Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner is in no rush to extend the team's race-winning partnership with Renault into 2010, as it weighs up an engine deal with Mercedes for next season.
Despite claiming a 1-2 victory in the Chinese Grand Prix, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine exclusively reveals that the team is understood to be well down the line in negotiations with Mercedes, despite not having ruled out continuing with Renault.
"It's way too early to be talking about engines for next year," Horner told AUTOSPORT. "Hopefully Renault will still be around. The engine is performing well and, having been permitted the equalization adjustments at the end of last year, I think it is comparable with the other engines in F1.
"You've probably still got Mercedes as the strongest engine, but I don't think the Renault gives anything away to its rivals."
Mercedes has ruled out supplying more than three teams with engines, and with a firm commitment to both works team McLaren and Force India, Red Bull would have to replace Brawn GP as the German manufacturer's second customer.
Horner added that there is no rush to finalize its engine supplier, as it is possible to modify a car design for an alternative engine at relatively short notice.
"As Ross Brawn has proved, you can change engines at the last minute – they're such simplistic blocks these days," said Horner.