Renault's future in Formula 1 could well be determined by whether Mercedes relents to proposals to amend the current engine regulations, according to Christian Horner.

Having powered Red Bull to four world titles between 2010 and 2013, Renault has struggled to get a handle on the new generation of V6 hybrid power units, finishing a distant second to Mercedes in 2014, while its ongoing troubles with speed and reliability have been well documented in 2015.

As the relationship with Red Bull sours, Renault has publically stated it is re-evaluating its future beyond its current contract in 2016, suggesting it could either continue as it is, go into a full collaboration with another team or leave the sport altogether.

Indeed, Horner believes the latter move is very much a possibility, calling on Mercedes and the FIA to look at the bigger picture and exert a responsibility to help ensure the sport doesn't lose another manufacturer.

"Mercedes don't have to obviously but I think the situation is at a precarious point in terms of Renault's commitment to the future," he said

"If you are effectively shutting that down in February [homologation date], you are almost waving goodbye to them so I think they need to have a bit of a grown-up think about it - and the FIA as well - to say what is in the best interests of F1. If F1 can afford to lose an engine manufacturer, then stick to 28 February..."

With Renault already looking to the future in an effort to get a head-start on 2016 within the tight parameters of the final homologation date, Horner has once more reiterated his frustration with the stringent rules.

"The frustrating thing with the power unit is the lead times are just so long. There are some important tests going on in the next two weeks on the dyno over at Viry and they'll have a significant impact on next year - or at least the direction [for next year] so it's a big two weeks behind the scenes in Viry-Chatillon.

"The engines are effectively frozen for ever after [February] so, if you've missed it by 28 February, the scale of difference is unachievable in that timeframe so really. As these regulations are still relatively immature, it makes sense to allow, as this year, development to happen in-season."


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