Daniel Ricciardo says he is now 'more confident' that Red Bull will be on the F1 grid in 2016, but admits the team is likely to take 'whatever engine it can get' now.
Red Bull's future in F1 remains uncertain as the team struggles to secure an engine supply for next season, with company owner Dietrich Mateschitz making repeated threats to pull the team out of the sport if it cannot be competitive.
As it stands, Red Bull has been linked with a number of options, the most recent of which is a deal with Honda, though this is known to face opposition from McLaren.
Nonetheless, with the FIA and FOM announcing earlier in the week about plans to develop a standardised customer engine to be made available from 2017, Red Bull could potentially use an 'interim' engine in the meantime for 2016 with a view towards the future.
Indeed, though Ricciardo says he is unaware of any further specific developments on this front, having previously declared he would seek assurances from Red Bull by the end of October, the Australian says he is now more optimistic that the team will be present next season.
“The longer it gets, the more difficult it becomes but I probably have more confidence that we will be on the grid than I had before. I believe we will be there because everyone wants to be.
“In terms of what engine we are going to have it is still unknown, but the vibe is that we still want to stay here. Unless no-one gives us an engine, that is the only thing that will stop us from racing. I think we will take what we can get because we want to be racing.”
Looking ahead to the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, though the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez's 1.2km home straight is likely to hamper the Renault-powered RB11, Ricciardo says the rest of the lap could play to the car's strengths.
“We are not coming here with massive expectations,” he admits. “We will lose some on the straight but the rest looks quite 'Mickey Mouse' and that is where we have been strong this year. Singapore was our best race and I think there are first gear corners on the track, so they should suit us. If we can make up what we lose on the straights we might be there.”