Red Bull’s Christian Horner recently confirmed the Milton Keynes team has signed a deal for power units, which will ensure the team is on the grid in 2016.
He couldn’t however confirm the source of the engines, nor would he comment on the branding.
It is however believed Red Bull will announce a deal next week to continue using Renault engines, but they will likely be rebranded following a rather public spat between the two companies.
That rebranding could see Nissan enter the sport according to paddock speculation.
Renault and Nissan are both headed up by CEO Carlos Ghosn after entering into a strategic partnership. Together they own eight major brands, including Red Bull sponsor Infiniti.
Red Bull will lose Infiniti sponsorship at the end of the year, thus giving Renault very little reason to continue supplying Red Bull.
However with Ghosn set to give the go ahead for a Renault works team, via a takeover of Lotus, the French manufacturer doesn’t want to lose the extra data a second team provides for development.
Nor does it want to lose the roughly £20 million income, which Red Bull will be forced to pay to continue using their engines.
However with such a toxic relationship, Renault are keen to distance themselves from the team. By rebranding the engines Nissan, Renault manages to do exactly that, whilst keeping the positive aspects of the relationship alive.
Meanwhile Horner’s recent comments might just back up the speculation.
The Briton claims the deal will go ahead, even if Renault decides to pull the plug on its Formula 1 involvement.
“We have a signed contract for an engine, the details of which I hope to be able to announce within a week,” he said.
“The situation is clear in that we have an agreement for next year. I would like to be able to tell you what that is, but unfortunately I can’t.”
Horner also directed a comment toward McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, who vetoed a potential Red Bull/Honda link-up.
“It will be [called] something quite good. I don’t think Ron Dennis will be very happy, but he hasn’t been very happy recently.”
If it’s called Honda, that will certainly upset Dennis. But that seems incredibly unlikely at this stage. What else could upset Dennis? What about Honda’s major Japanese rival beating them on track? Surely that would ruffle some feathers!
Though another rumour doing the rounds suggests Red Bull could rebrand the engines TAG, as part of a title sponsor deal with the company – a former long-term sponsor of the McLaren team until this week.