Red Bull reveal key to Ricciardo talks

Thursday, 17 may 2018, 07:54 , by Matthew Scott

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admits Daniel Ricciardo is waiting to see which power unit they take for 2019 before committing his future. Red Bull's increasingly fractious relationship with Renault is slated to end this year, with Honda potentially replacing the French marque.

Renault's inability to keep pace with Mercedes in the hybrid V6 era has taken Red Bull from being Formula 1's most dominant team to trailing both the Silver Arrows and Ferrari, who also poached Sebastian Vettel from the Milton Keynes squad.

Honda has shown glimpses of improved performance and reliability with Toro Rosso after three disastrous years with McLaren, catching the eye of Red Bull.

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Ricciardo's contract expires at the end of 2018 and has outlined his intention to land in a race-winning seat for next season. If Red Bull do tie in with Honda, it could be seen as risking their current competitiveness and Horner says the situation will be key in deciding Ricciardo's future.

"In an ideal world we'd have it done yesterday," Horner is quoted by Racefans speaking about the Australian's deal.

"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. We want to have the most competitive package for next season and seasons beyond that as possible, hence the reason for the time."

Given Monte Carlo's power forgiveness, Red Bull are expected to challenge at the Monaco Grand Prix, but Horner says the following race in Canada will pique his interest with both Renault and Honda plotting upgrades.

"Hopefully around Montreal time there's a next engine introduction," Horner 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."

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