As a sign of how silly Formula One sponsorship can get, Red Bull Racing, which is funded by the Red Bull energy drinks company and has Infiniti as a title sponsor as well as Renault as a power unit supplier, has decided to give its power unit a name. The name will be that of Swiss watch company Tag Heuer.
Tag Heuer, of course, is a long-time sponsor of McLaren, but after the fellow British team’s disastrous run this season the watch company decided it was best to jump ship. The deal with Red Bull Racing is said to be a multi-year arrangement.
In addition to getting naming rights for the power unit, Tag Heuer will become Red Bull Racing’s official timekeeper, official watch partner and team performance partner. The new arrangement takes effect next season, and it means Red Bull Racing’s new car will officially be the Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Tag Heuer RB12.
Red Bull Racing will still be sourcing its power units from Renault, which this week announced it will return as a constructor next season by taking control of the current Lotus F1 team.
In other F1 news, Red Bull Racing’s sister team Toro Rosso, which for the past two seasons used Renault power units, has confirmed it will return to Ferrari power next year. However, Toro Rosso will be using 2015-spec Ferrari power units, which was made possible due to the FIA’s recent decision to allow engine suppliers to offer more than one power unit specification in a season.
Like other teams running Renault power units this year, Toro Rosso has suffered from the poor performance of the French firm’s design. The team used a Cosworth engine in 2006, its first year of competition, before switching to Ferrari in 2007. In 2014 it started using a Renault power unit.