Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that Scuderia Toro Rosso could use a yellow livery in the future to give engine supplier Renault greater promotion within Formula 1.
Renault is thought to be considering a return to the sport with a full works team, having last raced back in 2009 before selling part of its operation to what has now become Lotus.
Toro Rosso has been tipped as a team that Renault could buy outright, with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz reportedly considering a withdrawal from F1.
However, Marko believes that it would be more likely for the French marque to enjoy heightened branding on the Toro Rosso cars with a yellow livery.
“Renault are spending a lot of money on this power unit – not as much as Mercedes but a significant amount – and are confronted with the same issues that we have,” he told the official F1 website. “Their F1 involvement has to pay off.
“Add to that that Renault feels under-represented on the marketing side so there are considerations to either buy Toro Rosso or more likely give them a yellow livery to have a better marketing platform.
“But of course the figures have to correspond.”
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said in Malaysia last weekend that he would welcome a buy-out from Renault, believing that operating as a works team would give the Faenza-based operation a chance to break into the top five teams in F1.
However, Renault has been engaged in a war of words with Red Bull over the past few weeks. The ex-world champion team claimed in Australia that its lack of pace was a result of the engine, only to then be beaten by Toro Rosso in Malaysia, who use exactly the same engine.
Quite what the future holds for Renault and Red Bull’s teams in F1 is unclear, but the murmurings certainly suggest that change is on the horizon.