Red Bull will be branding their Renault engines as TAG Heuer from 2016 onwards, in a new multi-year deal announced between the Swiss watch maker and energy drinks company today.
The partnership will see their 2016 car be known as the Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12, with TAG set to be their official timekeeper, watch partner, and team performance partner. The news also comes a day after Renault announced they have finalised their takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, cementing their commitment in the sport going forward.
“We are also pleased to see Renault confirm its long-term commitment to F1 and would like to thank them for their contribution to the team since 2007,” said Red Bull team principle Christian Horner. “Their technical partnership with Ilmor gives us confidence, and we look forward to the 2016 season.”
Red Bull tried to get an engine from Mercedes and Ferrari for 2016, however the teams vetoed the idea on the basis that they would be supplying engines to their biggest competitor. A switch to Honda power was on the cards, but McLaren CEO Ron Dennis also voted against the idea, even though it would’ve meant more data for the struggling outfit.
2016 marks the first time TAG have entered the sport as title sponsor since McLaren had TAG-branded Porsche engines in the late 1980s. The company believes the extreme lifestyle image associated with Red Bull will help them penetrate the young market, as they seek to challenge the likes of Apple in the Smart Watch category.