Ferrari & Renault reject Red Bull engine demand post-2021

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Ferrari and Renault could have derailed Red Bull’s engine plans post-2021 after voicing opposition to their idea of a development freeze.

After Honda announced their exit from Formula 1 at the end of next season, the Milton Keynes-based outfit indicated a wish to continue using their current power unit by buying the intellectual property from Honda and building the engines in-house.

However, because of the huge additional costs associated with the power units, Red Bull made it clear that plan would hinge on the other manufacturers agreeing to a freeze on development.

Mercedes were quick to back the idea, however, last week, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri rejected it.

“We are firmly against freezing power units as it is against the spirit of F1,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, this despite the V8 engines being frozen for several years.

“I think it is important to emphasise that the current rules already provide for freezing in 2023. Plus, F1 has ambitious goals in terms of sustainability.

“Already from 2022, the regulations provide for the introduction of a fuel with 10% ethanol content, but the FIA wants to reach 100% as soon as possible: ideally the following year.

“This inevitably involves the development of some engine components. It is a very complicated subject, and we are actively talking about it with all the parties involved.”

Then, shortly after, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul also ruled out the idea, largely because of Red Bull’s previous position.

If you had asked me six months ago, we would have pushed hard for an even lower budget cap, to try to contain the costs of the chassis, but also to reduce those related to the engine by accepting a freeze,” he told MotorsportWeek.

“But Red Bull Racing and Honda were against it and we accepted it.

“Since then, we have been very busy working on the 2022 engine platform and, if you ask me today what I think about freezing the engines, my position is clearly different from the one I had six months ago.

“I am against freezing the engines. We have no intention to stop what could be a very important platform for us. We do not accept it.”

After Honda’s F1 exit, some described that decision as a warning for F1 for the future, even leading to suggestions of fast-tracking a new engine formula, currently set to be introduced in 2026.

“I do not believe that it will happen, but it will accelerate the need to define the main characteristics of the power unit of the future,” Ferrari’s Camilleri said.

“We, and by this I mean the FIA, Liberty Media and the engine manufacturers, must properly balance their respective goals, sometimes conflicting, in terms of innovation, environmental sustainability and cost.

“The latter factor has all too often been ignored, creating a danger for everyone. We must also ensure that the supply and development of an engine is an economically attractive business.”


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