Red Bull are poised to make a decision on whether their engine suppliers for 2019 and beyond will be Honda or Renault.
An announcement could be made as early as the Austrian GP later this month.
Both engine manufacturers have introduced upgraded power units at this weekend’s Canadian GP with their comparative performances set to be the driving force behind Red Bull’s decision.
“We are at a crucial point in the season,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1. “The data we take out of this weekend will be fundamental to our decision making for the future. In an ideal world, we would like to see two samples of that – here and in France. But by the Austrian race we will have made a decision.”
Red Bull are in the final year of their existing deal with Renault while junior outfit Toro Rosso are powered by Honda following a swap of power providers with McLaren at the end of last season.
“We want the best engine that gives us the most competitive chances going forward. Whether that is Honda or Renault is the decision we have to make in the next week or so,” confirmed Horner.
Responding to Horner’s comments, Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul said “Frankly with us they have a chance to become world champions again.
“With what they have now, what is in the pipeline, and their car – which is a great car and maybe the greatest – they have the chance to become world champions again in the next two years.”
The length of Red Bull’s next engine deal will also be the source of fascination amid the ongoing uncertainty about the sport’s future direction and speculation Porsche could join F1 after 2020.