Horner hopes Renault works effort can boost Red Bull

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Christian Horner hopes Renault’s return as a fully-fledged works team can also benefit Red Bull with a more competitive power unit.

Recurrent issues in the latest turbo era have led to growing tensions between the French manufacturer and its Milton Keynes partner, with the energy drinks giant actively seeking another power supply last year. Having failed in that endeavour, Red Bull will use factory engines from Viry in 2016, though they will be badged TAG Heuer.

Asked whether he had noticed any change in Red Bull’s relationship with Renault since the latter completed its constructor return, Horner replied:

“The positive thing is that by committing to Formula One, Renault are committing hopefully the necessary wherewithal and budgets to enable themselves to be competitive.

“Now to be competitive in F1, you need a competitive engine and there seems to be changes afoot to embrace change and development that hopefully will see the power unit progress during the course of the year.”

The Red Bull team principal is confident Renault’s new organisation chart, along with external help from Mario Illien’s lmor Engineering company, will end up paying dividends.

“They have a much better idea of where their performance deficiencies has been and what they need to do to address that. There seems to be more confidence and focus with the bit of restructuring that they’ve done.

“They’ve got some quality consultants with plenty of experience. They have got Bob Bell back involved and he obviously brings a lot of experience from Mercedes-Benz and a previous successful stint at Renault. I think they have addressed the right areas.”

Technical regulations strictly mandate that Renault has to provide its customer team with the same engine specification as its works outfit. However, Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul has already warned that there could be stages of the season where Renault and Red Bull are “out of sync” with each other.

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