Red Bull watching Honda F1 engine progress ‘very closely’

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Red Bull is keeping a close eye on Honda’s progress with its Formula 1 engine amid speculation of a possible deal for the 2019 season, according to team advisor Helmut Marko.

Honda cut ties with McLaren at the end of the 2017 campaign after three difficult years, switching its allegiance to Red Bull B-team Toro Rosso for 2018.

Red Bull’s current engine supplier Renault is rumored to be keen on ending its agreement at the end of the existing deal, expiring for 2019, leading to speculation of a switch to Honda, with Toro Rosso acting as a litmus test next year.

“We are very happy with the Toro Rosso and Honda cooperation. Toro Rosso will put all its efforts into making a competitive chassis,” Marko told the official F1 website.

“We do believe in Honda, otherwise we wouldn’t have made that deal. I am very impressed with the facilities that they have and their determination to win.

“It is just a matter of bringing everything together and we believe that this moment will arrive sooner than everybody is expecting.

“We will observe very closely. Beyond 2018, everything is open.”