Horner: No Renault power unit updates until Russia

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Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner is not expecting the team to receive any updates for its Renault power unit until the Russian Grand Prix in October.

Red Bull has endured a difficult first half of the 2015 Formula 1 season, with many of the issues with its RB11 car stemming from the Renault power unit.

The problems have been grave enough to prompt team owner Dietrich Mateschitz and advisor Helmut Marko to issue a quit threat over Renault’s lack of performance.

Although the French marque has made some progress in recent races, there is still some uncertainty about the future of its relationship with Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso.

All engine suppliers in F1 are allocated tokens to spend on updates across the course of the season in a bid to improve the power unit.

Mercedes and Ferrari have both made some improvements since the beginning of the season, but Horner confirmed on Friday in Hungary that Renault would not be using any of its tokens until the Russian Grand Prix in October.

“I don’t think there is anything scheduled now before Sochi,” Horner said.

“That probably is the earliest that we are going to see any form of development or use of the tokens, so the engines we’ve got at the moment are what we’re having to live with for the time being.”

“So engines four and five of what the drivers have been using between Friday and Sunday racing. Unfortunately [Daniel] Ricciardo has now lost engine four, so he’s only got engine five, that came into service for the first time in Austria, to get him through the next few races.

“So only time will tell as to whether we can get to Sochi or not without incurring another penalty before introducing an upgraded unit.”

When asked if some form of Mercedes engine would be an option for 2016, Horner reaffirmed Red Bull’s existing partnership with Renault which lasts until the end of next season.

“We have an agreement with Renault to the end of next year and of course as a partner, we’re expecting them to enable us to run in a competitive manner,” Horner said.

“In order to do that, we need a competitive engine. Of course, Renault need that more than anybody as well for both of their customer teams.”