Red Bull is planning to prioritise its 2019 engine deal over Daniel Ricciardo's new contract as it prepares to make a choice between Renault power and Honda power by the end of June.
After his victory in Monaco on Sunday, much of the talk surrounding Red Bull has focused on Ricciardo's contractual situation and whether he could be tempted away by rivals Mercedes and Ferrari. Red Bull has gone on the record saying it is keen to keep Ricciardo alongside Max Verstappen in 2019, but before entering negotiations with the Australian, team boss Christian Horner says both team and driver needs to know which manufacturer will be powering the car.
"I think the reality is it will be finding a solution to conclude a deal with Daniel in the next couple of months, but the first thing is to get the engine sorted and then very much follow on from there with drivers," he said.
Despite pressure from existing engine partner Renault to make a decision by mid-May, Horner insists there his team still has around a month to decide.
"The FIA understand the situation we are in. There is no hard and fast deadline as you saw last year with McLaren [switching to Renault] and Toro Rosso [switching to Honda]."
Honda's existing engine deal with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso means the senior team has all the data available to make an informed decision for 2019. Both Renault and Honda are planning upgrades for the Canadian Grand Prix in early June and the results of those are likely to dictate Red Bull's decision.
"We are about a month or so away [from a decision]," Horner added. "It's end of June, beginning of July -- that's the timescale we have always talked about. We're waiting with great interest to see the relative performance of the two engines in Montreal."
Asked what he was expecting from Renault in Canada, Horner referenced the MGU-K failure that nearly cost Ricciardo victory in Monaco on Sunday.
"Well we're hoping for a reliable MGU-K! There is a small upgrade coming for Montreal and we need every bit we can get at the moment. So that's hugely important for us."
Asked if the Monaco issues would impact the decision, Horner dropped a clue that Red Bull is leaning towards a Honda deal for 2019.
"One hopes it makes it easier rather than harder. It should be fairly obvious but it will all depend on the data."