Horner keeping an open mind about future with Renault

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Christian Horner is not ruling out an extension of Red Bull's collaboration with Renault in 2017.

The relationship between the two partners dissolved half-way through last year's campaign following the underwhelming performance and reliability of the French manufacturer's power unit.

The association improved towards the end of the season but Red Bull still decided to discontinue its supply contract with Renault before reaching a compromise by which Red Bull's cars shall be powered by a TAG-Heuer branded power unit sourced from Renault.

Depending on how the 2016 season unfolds for the Milton Keynes outfit, Horner isn't excluding renewing a partnership with Renault.

"With Cyril [Abiteboul] I think we have a love-hate relationship where he loves to hate us! I’m only joking on that!

"We’ve had some constructive discussions with Renault over the months and they seem to be acting on some of them. They’ve embraced Mario Illien, made changes to their technical infrastructure and got quality personnel involved now like Bob Bell.

"I think change will start to be addressed there. That is going to take time. We are going to keep an open mind, certainly through the first half of the year."

In any case, Horner is expecting the Renault engine to improve over the course of the season, and provide a foundation on which Red Bull shall build to the best of its ability.

"Each new engine should get better and better," Horner said.

"The competition will also be interesting, because while we know the progress Renault has made, we will only find out in Barcelona and especially in Melbourne how Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda have improved. For us, being in Q3 in Australia would be a good way to start the year."

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