Red Bull to become an engine supplier?
November 14, 2009
There’s an interesting theory going around at the moment that Renault could be planning to sell off their engine operation to Red Bull. This could make a lot of sense as it would enable Red Bull Racing to design the engine, chassis and aerodynamics in a parallel fashion – very much in the way that Ferrari operate. They could also supply the engine to their ‘junior’ team Toro Rosso. In the past Renault have sold off (or at least licensed) their engine operation and then picked it back up at a later stage. When they officially withdrew from their very successful engine supply programme in 1997 (having powered both Williams and Benetton to World Championships) the engine operation was taken over by Mechachrome, a specialist French engineering company, working mainly in the aerospace sector. When Renault came back into F1 in 2001 the engines were rebadged as Renault – the designs were Renault but the manufacturing was still undertaken by Mecachrome. If Renault did sell off the engine operation to Red Bull what would happen to the operation at Enstone? This operation has recently benefitted from a new CFD system powered by state of the art super-computers. If Manor’s Nick Wirth is able to prove that you can design a competitive F1 car with CFD alone then the Renault facility could be a valuable asset for someone to acquire, including Red Bull.