F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has said he is prepared to leave Red Bull if the team swaps from Renault to Honda powertrains.
The Australian driver, who has been dubbed one of the most talented drivers in the world, will come out of contract at the end of 2017 and has threatened to walk away from the Red Bull team if it signs a deal to use Honda powertrains.
Originally, Renault was set to supply its power units to the team for the Formula One cars until 2020. However, although not confirmed yet, speculation suggests Renault could pull the plug next year – two years ahead of schedule.
The move comes ahead of an announcement today that McLaren will be dropping Honda in favour of Renault– hence the potential partnership between Red Bull and Honda.
Ricciardo is understandably nervous about the merger as Honda engines are regarded as "the worst on the track", according to The Times.
In a statement he said: "Yeah, they [Honda] obviously need to improve.
"I'm sure there's reason behind it and, obviously, faith they're going to get better — and there's probably some proof in the pudding somewhere — but for sure they'll need to show up next year."
It has been confirmed today that Honda will power Red Bull's junior Toro Rosso team, who currently also use Renault engines.
Losing Ricciardo would be a major blow to the team as he has the potential to be a world champion, so Red Bull are eager to retain him.