<
>

Red Bull confirms TAG Heuer engine branding

Daniel Kalisz/Sutton Images

Red Bull has confirmed it will run Renault engines under the TAG Heuer brand next year.

The news brings an end to months of speculation over the team's engine situation and ensures it will be able to compete in next year's championship.

After an acrimonious falling out with Renault over the performance of its engine at the start of the year, Red Bull approached Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda in search of a new supply deal for 2016. Its advances were knocked back by each engine manufacture and it finally agreed a new deal to continue with a Renault supply deal ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The news comes a day after Renault announced it would go ahead with its takeover of the Lotus F1 team and return as a works outfit next year.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner confirmed Renault would continue to develop its engine in partnership with specialist engine manufacturer Ilmor, which Red Bull brought in as a consultant earlier this year to aid the development of the underpowered Renault engine.

"TAG Heuer and Red Bull are two transcendent brands which have both a passion for racing and a drive to do things differently, and this unique collaboration is further evidence of that," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. "TAG Heuer has been an icon in the world of Formula One for many years and we're delighted that they've chosen to continue their association with the sport by teaming up with us.

"Our shared values of innovation and a desire to stand out from the crowd make this one of the most exciting partnerships in F1. We are also pleased to see Renault confirm its long-term commitment to F1 and would like to thank them for their contribution to the team since 2007. Their technical partnership with Ilmor gives us confidence, and we look forward to the 2016 season."

The TAG brand has a history of engine supply deals in Formula One after supplying Porsche-built engines to McLaren for five seasons in the 1980s. Although the TAG Heuer brand has since changed hands, it remained loyal to McLaren up until the end of this season when it was poached by Red Bull for 2016. Speaking before the deal was announced, Horner said he suspected the branding deal would not please McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

"I don't think Ron will be too happy," he said, "but then he has not been very happy recently."

As part of the deal, TAG Heuer will also become Red Bull's official watch supplier.