Up and down the paddock, most insiders expect that a full McLaren-Honda divorce is on the cards.
But it appears a trial separation could be a leading option instead.
“On paper it’s a good strategy,” team boss Eric Boullier told Britain’s Sky.
“If you can run a (different) engine for the time being until Honda is competitive, then why not? This is one of the various scenarios we may have considered,” he added.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff said in Baku that the issue of McLaren’s 2018 engine supplier needs to be resolved by around the end of the summer.
Boullier admitted the decision is “a question of weeks” away.
The Frenchman also said McLaren is seeking to keep Fernando Alonso on board for 2018, but other reports indicate the Spaniard is now almost certain to quit the team.
In Baku, Alonso’s management had talks with Mercedes and Renault officials.
When asked if he knows what the future holds for him, Alonso said at the weekend: “Maybe.”
Former F1 driver and now German-language pundit Marc Surer said: “This weekend, Fernando has been sending confusing signals.
“McLaren was not competitive at Baku and yet he was saying things are going well for him. He also said he would win races in 2018, so what does he know that we do not?” Surer told Speed Week.
“I have learned over the years that Fernando often implies something with a hidden message, or sometimes he is provoking a situation or being ironic.
“Basically, we can only speculate about his situation at the moment,” he added.