The speculation surrounding what kind of engine, exactly, will power Red Bull Racing’s 2016 RB12 contender has been rampant in recent weeks, with an official announcement expected soon. One particular theory that’s been building steam since this weekend’s season finale at Abu Dhabi, however, seems to have been credence by the video, above. That is to say: Nissan Engines will power Red Bull Racing for 2016.
“I can tell you that we’ve got an engine for next year,” says Christian Horner, in the video above- following it up with a cryptic sort of, “Ron Dennis won’t be happy” when pressed by interviewer (and ex-team owner) Eddie Jordan.
Horner is the team principal at Red Bull. That quip about Dennis was believed by many to reference fact that Ron Dennis, his McLaren counterpart wielded a veto that prevents Honda from supplying a customer engine to Red Bull. Some believed this meant that Horner had found a way around Dennis and scored Honda power from the factory, directly- but commenters at Reddit’s r/formula1 believe that the comment is more about using the Renault connection to Nissan to attract sponsorship dollars from Japanese companies.
As it stands, McLaren-supplier Honda is the only Japanese manufacturer represented in F1. So long as the McHondas are the only cars campaigning under a Japanese flag, they have an advantage when it comes to securing Japanese sponsorship. If, however, Red Bull comes to the sport next year flying the Nissan banner- which would be relatively painless for Renault, which is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance already- then it could be argued that those dollars would go to Horner’s much more recently successful RBR team.
We’ll see whether or not that’s right if/when Red Bull makes their new engine deal with Renault official in the coming days. In the meantime, feel free to debate whether Red Bull should go with Nissan or- my own pet theory- Infiniti branding in the comments section at the bottom of the page.