HAPPY CHAP: "Everything Renault has promised has been delivered", Red Bull boss Christian Horner on the engine deal with the French automaker. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
Monaco - Renault and Red Bull seem poised to extend their engine deal beyond 2016.
After the breakdown of their semi-works partnership in 2015, the parties agreed to enter a customer supply deal for 2016, with Red Bull's Renault engines now branded as Tag-Heuer.
Ricciardo dominating in Monaco
Red Bull, however, has rarely been happier with Renault than now.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "Everything Renault has promised has been delivered."
Daniel Ricciardo is setting the pace with his upgraded turbo V6 engine practice for this weekend's (May 29) Monaco GP.
The two sides have already signalled their intention with the FIA to stick together in 2017, and negotiations are so well advanced that a deal could be struck this weekend.
However, it is believed Red Bull is paying a whopping $31-million to Renault in 2016, with the energy drink-owned team trying to talk down that price.
Renault's Cyril Abiteboul said: "Red Bull is as usual a tough negotiator, but it is the mutual desire to carry on as we are."
One big benefit for Renault is that, according to Auto Motor und Sport, a new super-simulator went online at Red Bull's Milton Keynes headquarters recently.
In one room, the driver works on the simulator while next door an actual car on rollers - including engine, transmission and tyres - is operating thanks to groundbreaking $33.5-million technology.
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko said: "They do not yet have such test stands in Viry."
Indeed, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda admits that Red Bull is "one step ahead" in this area compared to any partner or competitor in F1.