Brazilian GP: Red Bull will race in 2016 despite engine fall-out

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Red Bull
Red Bull are currently fourth in the constructors' championship
Brazilian Grand Prix
Venue: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace Dates: 13-15 November
Coverage: Live TV, radio and text coverage of the race. Full details here.

Red Bull have confirmed they will race in Formula 1 next season after months of saying they could quit if they could not obtain a competitive engine.

Team principal Christian Horner told BBC Sport: "We are committed to being in F1 next year and in the future.

"We are working hard to put together as competitive a proposition as possible."

They are expected to use an engine from current supplier Renault, under a new arrangement, although Horner would not confirm this detail.

That comes despite Red Bull trying to end their contract with the French company as recently as last month.

Horner said: "I would hope by the close of the season we'll be in a position to announce what our plans are."

The final race of the year is in Abu Dhabi in two weeks' time.

The Red Bull-Renault history

The move is a major climbdown for Red Bull, whose boss Dietrich Mateschitz threatened in June to quit F1 if they could not find an engine that allowed them to run at the front.

Mateschitz said Renault's failings were sapping Red Bull's "will and motivation" to continue in F1.

Red Bull will be in Australia - Horner

Red Bull won four consecutive world title doubles with Renault from 2010 to 2013 but the company has not been able to match Mercedes since the introduction of the new turbo hybrid engines last season.

Red Bull were contracted to Renault until the end of 2016, but frustrations between the two companies grew over the course of the last two seasons to the point that by this summer both wanted to end their liaison early.

However, after first Mercedes refused to supply Red Bull with engines and Ferrari offered only their 2015 design for use next year, Red Bull have had to go back to Renault.

Red Bull are debuting at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix an updated Renault power-unit, the first major upgrade to the engine all year.

But it is unclear whether this will form the basis of the engine they will use next year, or whether the team will use the basis of this year's Renault engine with a cylinder head designed by the British company Ilmor.

The engine is likely to be given a different name, so it does not appear to be a Renault at face value.

Red Bull have been using Ilmor boss Mario Illien, formerly in charge of Mercedes' F1 engine programme, as a consultant since last year.

He produced a development engine earlier this year which showed promise but Renault chose to pursue its own development path.

More on Renault-Red Bull fall-out
Renault criticise "high maintenance" Red Bull
Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull hold engine crisis talks
The rise and fall of Red Bull and Renault

Any sympathy for Red Bull?

Rivals have little sympathy for Red Bull, who they see as having created this situation themselves.

But Horner said that it illustrated a problem with F1 in that the companies that provide engines are not obliged to supply them to customers, and that the engines are also too expensive.

Governing body the FIA has proposed a cost cap of 12m euros on the price of customer engines - compared with the 18-23m euro cost range currently - but this was vetoed by Ferrari last month.

FIA president Jean Todt and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone are now pushing forward with proposals for a cheaper engine of a different design to be made available to smaller teams under an equivalence formula.

Horner said: "It is quite clear there's a situation brewing with the governing body - who wanted to introduce a cost-effective engine - and that's not happening at the moment so they are looking at extreme measures.

"Then you have a situation where manufacturers don't want to supply certain teams and there is nothing in the regulations that says they have to and that is their choice.

"So as the promoter and governing body, they are now recognising they have to protect the sport for the future or it could force teams out of F1."