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GP Week : Issue 231
The Red Bull engine saga has taken another twist with rumours in Austin linked the team with Honda for 2016. Red Bull is currently staring down the barrel of no engine supplier for next season after a rather unceremonious and unseemly end to its partnership with Renault. The Honda link is the latest in a series of rumours which have previously linked the Austrian team with a supply from Mercedes, Ferrari, Audi, remaining with Renault, and now Honda. “So far, we’ve had the rumour of every single engine mentioned in the back of our car for next year,” team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1 when asked about the rumour. “[Honda] probably have a 25 per cent chance if you look at it that way.” “There is so much speculation, a lot of opinion is being based on it, so when we have something to say and something is fixed,” he added. “It is being worked on very hard at the moment.” Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has previously claimed that he would leave the sport if he didn’t have a factory- spec engine capable of winning races and competing for the championship. Current supplier Renault has left the team frustrated by its lack of progress and competitiveness this season, even despite the fact Renault introduced a new spec engine for the US Grand Prix which neither Red Bull nor Toro Rosso used. Indeed it’s thought Toro Rosso will not use the new engine this season while Red Bull weighs up whether the gain, which it suggests is comparatively small, is worth the penalty it would incur. “It’s available if we want to use it; that will mean a penalty though,” Horner said. “So we have to understand if it is worth it. Right now we are less likely to take it but hopefully today they will tell me something different and they have found a big chunk of horsepower.” Horner also admitted for the first time that the team had held discussions with Volkswagen though that currently the German manufacturer had turned its attentions to the emissions scandal it has become embroiled in stateside. “It is publicly known that there have been discussions with the VW group, but obviously with their current issues, F1 is the last thing on their mind,” Horner admitted. "There were other discussions, that will become apparent no doubt in the future as well, and other promises that were made. “There is an awful lot of speculation and conjecture at the moment, but once everything is finalised everything will become extremely clear.” But Horner also warned all options remained on the table, even remaining with Renault though confessed the squad is now less likely to walk away from the sport. “Discussions have been going on with Renault to understand what their plans are for next year, but until they commit to be in F1 or not, it is difficult at this stage to take it any further,” he explained. “We have an agreement with Renault that runs until the end of next year, about which there has been a lot of speculation,” he added. “I am sure there will be confirmation of that agreement in the coming days. “We have to find a solution and I am working very hard to ensure that the team is on the grid and competitive for next year and beyond. “[Dietrich Mateschitz] recognises the commitment and skill and determination within the team and he wants to find a solution going for ward. He is committed to helping that behind the scenes and is involved in numerous discussions to try to facilitate that.” A play for Honda engines however faces one particular hurdle: Ron Dennis. It's understood the McLaren boss is unwilling to share supply with Red Bull, and is vetoing the move. 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news ANOTHER TWIST IN THE RED BULL SAGA