Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has stressed a decision on what direction it will take regarding its engine from 2022 must be made before the end of the season.
The Austrian team’s current engine partner Honda announced last week it will be leaving Formula 1 after 2021, meaning Red Bull is without a power unit supplier.
This leaves only three engine manufacturers Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault on the grid, which Horner believes is a “wake-up call” for F1.
“We need to consider all our options,” Horner said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “A team like Red Bull is not a standard customer team, the team’s aspirations are extremely high, it wants to win, it wants to compete and win world championships.
“So we need to take the time to do our due diligence on the options that are available to us, in order to finalise our thinking, certainly by the end of the season, and most definitely before the end of the year. Obviously we’ve got to consider all the options, and then make decisions following that.”
Honda’s decision to abandon its F1 activities is based around the Japanese manufacturer throwing all of its energy and resources into achieving carbon neutrality.
Having joined forces last year, Red Bull boss Horner was grateful Honda had given them time to mull over its options going forward.
“It’s our duty to look at what is the most competitive way forward in 2022, and we have the time,” Horner said. “Honda have afforded us that time. If they’d made this decision in the spring of next year, or in the autumn of next year, it would have been a far worse scenario for us.
“We’re only just halfway through the relationship with Honda. And we’ve achieved a lot in the time that we’ve been together, and we aim to achieve a lot more in the remaining time that we have together.
“Obviously there’s the bigger questions that need to be answered between now and the end of the year.”
Horner is well aware Red Bull is limited on options, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff ruling out supplying the Milton Keynes-based outfit for “various reasons”.
Acquiring Honda’s IP with independent support is on the table, although Horner remained coy on the idea, leaving only Renault and Ferrari as potential partners.
“There are no new manufacturers lining up to come into F1,” Horner said. “I think Toto in his earlier conference made it clear that Mercedes are not keen to supply an engine. So that limits your choice to therefore two current suppliers in the sport.
“We want to compete and we want to win world championships. That’s the reason that Red Bull is in the sport.
“That’s what it’s here to do. And we can only do that with a competitive power unit. And that’s where we need to take our time as I say, and do the necessary investigation and due diligence.”