Christian Horner says any engine unfreeze should be handled "responsibly" and is not concerned that Mercedes could extend its advantage as a result.

Mercedes has moved to block any changes to the engine freeze regulations, with Red Bull and Ferrari the most vocal teams in trying to push for an in-season performance update. When it was put to Horner that any change to the regulations could allow Mercedes to further develop its power unit quicker than anyone else, he replied: "Quite possibly but at least then you've got the ability to try and improve, because at the moment you're frozen with what you've got.

"You're running with your hands tied behind your back.

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"If it's competition like it is on the chassis side; if you start off on the back foot you can develop your way out of that. I think that on the engine side it's important while the technology is still quite immature that responsibly - not just open, carte blanche development - you should be able to have a couple of increments during the season."

And while Horner believes working more closely with Renault will help Red Bull next season he doesn't believe the gap to Mercedes can be closed over the winter.

"I think it will help, but I think such is the power deficit that you're never going to close that gap in one strike. We can make inroads in to it but the reality is it's such an advantage that it's going to take time to catch up."