Caterham has confirmed it will stick with Renault engines next season, as the French car manufacturer closes in on finalizing its 2014 Formula 1 supply plans.
Renault has not yet officially announced any of its deals for the new V6 turbos next year, but the situation is expected to move forward in Monaco this weekend.
While it is a no-brainer that Red Bull will be staying with Renault for another campaign thanks to its close ties with Infiniti, there has been intrigue about the identity of the other Renault teams for 2014. Toro Rosso is expected to announce later this weekend that it will be switching from Ferrari to Renault next year, while Caterham owner Tony Fernandes dismissed talk that he was evaluating options elsewhere and said his squad would be staying with the French car manufacturer.
"We have a car partnership with Renault," said Fernandes in Monaco on Friday. "Our F1 car is going to be replicated in a road car, so you see a Renault engine with DRS and KERS in a Caterham.
"We are a long-term partner. It is not just about the racing team, it is about a business, and the car business is integral."
WILLIAMS AND LOTUS SET TO PART WITH RENAULT
One of the issues Renault's customer teams have faced is a big hike in engine fees for next year, with the French car maker's power unit price believed to be the most expensive in F1. It is understood the cost factor is why current Renault-powered team Williams is closing in on a deal to switch to the cheaper Mercedes engines for 2014, while Lotus is also evaluating its options with Mercedes and Ferrari.
Fernandes (LEFT) conceded that the financial situation in F1 was not ideal, especially since his team originally joined the sport at a time when the promise was for costs to come down.
"From the moment I came in that is something that has been a disappointment," he said about costs. "When [former FIA president] Max Mosley first spoke to us about F1, the costs were supposed to be going down.
"You cannot blame one person for that, but the sport itself. For a new investor, the costs were [supposed to be] going down, and they have actually gone up.
"We had free tires before, we now pay for them. Engines are going up, too."