“This [engine supply] has not been decided yet,” team principal Franz Tost said in Jerez. “We are in a conversation with Renault and then we will see. But no contract has been signed so far.
“This for sure will be an advantage because if we are racing with the Renault engine we will have the same gearbox as Red Bull – this is possible within the regulations. And for sure we will use the synergies within what the regulations will allow us to do.
“The earlier we have our partners the easier it is to go into detail and sort out all the open questions. Next year’s drivetrain package is very complicated. Not so much from the engine side but from the turbo because of the heat, from the air system and from the gearbox. You need to know as early as possible who are the partners.”
A move to Renault power for the Faenza team could prove to be an interesting move off track as well as on. While Ferrari always manage to negotiate from a position of power thanks to their unique position within the sport, the more engine customers Renault picks up for 2014, the greater their influence within the sport.
If Sauber also chose to break ties with the Scuderia, the 2014 engine spec change would be even more of a bee in Luca di Montezemolo's bonnet - with no customers, Ferrari will be paying for all of that development work by itself...
It will be interesting to see which teams go where over the course of 2013, signing new deals and shifting the balance of power around the paddock.