Date: 28th April 2016 at 8:09am
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If there was ever an example of just how quickly things can change in Formula One it’s the positive comments from Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner towards Renault this week.

During 2015 that relationship had all but broken down.

Red Bull Racing were constantly criticising the French car maker, whilst desperately trying to get out of their contract with them in regards to buying their power-units for 2016.

Red Bull approached Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda in a bid to get a new engine for 2016, whilst Renault considered leaving the sport entirely.

Eventually however it proved too hard for Red Bull to obtain another engine and eventually had to go cap in hand back to Renault for 2016.

Renault meanwhile opted to purchase the Lotus team and return to Formula One as a fully fledged manufacturer.

Despite the upheaval there has already been improvements for both sides.

‘I think that on the power unit side, the guys in Viry done a good job over the winter, I think their restructuring has started to bear fruit in terms of direction and a clear strategy, so I am sure progress has been made there over the winter. Horner told motorsport.com.

An upgraded Renault engine is set to be introduced around the Canadian Grand Prix, something that has Horner excited.

‘What we are really hopeful of is the next step, the B-spec engine. If it delivers what is being tabled, then that should put us in an even more competitive position.’

Horner also believes that both Red Bull Racing and Renault have benefited by not being embroiled in politics, as was the case last year when Renault were solely an engine supplier for Red Bull.

Renault now have the focus of a Formula One manufacturer in their own right, whilst Red Bull have teamed up with TAG Heuer to rebrand their engine.

‘Obviously the engine decision was very late last year but I think things have settled. With the reorganisation and the re-commitment of Renault to Formula 1 in terms of the engine side, the relationship with the engine branded as a TAG Heuer is working well.

‘It just allows the engineers to focus on the technical side rather than being bogged down by commercial arguments.’

 

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