Jul.31 (GMM) Another senior figure in the Red Bull camp has declined to comment on reports Toro Rosso is set to become Honda-powered in 2018.
Already in Hungary, the Red Bull junior team’s Carlos Sainz refused to comment on rumours Honda’s rifts with McLaren and Sauber could result in Toro Rosso signing a deal with the struggling Japanese manufacturer.
But then in Hungary, McLaren-Honda put both drivers in the points, with Fernando Alonso even recording the fastest lap of the entire race.
Asked if that boost would affect the Toro Rosso-Honda negotiations, Christian Horner said: “What negotiations?”
According to the rumour, serious talks between Red Bull and Honda regarding a potential Toro Rosso deal will take place on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to comment on rumours or ask about the source of your information,” Horner, the Red Bull Racing team boss, said.
“I think there’s an awful lot of rumours about Honda at the moment, but I have nothing to say.”
However, with Mercedes and Ferrari saying no to customer deals with McLaren, and with Honda appearing to make progress, it now seems most likely that McLaren-Honda will stay together.
September appears to be the decision deadline.
“You can change an engine supplier in 12 weeks,” said McLaren boss Eric Boullier. “But if you want to build a car ideally around the engine, you need to start in September at the latest.”
Honda’s motor sport chief Mashashi Yamamoto said clearly: “Honda is staying in formula one and with McLaren. We have a contract.”
And Honda F1 boss Yusuke Yamamoto added in Hungary: “There is no doubt that we want to stay with McLaren.
“I’m glad we can show some progress here, which will improve our relationship.”