Red Bull Confirm Potential F1 Quit for Renault
However, as confirmed by Horner himself, the decision – yet to be made – to switch engine suppliers is related to Renault's potential quit from the sport. Talking to German newspaper Sport Bild, the British manager said his team is now officially in search for a customer deal in 2010, as the agreement with Renault will expire at the end of 2009.
“We need to know if Renault is staying in Formula One. We don't know that for sure at the moment,” said Horner, according to the aforementioned source.
Renault have been linked with a potential withdrawal from F1 at the beginning of the year, in the wake of the financial crisis worldwide. Although deciding to stick around for one more season – thanks to the cost cutting measures introduced by the FIA – the French manufacturer has never officially confirmed the continuance of its F1 programme.
In addition to those rumors, Renault have suffered another financial blow before the start of the season, as Dutch banking group ING announced they will quit the sport at the end of the year. Team boss Flavio Briatore insisted, however, that his private discussions with members of the Renault board have led to only one conclusion.
“I've been to the president of Renault in Paris and he confirmed to me that F1 is a priority for the group,” confirmed the 59-year old Italian, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.