Jun.28 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Caterham is now “very close” to signing up with Renault for V6 power in 2014.
“The talks have entered their final phase,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
Renault, whose new 1.6 litre turbo is believed the most expensive on offer for next year, has already concluded 2014 deals with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Lotus is also expected to stay with the French marque.
“Renault is a great partner,” Frenchman Abiteboul told Russian website f1news.ru, “I have worked in this company so I have complete trust.
“Additionally, we have a joint project – Caterham and Renault – so it is important that on the formula one and the sports car side there is the same manufacturer.
“I can say that I am very actively pushing for Renault,” he added.
But he said that the first Caterham-Renault road car will not be on the market until 2016, giving the F1 team time to move up from the back of the grid.
“So we have time,” Abiteboul continued, “and formula one in this case is a marketing tool.”
Asked whether his 2016 timeframe might not impress Caterham’s team owners, he insisted: “The shareholders are well aware of our plans and our goals.”
However, the F1 team originally had higher targets than merely tenth in the constructors’ championship this year.
Abiteboul responded: “I have to cope with the problem — that’s my commitment to the shareholders.
“If I cannot do it, they will decide if I am able to continue to lead the team or not.”