Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix will be a key assessment of which manufacturer will power Red Bull from 2019 onwards.
The choice is either switch to Honda, who currently power Toro Rosso, or stay with current suppliers Renault.
Horner said he has “great interest” in the relative performance between Renault and Honda in Canada, as both have brought upgraded power unit packages this weekend.
The upgraded units got their first on-track action during Friday’s two ninety-minute practice sessions.
“There are still a few things to be configured,” Daniel Ricciardo told media about the upgraded Renault power unit after FP2.
Honda’s Technical Director, Toyoharu Tanabe, said after Friday practice that the upgraded Honda ICE is working as expected, “which is encouraging for the rest of the weekend.”
Horner revealed to Autosport on Thursday that Red Bull is expecting a final decision on the manufacturer before next month’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Renault’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has expressed his desire to keep Red Bull as a PU partner next year, as he told Sky Sports yesterday that Red Bull have a chance to win the championship with Renault, but he couldn’t say for Honda.
Red Bull have been powered by Renault since 2010, but the relationship has been shaky since 2014 due to the French manufacturers’ underperformance in the V6-hybrid era.
After three torrid years with McLaren between 2015 and 2017, Honda switched their PU program to Toro Rosso for the start of 2018.
Horner said he hopes the final decision will be “fairly obvious.”