BETTER DAYS TO COME? Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is excited about Renault's new engine alliance with expert Mario Illien. Image: AP/ Felipe Dana
PARIS, France - Renault's F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul has hailed the new collaboration with engine expert Mario Illien.
Christian Horner, boss of Renault's works team Red Bull, who in 2014 failed to win the title for the first time since 2009, said: "It is great that Renault is now working with Ilmor.”
Renault faltered badly at the start of 2014’s all-new turbo V6 era while Mercedes initially dominated and went on to win the F1 championship.
So, it was significant that as the 2014 season ended in Abu Dhabi in November a notable VIP in the Red Bull garage was the multiple title-winning former Mercedes F1 designer Illien.
Abiteboul told France's Auto Hebdo: "Ilmor is a strong company with extensive experience with similar engines used in other series.”
He confirmed that Illien's UK-based company was now "performing some tasks" for the Renault F1 project. Abiteboul added: "This is very useful in situations where it is necessary to analyse a set of solutions.”
Another key reason for the Illien alliance, he admitted, was that it was "not so easy to create such a very complex hybrid system in the centre of France".
"We are not in the English 'Motorsport Valley', where in pubs every evening engineers from all over meet over a beer," he added.