Daniel Ricciardo says he would not be interested in Red Bull Racing reconciling with Renault for a customer engine supply in 2016 if it meant he would be circulating towards the back of the grid.
With the Australian appearing to confirm Ferrari has withdrawn its offer of an engine supply for 2016 after disagreements over the specification Red Bull wants compared with the specification Ferrari is offering, the team's options for next season are dwindling.
Indeed, as it stands, Red Bull will need a turnaround from either Mercedes, Ferrari or its existing partner Renault in order to secure a supply – and therefore its future -, with the latter re-emerging as a potential option this weekend.
As it stands, Red Bull has been in the process of severing ties with Renault a year earlier than planned, allowing the French firm to potentially pursue its own interests through its mooted buy-out of Lotus. However, since the divorce isn't believed to have been formally finalised, Ferrari's rejection has raised speculation it could well turn to Renault once more to at least see out the contract.
However, it is a scenario that Ricciardo is wary of, particularly if Renault cannot make significant strides with a power unit that Christian Horner as recently as this week described as 'two or three years' behind its rivals.
“Obviously I want to be racing, I want to be on the grid, but if someone said you're going to be racing but you'll be running 16th, then maybe I don't want to be racing,” he said. “If they can prepare something better than they have this year to give us a chance to fight further up the grid, it is one of the better options for now.
“We still can't rule out anything, but we do want something competitive… just to run around and make up numbers is not what we are about and as a driver I am not really interested in that.”
Indeed, having spoken of his optimism of Red Bull finding a solution only a day earlier, Ricciardo sounded rather more concerned about his options in the wake of the Ferrari rejection.
“A few manufacturers keep saying no, so obviously the options are getting less and less. It is getting more difficult now [but] we will try and find a solution. Of course I want to be racing and it will be a shame if we are not racing. I am still optimistic we can find a solution but it seems like nobody wants to give us an engine.”