Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul's comments on Red Bull/Honda deal change everything

Max Verstappen pleased with 'exciting' Red Bull-Honda marriage

Max Verstappen pleased with 'exciting' Red Bull-Honda marriage

Red Bull this week confirmed they were switching from Renault to Honda as engine suppliers from next year and team chief Christian Horner has made it clear he hopes to persuade Ricciardo to stay. You have Honda basically working for Red Bull and Toro Rosso only, so it is designed around your auto.

Red Bull have used Cosworth, Ferrari and Renault engines in the past without ever having a major manufacturer focused exclusively on their two teams.

Horner, sitting alongside Boullier at a scheduled news conference organised by the governing FIA, said Ricciardo would be taking "a fairly bold decision" to leave Red Bull for a team well below them in the standings.

"It seems like every time they add pressure to you, it is always working for me".

Verstappen added that he had visited Honda's engine factory in Japan past year already and had been impressed with what he saw. "I think that is also very good".

He had paid a visit to their base in Sakura and was impressed with the set-up. "It all looked very efficient".

He suggested Ricciardo's choice could be swayed by the Honda engine decision and that if Renault continues to improve then it will naturally be a more attractive prospect.

"It was quite impressive how they've built up all the facilities and the dynos and stuff".

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Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo remains unsure whether Honda or Renault is the best option.

"We love Daniel. I've known him many, many years", Boullier said.

When told about Marko's comments Ricciardo refused to rule out a move, saying a switch to one of the big midfield teams such as McLaren or Renault was attractive as it came with the potential of rebuilding one of those outfits back into a championship contender.

"I know we still don't have the qualifying modes, but our race pace, once we're all fuel saving and all that, we seem a lot more competitive".

The youngest race victor in Formula One history, with three career victories so far, Verstappen is seen as a future champion but the Honda engine has under-performed since the Japanese manufacturer returned with McLaren in 2015.

"I think it's fair to say they're both on the up - it's just who's going to get there quicker, that's still the unknown".

"Last year in Singapore we announced a comprehensive set of agreements with both the Red Bull group and McLaren", he recalled to Autosport, with the latter ending a hard three-year partnership with Honda.

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