Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admits he will keep a close eye on how Honda and Renault’s power unit upgrades perform at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The team is considering a change of engine supplier for the 2019 F1 season. Red Bull uses Renault engines (branded TAG-Heuer) at present, but junior team Toro Rosso began using Honda power for the first time this year.
Renault began the year concentrating on improving its reliability. Horner is now keen to see what its first performance upgrade produces.
“Hopefully around Montreal time there’s a next engine introduction,” he said. “We’re hoping from a performance increase.”
“Potentially both engine suppliers are bringing an upgrade around Montreal so we wait and see with interest,” he added.
Red Bull began conversations with Honda about a potential engine supply at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Renault wants to know Red Bull’s decision by the end of the month, but Horner reiterated in Spain “there won’t be a decision in May.”
Red Bull’s engine decision could also have a bearing on whether Daniel Ricciardo will remain at the team next year. Asked when Ricciardo’s contract might be settled, Horner said “in an ideal world we’d have it done yesterday.”
“But [we] appreciate that there’s certain things that have to pan out and respect Daniel taking a little bit of time to be comfortable with his decision-making.”
“I think he’s keen to know what our choice of engines is moving forward,” Horner added. “We want to have the most competitive package for next season and seasons beyond that as possible, hence the reason for the time.”
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