Red Bull and Renault Set to Split After 2018

Annette Crawford
September 17, 2017

Ricciardo is understandably nervous about the merger as Honda engines are regarded as "the worst on the track", according to The Times.

Red Bull will still be powered by Renault until the end of next season, but that deal is very unlikely to be extended given Renault's frustration about how they are regularly criticised for the the power they provide.

Losing Ricciardo would be a major blow to the team as he has the potential to be a world champion, so Red Bull are eager to retain him. However, although not confirmed yet, speculation suggests Renault could pull the plug next year - two years ahead of schedule.

But the tension has returned, even with Ricciardo's win in Azerbaijan, as it did not help things in the long run.

Renault will drop Red Bull as an F1 engine customer after 2018, reports Auto Motor und Sport.

Prior to this, the Toro Rosso team is said to have already made the switch to Honda power units, signing on a three year deal with the Japanese automaker.

This might have contributed to the recent deal that will be officially launched this weekend at the Grand Prix of Singapore, where McLaren will be supplied Renault engines in a bid to try to keep Fernando Alonso for a few more seasons, which looks like it's set to happen. While that stoked fears that Red Bull might be saddled with Honda as their only engine option, Red Bull hinted to Sky Sports that they have "existing relationship" with a motor manufacturer who can hook them up in Renault's place for 2019 that sounds a lot like Aston Martin.

Ferrari and Mercedes have both rejected the idea of supplying engines to Red Bull in the past, leaving Honda as the only viable option as they prepare to work with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

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