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Red Bull Will Compare Honda & Renault at Canadian GP

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Christian Horner

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has said the team wants to compare the Honda and Renault engines at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, which will take place in two weeks.

Though Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul had given Red Bull until the end of May to decide, that deadline seems mostly meaningless to its current customers.

“It will be a month or so. End of June, beginning of July. It’s the time-frame we’ve always talked about,” said Horner, who is unlikely to let Abiteboul force his hand given that Renault is contractually obliged to supply Red Bull with engines until at least 2020 should the energy drinks company fail to secure them from another manufacturer.

Waiting until at least the Canadian Grand Prix is important to Horner because both Honda and Renault are planning to bring updates to the race. “We want to compare the two engines in Canada,” he said. “We’ll get small updates in Montreal but we need to get the most out of them. It’s very important to us.”

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One of the issues Red Bull has had with Renault has been the lack of a competitive qualifying mode, which its competitors use to get an extra edge in the final qualifying session on Saturday. Despite having a consistently strong race package, Red Bull has struggled to keep up in this area—and given how difficult it has been for drivers to overtake in 2018, qualifying as far up the grid as possible has been of major importance.

Horner believes that with a compelling qualifying mode, Red Bull could finally challenge for race wins on a consistent basis. “If I’m not mistaken, in the last six races the five fastest laps were ours,” he said. “If we get more power in the last qualifying session, there will be nothing stopping us from making the lives of Mercedes and Ferrari very difficult.”

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