Renault wants Red Bull to make a decision about its future Formula 1 power unit supply plans by the FIA’s notice deadline of May 15.

Red Bull has been powered by Renault since 2008, and won all of its drivers’ and constructors’ championships while working with the French marque between 2010 and 2013.

Red Bull’s existing contract with Renault expires at the end of the 2018 season, and the team is known to be considering its options after a fraught relationship in recent years, having being left unhappy by a lack of performance or reliability from the power units.

Sister team Toro Rosso’s new partnership with Honda is being tipped to possibly lay the groundwork for an expanded deal to the senior Red Bull outfit in 2019, while there was also speculation last autumn that suggested Renault was to end the partnership after agreeing a customer deal with McLaren.

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner has said the team is happy to keep its option open, but Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul stressed that there was a time limit for a decision to be made.

“We are not going to hang around forever,” Abiteboul said.

“I know what Christian is referring to when he says that he has options. He’s right, he’s absolutely right.

“Like him I know and read contracts and obligations that we have to help the sport, not to help Red Bull Racing, but there is one thing that is clear: that’s planning.

“There will be a deadline for Red Bull Racing to define what they want for the future.”

Asked by Crash.net when the deadline was, Abiteboul said: “It’s in the sporting regulations. I believe that it’s by the end of May.

“I believe it’s the end of May there needs to be some clarity as to who is supplying reach team - which supplier is supplying which customer team.

“As far as I’m concerned, that will be our deadline.”

Speaking on Monday, Horner said that 2018 would “not necessarily” be Red Bull’s final season working with Renault despite the links to Honda.

“All things are open for ’19 onwards,” Horner said.

“We will obviously pay close attention to how things develop at Toro Rosso, but there’s no preconceptions as we head into the season.”

As per Appendix 9 of the FIA sporting regulations for F1 in 2018, “each of the power unit manufacturers of an homologated power unit must provide the FIA, before May 15 of the season preceding that in which such power units are to be supplied, with the list of teams to which a supply agreement has been concluded for the given championship season.”

This regulation did not apply to McLaren or Toro Rosso last year as both had supply agreements in place with Honda and Renault respectively before their switches, but is in place to ensure no team is left without an engine supply.

Red Bull has not branded its power units as Renault since 2015, instead naming them after sponsor and watch supplier TAG Heuer.

The team has also struck a title partnership with British manufacturer Aston Martin, who enjoys significant branding on the new RB14 car and is known to be considering an entry to F1 as an engine supplier in 2021 should the new regulations prove appealing enough.

 

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