Infiniti, Red Bull Racing Part Ways, Renault Making 100% F1 Comeback in 2016
Nissan's Infiniti racing team is splitting off from long-time partner Red Bull Racing. Their contract was to run until next year, but the team has struggled to find wins since its star racer left after a very shaky 2014 season. The team's 2015 season has been rocky. The split is effective at the end of December. Infiniti had been the title sponsor and supplier for the Red Bull Racing team since 2013 and in partnership since 2011.
There is no word on whether Infiniti will continue with its own team or join another racing team. Given the close-knit Renault-Nissan partnership, it's possible that Infiniti could sign on with Renault.
Renault has announced that they will become a full factory race team as of the 2016 season. Carlos Ghosn, head of both Nissan and Renault, said that the 12-time Constructors' Champion will continue it's near-40 year unbroken participation in Formula 1 for 2016. After financial analysis, the team believes they can go forward as a solo factory race endeavor.
As an engine supplier, Renault says, payback was limited in terms of marketing and finances. As a full team with their own logo, that would change. New engine requirements for F1 were expensive to implement and test and showed low return as a result.
As for who will be driving, Renault is finalizing acquisition of the Lotus F1 Team with principle contracts already signed. This continues the participation of Renault in Formula 1 that's been uninterrupted since 1977. More details on the Renault team will come in early January, the company assures.