Daniel Ricciardo’s engine woes might soon be over with British automotive giants Aston Martin offering to come on board with Red Bull Racing from the 2016 season.
Aston Martin, who are affiliated with Mercedes due to the German manufacturer owning a 5 per cent share in the company, want to come into the team as a brand partner, in a move that would then see Red Bull running the recently dominant Mercedes package.
Under the deal Mercedes would be recognised as the official engine partner of Red Bull Racing and would provide engines and power units to the team, setting them free from their troubled relationship with Renault.
Using the Renault package, the Red Bulls of Ricciardo and teammate Daniil Kvyat have struggled for reliability and pace in the 2015 Formula One season, especially on less technical circuits with long straights.
As the season has progressed, Red Bull’s relationship with Renault has grown fractious, with the team struggling to come to grips with the under-powered Renault package.
The reports of the deal with Aston Martin follow repeated threats from Red Bull itself that it would pull out of the sport sooner rather than later if it found itself stuck with an engine that left it unable to compete with top tier F1 teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams.
Red Bull’s current deal with Renault is due to expire at the end of the 2016 season, but with the relationship at breaking point, both sides could opt out.
Last month, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz appeared to be trying to force a split with Renault when he claimed in an interview that Renault’s inability to improve its pace was “destroying” his enjoyment of F1.
The comments are understood to have caused severe ructions between the two sides and have been widely interpreted as Mateschitz trying to find a way out of his contract with the firm.
Ricciardo himself has been highly critical of the car and although recently linked with a move to Ferrari, he stated prior to June’s Austrian Grand Prix that the team needed to start looking at the 2016 season.
“We are not in the title race. Even making the podium would be very difficult with what we have at the moment,” Ricciardo said at the time.
“That’s why we must invest as much know-how and work as hard as possible into making next year’s car a winning car.”