Jolyon Palmer is one of only three drivers yet to score a point in 2017, but he remains optimistic he will not be replaced for the final six races of the season.
So, Red Bull will be forced to use Honda engines - which have failed McLaren badly in recent years - with both its teams in 2019.
One, a pairing of Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg looks mighty strong; two, unless he can reach a deal elsewhere, sadly Robert Kubica will not be returning to Formula 1 in the near future; three, it would be just Fernando Alonso's luck for Honda finally to come good with Toro Rosso - after which it would seem but a small step for Red Bull to follow the same route.
Immediate thoughts on this.
Red Bull is third in the constructors' championship, a long way behind Ferrari in second. "I will not be around in any series fighting for top-10 or top-15".
Red Bull had intended to run a split strategy, with Renault engines in the senior team and Honda in the junior outfit. If the Indy 500 is together with Monaco as we know, there is another one still to complete.
Somewhat out of the blue however, it is Renault who is pulling the plug. Ricciardo was eager to hear the quote again, but Magnussen claimed he had unfortunately forgotten, while in the background the FIA driver wrangler was gesticulating furiously for the quote not to be repeated on live TV! Any competitive failure in the fight against these new principal rivals can only be damaging for McLaren's already bruised brand, particularly given the team's insistence that its chassis ranks among the best of the field despite the engine. I'm waiting for my current team to make a decision and to negotiate whatever possibilities I have as that is my first possibility. September was meant to be the time when Alonso would announce his 2018 plans, and although we are still in September, the month is rolling on and still nothing.
Jos said "this won't last if things keep going like this" and Verstappen revealed he'd spoken to Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko to express his dissatisfaction at the season so far. For my fans and for motorsport lovers, they will have a fantastic 2018 season.