Red Bull left engineless as Mercedes reject 2016 deal

Red Bull is in a desperate search to locate an engine supplier for the 2016 season after terminating its deal with Renault in favour of Mercedes engines, but that deal has fallen through, leaving the team without a supply of engines next season.

It's believed the energy drinks owned team has written to Renault to formally cancel its agreement with the French manufacturer early, as its contract originally ran until the end of 2016.

With Red Bull publicly criticising Renault for its underpowered V6, continuing what has been a successful partnership - bearing four double world championships - would be difficult, particularly given Renault's plans to leave the sport or become a manufacturer team by buying out the Lotus outfit.

Although Bernie Ecclestone was keen to see a Mercedes-powered Red Bull on the grid, the Daimler board have rejected the proposal and it will therefore not go ahead.

FERRARI AND RED BULL

That leaves Red Bull with just one option. With Honda lagging behind Renault and committed to supplying only McLaren, the Milton Keynes team must turn to Ferrari.

The Italian team has already stated that it would be willing to supply both Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso - which is already an old customer - as long as its deal with Renault is cancelled and both sides are happy to do so.

MERCEDES AND MANOR

That would of course contravene the regulations as two further customers would see Ferrari supplying half the grid. They already supply their own team, Sauber and Manor, whilst Haas also has a deal in place.

Therefore it's likely that Manor will switch to Mercedes - something the small outfit are keen to see happen - giving Mercedes the same number of customers as Ferrari - although that may be reduced should Renault confirm its purchase of Lotus and a switch back to Renault power.