Following Honda’s announcement, stating that they would walk away from the sport after the 2021 season, Red Bull were left in a lurch. With Mercedes and Ferrari already having their hands full as engine suppliers, the only other option was Renault.
However, with the bad blood that exists between the two teams, the Milton Keynes-based outfit came up with another alternative solution to their engine crisis.
They decided that they would try to get other teams to back their cause and freeze engine development after 2021. Doing so would mean that Red Bull could buy the IP and designs of its power unit from Honda, thus enabling them to use it even after Honda’s departure.
Despite getting verbal backing from Mercedes, Red Bull cannot rest easy, not just yet. The reason being Ferrari. The Scuderia’s team boss Mattia Binotto believes that they’ve got bigger fish to fry rather than focusing on freezing the engines.
According to him, Ferrari’s priorities lie elsewhere. To be precise, they are more concerned about the regulations for the next generation of engines coming out in 2026.
During a meeting between the teams scheduled for Monday, Binotto makes it clear what the agenda should be.
He said, “It is true that the engine (freeze) matter is one of the biggest points of the meeting. But I think before starting discussing the freezing, more important is to start discussing 2026.
“What’s the new technical format for the new power unit in the future? Where costs will be addressed? And where technology needs to be addressed? So I see that as a first priority. So, freezing is only a second priority to the discussion.”
Perhaps a big reason for Ferrari’s disinterest could be the state of their own engines. The 2020 power units that have been developed by the Scuderia are clearly lackluster.
Considering that no major engine changes can be made for next year, they will be stuck with the same power unit in 2021. The last thing they’ll want is to freeze power units for a year after that.
So, it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of the meeting and what the subsequent plan of action will be from F1.