Red Bull have been forced to design four different cars to ensure they have options when it comes to fitting a last-minute engine, according to team principal Christian Horner.
The Milton Keynes based team has yet to source a replacement for Renault and is now running short of time in order to be ready for the first test of the season in early-February.
A deadline set by team owner Dietrich Mateschitz of late-October has come and gone, but Horner remains hopeful of a resolution which could see them continuing with Renault.
“I don’t think you can discount anything right now,” he said when asked by the official Formula 1 website if Renault remained an option. “But it has to be a different relationship.”
That likely refers to a potential plan to run unbranded Renault engines – at a far greater cost than usual – for a single season, before switching to F1’s new standard engine, which is a proposal by Bernie Ecclestone and backed by FIA president Jean Todt.
“Could that [standard engine] be considered an option for Red Bull? We believe it will be – but, of course, it has to be competitive. And it has to be cost effective.
“The technology would be very different. It would be a very simple engine with a technology that already exists.”
However 2016 remains a problem and Red Bull have been forced to design multiple concepts to ensure they’re ready when – or if – they finally source a power unit.
“We have designed four versions of the car – so one engine should fit. So we wait until the music stops and see which chair we are sitting in – or even if we have a chair at all,” he added with a smile.