Red Bull will not make a decision on its future engine supply contract before the Canadian Grand Prix in order to see the impact of potential upgrades from Renault and Honda.
The current contract between Red Bull and Renault is due to expire at the end of this year, and it has looked increasingly likely that the pair will split after suffering a difficult relationship since the start of 2014. With Honda supplying Toro Rosso this year, the Japanese manufacturer is the obvious alternative for Red Bull, and formal talks took place between Helmut Marko and Honda in Azerbaijan.
With Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul saying he has extended until May a deadline to allow Red Bull to make a decision, Horner responded: “There won’t be a decision in May.
“I think potentially both engine suppliers are bringing an upgrade around Montreal so we wait and see with interest.”
While neither manufacturer has confirmed when it will deliver a power unit update, when focusing on Renault’s, Horner added: “Hopefully around Montreal time, there is a next [Renault] engine introduction; we are hoping for a performance increase.”
And Horner believes Daniel Ricciardo is also keen to see how the power unit situation pans out for the team as decides whether to commit to a new Red Bull contract beyond the end of 2018.
“I think he’s keen to know what our choice of engines is moving forward. But we want to have the most competitive package from next season to the seasons beyond that as possible.
“In an ideal world we’d have it done yesterday. But, you know, there are certain things that have to pan out and we respect Daniel taking a little bit of time to be comfortable with his decision making.
“I don’t think [it’s affecting him]. He’s driving as he always has for us.”