Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner has refused to comment on reports that Toro Rosso will be using Honda power for 2018. He is not the only senior figure of Red Bull to decline any word on the rumour however, with Carlos Sainz also refusing to make a statement on the report that suggests Toro Rosso could sign a deal with the Japanese engine supplier amidst its split with Sauber and reported divorce with McLaren.
A competitive weekend for McLaren-Honda saw a double points finish for the Woking-based team, with Fernando Alonso finishing in sixth place, and Stoffel Vandoorne in tenth. This result has bumped McLaren up to ninth in the Constructors' Championship ahead of Sauber.
When Horner was asked if McLaren's boost in performance would affect negotiations between Honda and Toro Rosso, the Red Bull team principal replied: "What negotiations?"
According to the rumour that links Toro Rosso with Honda power for 2018, serious talks will be held on Thursday this week. "I'm not going to comment on rumours or ask about the source of your information," said Horner. "I think there's an awful lot of rumours about Honda at the moment, but I have nothing to say."
Currently, it is becoming more and more likely that McLaren will continue to use Honda power in 2018 with its "Spec 3" engine showing positive progress in the camp and Mercedes and Ferrari declining a customer deal with the team.
Talking about the matter, Eric Boullier said that "You can change an engine supplier in 12 weeks. But if you want to build a car ideally around the engine, you need to start in September at the latest," suggesting that a decision will be made about Honda's fate with McLaren in two months.
The Honda camp also sounded upbeat about its relationship with McLaren continuing into 2018. "Honda is staying in formula one and with McLaren. We have a contract," said Mashashi Yamamoto, Honda's motorsport chief. "There is no doubt that we want to stay with McLaren," added Yusuke Yamamoto. "I'm glad we can show some progress here, which will improve our relationship."