Red Bull hopeful of keeping Honda F1 power units after engine freeze talks

Red Bull says alignment among rival teams over a Formula 1 engine freeze has made it hopeful it can still secure a deal to keep running Honda engines from 2022

Red Bull hopeful of keeping Honda F1 power units after engine freeze talks

With Honda officially pulling out of F1 after the end of next year, Red Bull is currently weighing up its future engine situation.

It has been clear that its preferred route is to take over the IP of the Honda project, so it can keep running its current power unit.

However, the only way Red Bull can realistically push on with the Honda platform is if it does not have to keep developing the engine itself. That requires an engine freeze to be brought in by the FIA.

While rivals like Renault and Ferrari had initially been against the idea of a freeze, both manufacturers are now more open to it if F1 agrees to bring forward plans for new power unit rules to 2025.

However, the one remaining hurdle to overcome is whether or not F1 should also introduce some kind of safety net to allow some catch-up development if one engine manufacturer falls well behind the others.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that talks were continuing over the matter, and a final decision could be made soon.

"We've got constructive discussions going on with Honda and the FIA, and I think that we are close to coming to a conclusion," he said.

"The FIA are consulting the other teams. I think there's alignment regarding a freeze. It's just, should there be a safety net if an engine manufacturer under shoots from one season to the next? Otherwise, to lock in performance for three years, could be quite damaging."

Honda is open to the idea of allowing Red Bull to continue using its power units, but admits finding an agreement is not easy, with manufacturing of components being split between Milton Keynes and Japan.

The Japanese manufacturer's technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said: "In Milton Keynes, we mainly develop and then manufacture the ERS system area, and the main ICE is developed in Sakura R&D in Japan.

"It's a very complicated situation, especially in Honda Formula 1. The discussion is ongoing now. We haven't got any conclusion yet so we will consider every circumstance in our project."

While Renault is known to be against the idea of engine convergence, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said recently that it was important F1 teams discussed the matter now rather than be forced to make a snap call later on.

"I think it's better to just consider it now," he said. "[We want to] try to think in advance, instead of simply waiting for the situation and then having crazy discussions at the time. So I think by freezing it would be very responsible simply to consider such a scenario and make sure we are prepared for it."

shares
comments
Brown: Third in F1 constructors' standings more about prestige than money

Previous article

Brown: Third in F1 constructors' standings more about prestige than money

Next article

Bottas: Second in F1 drivers’ championship "can’t be that satisfying"

Bottas: Second in F1 drivers’ championship "can’t be that satisfying"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team , Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021