Yes, Red Bull will be in it for 2016. The question, however, remains how much they will be able to win it. Although team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has spent much of the past season threatening to quit F1 racing, team boss Chris Horner told the BBC at Interlagos that it looks as though Red Bull is set to sign with Infiniti-branded Renault, while junior team Toro Rosso will run on 2015-spec Ferrari power in next year’s championship. He also explained that the reason they will be powered under the Infiniti name is that since Renault, itself, is set to re-acquire the Lotus team it once owned, the French automaker is not anxious to “divide its image.” However, it will actually be the same power unit, albeit, with a (promised) “10th or 2 of extra performance,” added .the team’s star driver Daniel Ricciardo, who came in 4th in the Brazilian Grand Prix this past Sunday.
Red Bull had been the dominant team, winning 4-consecutive F1 World Championships with Renault engines and Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel beginning in 2010. In addition, Red Bull has won 50 grands prix over the past decade, and took 119 podium finishes out of a total of 201 races it has entered, taking a trophy home from each. It also claimed both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship four times in a row between 2010 and 2013..However, after the series switched from V8’s to new turbo-charged V6 engines, the team found itself lagging behind Mercedes for the past 2-years.In fact, the relationship between Red Bull and Renault has soured so much as a result that Red Bull tried to switch to either Mercedes, Ferrari or even Honda, to no avail, leading to a lot of speculation that the team wouldn’t be able to run at all in 2016.
This is not the first time Renault has chosen to rebadge its engines under another name. In fact, Williams ran Renault engines rebadged as Mecachrome in 1998, while Benetton ran the same power under the Playlife label.
In the meantime, it was also announced that a gang of 4, identified as Danny Stevens, Paul Smith, Jason Eastwood, and Luke Cole have each been sentenced to 2-7 years behind bars for stealing several dozen trophies from Red Bull’s headquarters during a heist on December 6, 2014. The thieves made off with their booty after backing a vehicle through the team’s front entrance, but ended up dumping many of the stolen trophies in a nearby lake when they realized that the “hardware” had little monetary value. The robbery was just 1 of about 40 similar crimes perpetuated by the crew between November 2014-April 2015, which reportedly were valued at a total of nearly $1.5 million in loot and $500,000 in damages.