Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says a final decision on next year’s power unit supply will need to be made in the next two weeks to avoid negatively impacting its 2019 car.
Although it has won two races so far this year, Red Bull’s relationship with Renault remains strained as it cites a lack of power unit performance as its biggest weakness compared to Mercedes and Ferrari. With Toro Rosso being supplied by Honda this year, Red Bull has been analyzing the Japanese manufacturer’s progress and talks have taken place over a potential partnership from next season.
Horner says the upgrades introduced by both Renault and Honda in Canada have given his team further information to make a decision, and believes next year’s car will start to suffer if a final call isn’t made by the end of the month.
“We’re getting to a point where, from a manufacturer point of view, and chassis point of view, you need to start thinking about installation issues and so on,” Horner said. “End of June feels around the right kind of timing. What we need to do is, based on the facts we have, look at it. It’s impossible to go like that in the hour of the race and look at data and form part of the judgment.”
Although close to a decision, Horner says Red Bull may take the French Grand Prix to look further at both Honda and Renault’s performance if it wants to delay a final call until its home race.
“We have a lot of information to go away and analyze from [Canada] and probably take another weekend just to view it over a couple of circuits. I’m sure around the Austrian Grand Prix, we’ll be coming to a conclusion.
“From what I hear, [Honda] have made a good step. Renault have brought what they have advertised as well. Now we have a bunch of GPS data to go away and analyze and look at the relative performance.
“Obviously there’s an engineering decision and then it will go to Mr. [Dietrich] Mateschitz for his approval.”
Despite its two victories, Red Bull has suffered a number of reliability issues so far this season and currently sits 72 points adrift of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.