Honda admit Red Bull concerns

Thursday, 17 may 2018, 14:41 , by Matthew Scott

Honda have admitted concerns over their ability to "deal with" a partnership with Red Bull in Formula 1. Red Bull and Honda have held initial discussions about an engine deal in 2019 and beyond, as the four-time constructors' champions grow frustrated with Renault.

Sebastian Vettel won the final nine races of the 2013 season for Red Bull, but Daniel Ricciardo's triumph in Shanghai this season was their ninth in the four seasons and three races since that record-breaking streak.

Honda's promising start to 2018 with Toro Rosso - in stark contrast to the previous three years with McLaren - has piqued Red Bull's interest as they plot a way to catch up with Ferrari and Mercedes in the power stakes.

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Team principal Christian Horner has suggested Red Bull will make a decision by June, by which time Honda expect to have a clearer idea if they can help Red Bull maintain their position in the pecking order, at least.

"We regard it as a positive thing, giving us time means we have time to consult more," Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.

"We are very positive. To deal with Red Bull is a really big thing for Honda, because they are a top team.

"This gives us a sort of pressure as an engine manufacturer. We have to consider many aspects very well, can we really deal with Red Bull's size?

"We have to feel the responsibility to supply the engine."

Despite Horner's apparent desire to delay any decision, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul had previously said they wanted a decision by the end of May.

"We cannot postpone it indefinitely," Abiteboul told El Mundo. "We are not going to put a deadline, because it's not our style.

"But there is some urgency due to changes in the regulations. So if Red Bull wants our engines, they should let us know."

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