Of all the automakers that have supplied engines to Formula One teams over the years, few have seen Renault’s level of success. But while the French automaker scored world championships with its own team in 2005 and 2006, the bulk of its achievements have historically come as supplier to independent teams.

Funk Flex

Find Flex On Google+

This season Renault is powering three teams, and will power Williams once again starting next season. But without a doubt its most successful partnership has been with Red Bull Racing. The team is the current reigning champion in both the drivers’ and constructors’ categories, and looks poised to repeat this year. Little surprise, then, that the two outfits have opted to renew their partnership for five more seasons.

The newly announced agreement will see Red Bull running the current V8 engines and KERS hybrid system for the next two seasons, during which it will collaborate directly with Renault Sport on the development of the new 1.6-liter turbo V6 units for use starting in 2014. With Red Bull and Renault stepping up to such “premium technical cooperation”, we can’t help but wonder if the French manufacturer is looking to further decrease its direct involvement with its own works team and elevate Red Bull – long rumored to switch its engines to Infiniti branding – to its principal collaborator.