Engine supplier Renault Sport F1 has been making moves recently with its partners, first a long term deal with Red Bull Racing, essentially its ‘works’ team and now Team Lotus.
The deal announced on Sunday in Singapore takes the partnership through to the end of the V8 engine era and also adds in KERS for the first time. This will come along with the gearbox from Red Bull Racing, which the team has been using this year.
Although the deal runs to the end of 2013, team boss Tony Fernandes said that his intention is for a longer term deal to be put together which would see his team, likely to be rebranded as Caterham, using Renault’s version of the new generation small capacity turbo engines from 2014 onwards. The noises from Viry Chatillon indicate that this is their intention too.
Williams already has a deal in place, while the former Renault team, known as LRGP is also a customer at present. As the clock winds down to December 2013 on the ‘old’ technology, there are deals to be done for bigger teams to get some value from their investment by selling to smaller teams. There have been suggestions that LRGP may supply a gearbox and back end to HRT, but these have not been confirmed.
Renault Sport’s MD Jean-Fracois Caubet said of the Team Lotus deal, “This year we have established solid foundations with Team Lotus and this latest agreement consolidates the relationship that we look forward to continuing for many seasons to come. Renault is in F1 to display the quality of its product, so we need to be associated with teams that clearly have potential. The steps Team Lotus has made on and off track with its technical structure and facilities have given us a confidence they will achieve their aims. KERS is now an essential part to a competitive performance in F1 today and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations.”