Red Bull sets Austrian GP deadline for 2019 F1 engine decision

Red Bull has set itself the target of sorting out its 2019 Formula 1 engine plans by next month's Austrian Grand Prix, as it ponders a switch to Honda

The Milton Keynes-based team does not have an engine contract for next year, and has made it clear it wants to see progress from current supplier Renault if it is to carry on with the French car manufacturer.

Talks have already begun with Honda to evaluate a potential switch to the Japanese manufacturer, which supplies Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso has made solid progress with its engine since last year.

Red Bull will use this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, to which Renault and Honda will both bring upgrades, to assess the relative performance of the two engines to inform its decision.

Both Honda and Renault's upgrades are believed to be worth more than 20bhp.

Red Bull's decision is also likely to influences Daniel Ricciardo's contract situation. The Australian does not currently have a deal for the 2019 season.

Speaking to Autosport, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggested a decision was likely in the next few weeks.

"We're in talks," said Marko. "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.

"I'm sure there'll be a decision in Austria. There's not that many possibilities."

While Renault is poised to deliver improvements in power, it remains unclear if the full scope of its development will be unleashed amid ongoing concerns about the reliability of its MGU-K.

Until it is happy that the MGU-K can run trouble free it may hold the newer version back, even though it is giving away obvious performance.

Honda's upgrades for Canada revolve around improved power from its internal combustion engine, which it believes can be introduced without risking reliability.

Previous article Renault has high-speed understeer fix in works for F1's Canadian GP
Next article F1 teams/drivers to join grid earlier after FIA procedure change