Marko says Red Bull-Honda are in agreement but needs FIA's freeze decision
The decision on the development freeze will take place next week as Helmut Marko says Red Bull has no Plan B.
Red Bull Racing and Honda are in agreement with regards to F1 2022 deal but await on FIA's decision to freeze, as there is no Plan B at the moment.
The agreement between Red Bull and Honda seems to be in place for a deal beyond the 2021 F1 season, as per Dr. Helmut Marko, but it all depends on the FIA's decision on development freeze. The meeting is set to take place next week with the manufacturers.
With Aston Martin moving out of the Milton Keynes base, Red Bull now has space for some of the work related to the Honda engine shifted there from 2022 onward. It is unclear as to how much support the team will get from the Japanese manufacturer.
But as mentioned above, the project is only feasible if there is a development freeze in agreement with Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. This will co-incide with the decision to pre-pone the engine regulation change from 2026 to 2025 F1 season.
"The studies are well underway," said Marko to German publication, Auto Motor und Sport. "Everything has been settled between us. The timing is there. Everyone is in the starting blocks. But there is only an okay when we have written proof from the FIA that the development stop on the engine side is coming.
"We are waiting for the FIA's decision. A corresponding clarification should be made next week. It is not a Lex Red Bull. We have a cost cap. We are discussing a restriction and reduction in driver salaries. Only with the engines everything should remain open.
"In addition, the tendency is clearly that the new engine regulations on it will be brought forward in 2025. Unfortunately, this engine was such a cost driver. It makes no sense to invest any further now. For Formula 1 it is a very clear decision of reason. The freeze will be regulated by the FIA in some way," summed up Marko.
The kind or extent of freeze is not clear at the moment. By the looks of it, Mercedes has the advantage and for them, a freeze may not have much trouble, as much it will be for Ferrari and Renault, who are still playing a catch-up game.
The situation may frustrate the F1 teams if they are only lacking on the engine side against their rivals in the years between 2022 and 2025. An artificial way of leveling, say, 'balance of performance', will not be a solution for the sport, as Toto Wolff warned earlier.
The next week's decision then becomes key to understand the future path of F1. For Red Bull, Marko notes that they have no Plan B for now and that they will have to re-assess their commitment - which he states is not a threat but a genuine factor.
"The engine freeze is the most important thing," said Marko. "The so-called safety net of alignment will certainly become more difficult. But when the development stop is there, the whole project is easier for us to manage. If no freeze? That would mean that Red Bull has to rethink its Formula 1 situation drastically. This is not blackmail.
"For reasons of reason and cost, an engine freeze is the only way with these ill-fated engines. And no, a Plan B does not exist," summed up Marko. On the work for 2021 F1 season, the Austrian feels everything is on the right path for RB16B.
They are preparing as many spare parts to be ready for the Bahrain F1 test and first grand prix. With the regulations staying intact, it has helped the team to be ready for the new season in a better way, as they hope to challenge Mercedes with an experienced line-up.
The 2021 junior line-up of Red Bull seems complete now.
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]