Red Bull sets Austrian GP engine deadline

07/06/2018
NEWS STORY

Though the 'unofficial' deadline by which time the engine manufacturers must advise the FIA who they are supplying next season is long past, Red Bull feels it will be confident enough to make a decision at the time of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Quite simply, the Austrian team has two choices, frying pan or fire, aka Renault or Honda.

Despite having won its four titles with Renault, and races even as recently as two weeks ago in Monaco, Red Bull is clearly weary of its engine partner, especially since the introduction of the Hybrid formula in 2014.

Be it the engines lack of grunt or its unreliability, Red Bull has made no secret of its desire to find an alternative, its pleas to Ferrari and Mercedes falling on deaf ears.

For 2019 and beyond, the Milton-Keynes based outfit has a clear choice, it either remains with Renault or jumps ship to Honda whose engines are being run in the Toro Guinea Pigs, aka Toro Rossos, this season.

The long delay in announcing its intention is frustrating to all, not least the Red Bull designers who are already working on the 2019 car, and Honda and Renault who are both unclear on whether they will have one less or one additional customer next year.

"We're in talks,” Helmut Marko told Motorsport.com. “Our internal schedule plans that we want to have a decision on the engine issue by the Grand Prix in Austria.

"If possible, then also on the driver," he added, a clear reference to Daniel Ricciardo who is understood to be waiting on Red Bull's engine plans for next year before deciding on his own future.

“I'm sure there'll be a decision in Austria," said Marko. "There's not that many possibilities.”

Both Honda and Renault are introducing upgrades this weekend, and while the Japanese manufacturer is concentrating on its internal combustion engine, its French rival is said to be dithering over the introduction of a new MGU-K in the wake of the reliability issues plaguing the current unit... as Ricciardo can testify.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Montreal, here.

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Published: 07/06/2018
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