F1: Renault to expand customer engine programme
Renault are looking to supply more customer engines in Formula 1 for 2011 and are hopeful that their partnership with Red Bull can continue.
The French manufacturer has supplied Red Bull with the exact same Renault V8 engines its works team use for the last four seasons running.
In that time, Red Bull have emerged as one of the front-runners in the sport, narrowly missing out on the world championship in 2009, while this year they are once again in the mix.
As Renault look to expand their customer engine programme, Lotus, who are looking to build on a difficult first season, have been tipped as a possible new partner for the French manufacturer.
Lotus are currently supplied by Cosworth, but the Renault is a more powerful yet fragile engine, which could be better-suited to the team as they look to challenge the middle order in their second season.
“We have an excellent relationship with Red Bull and we hope to continue to build on it for the future,” said Rob White, Renault’s F1 engine technical director.
“We have the capacity to supply additional teams in the future and would be willing to do so if it was good for Renault and for the sport as a whole.”
The decision on the 13th team should be made in the next few weeks. Once the winning bid has been selected, engine suppliers are expected to open negotiations with the successful team.
The last time Renault supplied three teams in a single season was in 1986 when the French manufacturer powered Lotus, Lieger and Tyrrell.