Red Bull Racing has dropped more than one hint that its yet-to-be-confirmed 2016 engine will wear branding from Swiss watchmaker TAG-Heuer next year.
The four-time title winning team has confirmed it has sourced an engine for 2016 after months of uncertainty and high profile rejections from Mercedes and Ferrari, with Red Bull now widely expected to retain its current Renault power unit now but take development in-house.
Significantly, with Red Bull unlikely to retain the 'Renault' branding, with the French firm focusing more on its much mooted – but also unconfirmed – Lotus takeover, speculation has been rife as to whether it will run a brand at all.
Though Infiniti, which is expected to stay as title sponsor despite its Renault-association through parent company Nissan, Red Bull has since dropped more than one hint at new sponsor signing TAG Heuer could lend its name instead.
The Swiss manufacturer has long been associated with F1 and was formerly recognised through branding of the Porsche engines supplied to McLaren in the 1980s, a partnership that yielded two constructors' and two drivers' world titles.
Having remained a prominent McLaren backer since then, it was recently confirmed that it will jump ship to Red Bull in a deal that could well see it name used to brand the engines, as first hinted by Christian Horner when speaking to the BBC
and again by the playful ad below.
"Wait and see what it is called, it will be something quite good. I don't think Ron Dennis will be too happy, but then he has not been very happy recently."
A formal announcement is expected to be made in the next couple of