I think you've got things the wrong way round. Teams sort out engine contracts over drivers, especially a team like RBR that has Sainz and Gasly who could step in at short notice if Dan disappeared tomorrow.McHonda wrote: ↑Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:20 pmRed Bull can't sell a contract offer to Dan until Honda surpass or match Renault. It'll be entirely down to the upgrades. Everything else is relatively simple now Honda have said they have no issue with Aston Martin being the title sponsor and Tag can move back to being just a team sponsor like at McLaren. I don't think Red Bull particularly care about getting as much money as McLaren did either, they've got plenty.
But if Renault's upgrade goes much better then convincing Dan to waste his peak on an even worse engine than they've got now won't go well at all, not to mention their current sponsors who are investing for a reason and expect performance, not a willing move backwards.
It needs to be equal or surpass Renault after these upgrades or they won't pull the trigger on it for next year, it's a big enough job to adjust the chassis to a new engine and some temporary performance loss can be absorbed easily enough for all the pluses it brings but if it's also an engine deficit then there's just no point in putting up with the upheaval when you can just have another year like this one instead and give Honda another year in which they'll keep improving and Dan will be happier too.
Red Bull have new aero rules to absorb at the same time for next year which will be a big enough job with a split group working on that, another working on this seasons upgrades especially if they get Dan in the title fight and then any engine swap on top of that will just be viewed as too much if they don't have at least equal performance to bring.
I'm not sure Renault are as keen to keep Red Bull as you think, I think they'll happily pack them off to Honda. With Renault seemingly dropping the ball with the MGU-K then it looks a great chance for Honda to achieve it but Red Bull will still need to see it on track before pulling the trigger, they've come out and said as much.
RBR have the whip hand over Dan. Where can he go? Both Mercedes and Ferrari have stable driver pairings which work well. They are unlikely to pick Dan over their existing guys. None of the other teams are likely to equal let alone beat RBR. So they have him over a barrel regardless of what he might say. His contract is therefore irrelevant to their engine deal.
What RBR don't want to do is repeat McLaren's mistake last year in reverse. They want the best engine for 2019 and 2020, not Canada 2018. Unlike many here I don't think the relative performance of the Honda vs the Renault will change much next weekend. What is more important are the things you and I can't see, the resources Honda will promise compared to that of Renault and what RBR thinks of the pair of them, what they can do over the next two YEARS not next two RACES.
You have absolutely no idea where Honda are in their development plans, nor where Renault are. It could be that Honda can only bring a small upgrade to Canada but a much bigger one later on which RBR is aware of, so that Renault bringing a better upgrade next weekend may be seen as being irrelevant. Alternatively the opposite might be true. It won't be as simple as Renault bringing 10 hp and Honda bringing 15 hp clinching the deal for Sakura.
Renault clearly want to keep RBR, they keep extending their deadline for the contract every week. Were they serious about terminating the contract it would have been sorted out already and RBR would have no choice but to go with Honda.
BTW its clear RBR don't want Honda's money as much as McLaren did because its not on offer in the first place (or perhaps only a little bit).
Anyone who thinks that its a simple 'Honda brought a bigger upgrade than Renault did, therefore we will switch suppliers' decision simply isn't getting the complexity of the decision here.