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Illien could join Renault

NEWS STORY
19/11/2015

Renault has admitted that it could yet recruit engine guru Mario Illien as it seeks to resolve ongoing issues.

The Swiss co-founder of Ilmor, which built Mercedes F1 engines first for Sauber in 1993 before its highly successful partnership with McLaren, has recently been linked with Red Bull, having advised the Austrian team and its engine partner Renault earlier in the year.

Sections of the media have claimed that Illien is to modify the existing Renault engine for Red Bull, a move denied by the Swiss and which would not be allowed under the rules which state that engine manufacturers may only homologate one type of engine, thereby ruling out independent upgrades.

Having previously refused Illien's proposal of a new cylinder, Renault, whose much anticipated upgrade in Brazil was actually less powerful than the previous version, is now looking at getting Illien on board as it looks to the future.

"We need to use all the energy and the resources that we have available," Renault's Cyril Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. "I am absolutely not precious about where the solution is coming from, what I want is the solution. Full stop.

"There is no obligation, and there is nothing that is coming from us top down, from Red Bull," he insisted. "There is just a clear willingness to find a solution as quickly as possible.

"Mario has access to a pool of resources that we don't have access to right now," he admitted. "So in that respect, we are a bit handicapped by the lack of medium to long term visibility of our F1 programme.

"He is part of one of the most successful ventures in F1 history from a power perspective, and what do I say? What type of project do I have? What type of dream do I have? There is nothing to say. It is a handicap. So I think it is better to use some facilities that already exist. But I also say that it is a short term fix. I am not saying it is long term plan."

To further confuse the issue, Abiteboul admits that with (Renault CEO) Carlos Ghosn yet to make a final decision on the French company's future in F1, everything is on hold.

"At this point of time everything is conditional because as a starting point I don't know where we will be next year," he said.

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1. Posted by mickl, 19/11/2015 15:51

"no mention of taking over Lotus at all.......have a merry Xmas Enstone..........."

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