties collaborating to 'develop innovative technical solutions' with regards to the new V6 powerplant of 2014, as well as in a 'joint venture' to supply gearbox and KERS systems.
Red Bull's 'input, resources and vast in-house expertise', meanwhile, will be employed to devise 'formidable aerodynamic packaging' for the new engine that will also benefit fellow Renault users Lotus Renault GP, Williams and Team Lotus.
Having comfortably outscored the former Renault F1 outfit over the past three seasons – and with latter's ties to the French manufacturer growing more tenuous by the day – Red Bull team principal Horner contends that it is now the sport's runaway pace-setters that can most credibly lay claim to being the Renault 'works' effort in the top flight.
“The partnership with the Renault/Nissan alliance is an important one for the team,” the Englishman told the Red Bull website. “It guarantees stability; it makes us the premier, factory team of Renault Sport, so our colleagues where the engines are produced will be working hand-in-hand with the engineers and designers at Red Bull.”