Caterham extend engine deal with Renault

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Caterham have today confirmed that they have signed an agreement that extends their partnership with Renault for another three years, with the French manufacturer supplying the backmarkers with engines as Formula One enters a new era in 2014.

Although it was widely expected that the two parties would continue to work together, it has taken until now for formal confirmation to come through.

“Renault Sport F1 and Caterham F1 Team are delighted to confirm the extension of their partnership in the FIA Formula One World Championship for a further three years,” a statement read.

“From next year, Caterham F1 Team will be equipped with the Renault Energy F1, a cutting edge power plant designed for the radical new 2014 technical regulations.”

2014 sees the introduction of new V6 turbocharged engines as part of a significant change in regulations, and it is expected that the pecking order could be shaken up. Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul is confident that the team is best placed for these changes by working with Renault.

“The 2014 season heralds a new era for F1 with our sport taking a positive stance in aligning itself with the technical changes in the global automotive industry, and Renault is right at the cutting edge of that development,” Abiteboul said. “We work together in an open and honest manner to help Caterham F1 Team achieve its short-term goal of establishing itself as an integral part of F1 and to help Renault achieve the deserved recognition of its technical edge.”

With this extension, Caterham and Renault will continue to work together until the end of the 2016 season.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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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.”