Red Bull's Helmut Marko says that taking over Honda's F1 engine program is the energy drink's preferred option for 2022, but only if engine development is frozen from the outset of the season.
The announcement last week of Honda's exit from F1 at the end of next year has left Red Bull scrambling to find an engine supply solution by the end of the year for both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri.
A partnership between Red Bull and Renault could be revived based on F1's sporting regs, that compels a manufacturer to supply a team if called upon to do so by the FIA.
But Honda F1 boss Masashi Yamamoto has suggested that the Japanese manufacturer could establish a continuation program with Red Bull by which the latter could be granted access to Honda's hardware and intellectual property, therefore bringing the latter's program in-house at Milton Keynes.
Such an alternative appeals to Red Bull, but only if the FIA orders a complete freeze on engine development from the start of the 2022 season.
"It’s a very complex subject, just as complex as these engines are," Marko told German broadcaster Sport1.
"We would favour, provided the talks with Honda are positive, that we take over the IP rights and everything that is necessary, to then prepare and deploy the engines ourselves in Milton Keynes.
"But this is only possible on condition that the engines are frozen by the first race in 2022 at the lates. We cannot afford further development, neither technically nor financially. That is a prerequisite."
Marko says a continuation program with Honda would avoid Red Bull stepping back to the level of a mere "customer" team.
"All engine manufacturers have their own team and that means they develop the engine around their chassis," argued the Austrian.
"We would get something where we would have to adapt our chassis and our ideas secondary, and we would be confronted with a technical solution that we would have to accept.
"That's why the Honda solution is [our favourite]. Nevertheless, we are exploring all possibilities.
"According to the FIA regulations, every engine manufacturer has committed itself to supplying other teams.
"If something like this is to be a possibility for us, then it must fit the overall situation, and it must make us competitive. A happy forced marriage is not an issue for us."