Red Bull’s continued participation in Formula One is secure for the short term, with team principal Christian Horner confirming on Friday that a new engine supply deal is in place for next season.
“We have an agreement with an engine for next year which hopefully will be confirmed in the coming days,” Horner said.
“We’ve entered the (2016) world championship, we’ve signed a contract for an engine, but I can’t tell you what it’ll be or called at the moment.”
Ferrari and Mercedes rejected Red Bull’s approaches to take over as a supplier, so it appears Red Bull has had to return to Renault, just weeks after they appeared to have mutually rescinded their relationship.
Red Bull and Renault had been a highly successful partnership when Sebastian Vettel won four consecutive titles from 2010-13, but since the introduction of the complex V6 hybrid-power engines last year, the team has fallen off the pace behind Mercedes.
Public criticism by Red Bull, and even threats to withdraw from F1 entirely, proved too much for Renault, which announced the relationship between team and engine supplier would end.
Renault was in the process of taking over the Lotus team with the intention of being a stand-alone team supplying engines to no-one else.
However, there was room left for a compromise under which Red Bull used Renault-based engines but with more design input from a third party or Red Bull themselves, which would allow the engine to be branded with a different name.
“It’s an engine that will hopefully improve during the course of the year, so it’s going to be a tough start to the season for us but we’re confident we’ll make strides,” Horner said.
“Ironically, the path of development will be one that we wanted to have 12 months ago.”