“Despite the many rumours, our engine will not be rebranded Infiniti”
It has been suggested that world champions Red Bull’s ever-closer ties to title sponsor Infiniti, the luxury Nissan division, could be at the expense of engine supplier Renault’s exposure.
Indeed, it has also been rumoured that Renault could react to the Red Bull-Infiniti ties by moving closer to Lotus in 2014 and beyond. Based at Enstone, Lotus was formerly the works Renault outfit.
But Jean-Michel Jalinier, president of Renault Sport F1, told the Italian publication Quattroruote that speculation Red Bull will run Infiniti-branded V6 engines next year is wide of the mark.
“Despite the many rumours, our engine will not be rebranded Infiniti,” he insisted.
“Currently, we have contracts signed with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, and we are also in negotiations with other teams, because the optimal solution for us is to supply four teams.”
Apart from Lotus, the other Renault-powered team in 2014 is expected to be Caterham. Williams is moving to Mercedes power.
Responding to reports F1 is becoming too expensive for many of its recognised players, Jalinier said Renault remains committed.
“In 2009, when the crisis began all over the world, we reasoned that we did not want to get out of formula one altogether and so we stayed as a supplier.
“With Europe still in trouble,” he added, “at the moment this is the best strategy.
“Being in F1 also helps us to sell a Sandero (road car) in northern Brazil,” Jalinier smiled.