Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says it would be "very difficult" to try and supply Toro Rosso with power units in 2016.
After Mercedes ruled out supplying Red Bull, Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost told F1i the most likely deal for both teams is with Ferrari but fears time is running out.
Rather than Sauber not getting engines because there is a 4-team max limit for any manufacturer, a switch to Honda for Toro Rosso could make it easier for Red Bull to secure Ferrari engines as it would mean one less team for the Italian manufacturer to supply. But Tost warned an uncompetitive year with Honda power could hurt Toro Rosso sponsorship deals.
Speaking through a translator, when asked about the possibility of supplying Toro Rosso, Arai told F1i Honda has to think about improving its own performance before taking on further deals.
"It is difficult for Toro Rosso to come to us. It is difficult, looking at the maturity of the power unit it is very difficult. We have to put ourselves in the right place first."
|Wolff and Arrivabene agreeing Red Bull will only get a 'B' spec engine for 2016?|
With every days that goes by the F1 engine mess is getting more and more complicated at Red Bull. The rumored marriage between Red Bull and Mercedes never materialized because the management of the German team proclaimed that they won't supply a team that can beat them (cowards).
Meanwhile Ferrari stepped forward with several meetings aimed to reach an agreement of engine supply for Red Bull.
However, sources have told Motorsport.com that during discussions over the Suzuka weekend, it was made clear to Red Bull that the only chance it had of a Ferrari deal was for updated 2015 power units.
It is unclear, however, whether this decision is down to the logistical problems of Ferrari preparing an extra two customer supply deals for next year, or because of fears that Red Bull could beat they with their engine, thereby hurting car sales.
In an interview with German publication Auto Motor Und Sport on Monday, Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko made clear his feelings about the situation.
"They (Ferrari) are playing games with us," said Marko. "But we don't want to play along.
"Our consideration to pull out is fueled more and more.
"It is an insult to offer us 2015-spec engines when, at the same time, Sauber and Haas F1 are going to get 2016-spec engines." But that is because they do not consider either team a threat to victory.
We must not forget that the rules allow each manufacturer to supply a maximum of four teams and since the Haas team will be equipped with Ferrari power in 2016 if Ferrari supplies Red Bull and Toro Rosso, Sauber could be the loser as shown below and forced to run a Honda engine.
The rules are clear: all the teams enrolled to the F1 World Championship must have an engine. If Ferrari says 'no' to Red Bull and Toro Rosso, look for Bernie Ecclestone to step in because he can't afford to lose two important teams like Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
The only certainty is that next year RBR and TR can use a Renault engines because Renault still has a contract to supply them for one more year.
Don't expect Renault to do them any favors after Red Bull burnt that bridge. So you can bet the Renault engine will be a 'B' spec unit as well.
Given that the Ferrari 'B' spec engine is probably better than the Renault 'B' spec engine, Ferrari knows they have Horner, Marko and Mateschitz where it hurts. Mark C. reporting for AutoRacing1.com
09/18/15 Ghosn has now said that Renault would no longer be an engine supplier, though it would at least honor its deal for 2016 with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, if the teams wanted its power units.
09/17/15 If the rumors are to be believed, and both Red Bull teams are going to switch to Ferrari engines in 2016 because Renault is either dropping out of F1 or buying Lotus and fielding a factory team, could Sauber be left with no engines? Here are the possible scenarios:
As we know, the Haas team will join F1 in 2016 and Ferrari will supply engines. To date, Maranello's portfolio includes also Sauber and Manor. If it added Red Bull and Toro Rosso the number Ferrari supplies would reach 6 (forbidden by the current rules – 4 max). So we believe it will be:
- Red Bull Racing
- Toro Rosso
According to rumors, Manor will become the Mercedes 'B' team similar to what Haas is to Ferrari. So it will join Williams and Force India for a total of 4 teams running Mercedes engines.
- Force India
RENAULT LOW-POWER UNIT
Renault has expressed an interest in buying Lotus and making it their factory team. They refuse to ever supply customer engines in F1 again. Any announcement has been postponed until after the Frankfurt motor show.
HONDA LOW-POWER UNIT
Honda has said it will just supply one team – McLaren – in 2016
So that means Sauber can be left without an engine in 2016 unless the 4-team maximum rule is changed or unless Honda agrees to supply a 2nd team. Mark C. reporting for AR1.com