Renault Sport’s Formula One director Jean-Michel Jalinier has confirmed that the French manufacturer will supply four teams with engines next season whilst speaking at an event in France.
Currently, Renault provide Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham with engines, and this number will remain stable as Toro Rosso replace Williams in 2014, with the latter opting to take on Mercedes power units.
“We very likely will end up with four teams,” Jalinier was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“The discussions with Lotus and Caterham have progressed. It’s almost done with them, so there’s a high probability that we end up with four in 2014.”
Caterham have already confirmed that they are keen on extending their deal with Renault, whilst Lotus are thought to be considering a change in 2015 when Honda re-enter the sport with McLaren.
Additionally, Red Bull are poised to rebrand their Renault power units as ‘Infiniti’ to coincide with their agreement with the luxury division of Nissan. The team, currently running as Infiniti Red Bull Racing, would become Red Bull-Infiniti should the deal be confirmed.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”