Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says an engineering decision became central to its switch to Honda engines and feels it was “pretty clear cut in the end”.

Red Bull had asked to delay its decision on whether to stick with Renault or move to Honda from 2019 until the Austrian Grand Prix later this month as it looked to assess its options over the two races in Canada and France with both manufacturers rolling out engine updates in Montreal.

But with the Milton Keynes-based team’s decision being confirmed during the build-up to the French Grand Prix, Horner has moved to explain why the news has come earlier than expected.

Both Renault and Honda had been eager for an early verdict in order to begin its preparation for 2019, while the Red Bull boss conceded it was an easy decision in terms of an engineering perspective.

“We decided that based on the information we had from Montreal our decision, based on engineering, was pretty clear cut in the end and rather than things getting delayed or taking further time,” Horner said. “Renault were also very interested to have a decision as soon as possible to get their own plans in place.

“Therefore we’ve decided that the timing is right to make that commitment and make that decision, hence the announcement.”

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Horner’s team will continue to run under the banner Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year, pointing towards no major commercial crossover with Honda as part of the new deal.

Red Bull is also thought to see a brighter future as a works’ outfit with Honda rather than a customer to Renault who has its own factory squad which it may prioritise in its bid for F1 world titles.

Despite confirming the split from Renault with two-thirds of the current F1 campaign to go, Horner is confident the decision won’t impact its performance for the remainder of this season with the French manufacturer.

“We’re very much focused on the 2018 Formula 1 world championship as we have an outside chance in both championships,” he said. “We’ve won two Grand Prix so far this year and are third in the constructors’ championship and there is a long way to go.

“We are going to be pushing all the way to the finish and going to be relying on support from Renault until the end of the year which I am sure they will give unwaveringly as they have done for the previous 11 seasons. Our priority is to continue our competitive streak in this year’s championship.”

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