Since 1 January 2021, Formula 1 teams have been authorised to work on the cars for the 2022 season, where we will see the introduction of a brand new technical regulation.
In the case of Red Bull, Milton Keynes’ team now faces a real dilemma as engineers have started work on the 2022 car around the Honda V6, which has been supplying the team since 2019.
The problem is that the Honda engine manufacturer is going to stop its Formula 1 programme in the end of this 2021 season and Red Bull still doesn’t know if it will use this engine next year. Indeed TJ13 believes that Red Bull has already signed a deal with Renault as a backstop quite some time ago. READ MORE ON THAT
Red Bull preference is to buy out Honda’s intellectual property so that it can continue to use its engine beyond the 2021 season, but the Milton Keynes team wants the FIA to introduce an engine development freeze from 2022 to make it easier to use the Japanese V6 and not spend crazy amounts of money on R&D over the next few seasons.
The idea is therefore that all the F1 manufacturers (Mercedes, Renault, Honda and Ferrari) should stop developing their power unit at the same time.
The Motorsport advisor at Red Bull, Dr. Helmut Marko, indicated that an agreement between Red Bull and Honda has been reached to continue using the Japanese V6, but that nothing will be done until the FIA has validated the freeze on engine development. So really, nothing much has changed despite Marko’s rhertoric below:
“Everything has been settled between us, the moment has arrived.
“Everyone is in the starting blocks. But there will only be an agreement when we have written proof from the FIA that the engine development freeze is coming. ” explains Dr Marko to AMUS.
“We are awaiting FIA’s decision, and a corresponding clarification is expected next week. ”
Helmut Marko also indirectly calls on the other manufacturers involved in Formula 1 to show common sense by accepting the plan to stop the development of the current V6 engines that will be presented by the FIA in the coming days.
“For Formula 1, this is a very clear decision of reason. It will be regulated by the FIA in one way or another.
“Freezing engine development is the most important thing and when development stops, the project will be much easier for us to manage. ”
The Austrian also insists on the fact that in case of disagreement between the teams and the FIA on a freeze on engine development, Red Bull’s commitment to Formula 1 would then be called into question, thus ruling out the idea of being supplied by Renault, contrary to the current rumour that Renault would be poised to step in.
“This would mean that Red Bull would have to radically rethink its situation in Formula One. This is not blackmail… For cost reasons, a freeze on engine development would be the only way to keep the [current] engine. ”