Red Bull is considering taking over Honda's Formula One engine project when the manufacturer quits the championship at the end of 2021.
Honda's decision to leave the sport has left Red Bull and junior team Alpha Tauri without an engine supplier for 2022 onwards. Mercedes has already ruled out supplying Red Bull, leaving a return to former partner Renault looking like its most realistic option of F1's three remaining suppliers.
As an alternative option, Red Bull is exploring the possibility of stepping when Honda leaves and running the engines itself. However, Red Bull motorsport advisor Hemlut Marko said this would require a tweak to the existing regulations.
"It's a very complex subject," Marko told German broadcaster Sport1. "Just as complex as these engines are.
"We would favour, provided the talks with Honda are positive, that we take over the IP rights and everything that is necessary, to then prepare and deploy the engines ourselves in Milton Keynes.
"But this is only possible on condition that the engines are frozen by the first race in 2022 at the latest. We cannot afford further development, neither technically nor financially. That is a prerequisite."
Marko said this approach would allow Red Bull to continue developing its car around its current engine.
"All engine manufacturers have their own team and that means they develop the engine around their chassis," he said.
"We would get something where we would have to adapt our chassis and our ideas secondary, and we would be confronted with a technical solution that we would have to accept.
"That's why the Honda solution is [our favourite]. Nevertheless, we are exploring all possibilities.
"According to the FIA regulations, every engine manufacturer has committed itself to supplying other teams. If something like this is to be a possibility for us, then it must fit the overall situation, and it must make us competitive.
"A happy forced marriage is not an issue for us."