RED BULL Racing boss Christian Horner has spoken of his delight his team will continue to use Renault engines following the news the French manufacturer are to remain in Formula One.
Renault have sold a 75% stake in the team to the Genii Capital company, led by businessman Gerard Lopez, with the two companies operating the team which will continue to carry the Renault name.
Red Bull have used Renault powerplants since 2007, enjoying their best season to date in 2009 as they recorded six race victories in the hands of drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, but had been forced to wait to confirm their plans for 2010 as Renault considered withdrawing from the sport following a tumultuous season which saw them caught up in the now infamous ‘Crashgate’ controversy.
The team saw boss Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds handed lifetime and five-year bans respectively from motor racing by the FIA as a result of the incident which allowed Fernando Alonso to win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Horner said: “The 2009 season has been Red Bull Racing’s finest season to date. In one year, we’ve achieved six wins and four one-two finishes, none of which would have been possible without the excellent support and assistance we have received from our partners at Renault.
“We are extremely happy with the way they work with us and are looking forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with Renault in 2010.”
Renault F1 team president Bernard Rey said, “We can confirm that our productive partnership with Red Bull Racing will continue in 2010.
“The close relationship between Renault and Red Bull Racing has grown since 2007 – and this year it resulted in six victories and second place in the 2009 Constructors’ Championship. Together we believe we can build on this success and contribute to Red Bull Racing’s future endeavours.”
There had been fears Renault would follow Honda, BMW and Toyota out of the sport, especially as key members of the manufacturer’s board were known not to be over-enamoured with the performance and image of the racing team.
But Genii Capital will now aim to provide Renault with the stability required, given the volatile nature of the car market over the past 12 months.
However, the deal has not necessarily secured the future of former BMW driver Robert Kubica, with the Polish ace having already signed a deal to drive for the outfit.
The 25-year-old wants to receive assurances about the future of the team before committing himself to racing for them from 2010.
His manager Daniele Morelli said: “It’s a positive reaction but we have asked for more information.”
Morelli also stated it was “not automatic” that Kubica would race for the team.
But Eric Lux, the chief executive of Genii Capital, feels the new link-up will see the Renault name return to the front of the grid and will eventually see the team challenging for championships and replicating its title glories of 2005 and 2006.
He explained: “Our long-term vision for this challenging venture aims to return Renault to the forefront of Formula One. Together with Renault, we intend to run the team with the same values as any of our other investments, ambitious performance targets without neglecting cost efficiency.”
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