Red Bull Threatens Exit Over Engine Development Freeze
Red Bull have threatened to pull both teams from the grid if engine development isn't frozen from 2022 onwards.
A recent article by Auto Motor und Sport Germany suggests that Red Bull are considering an exit from F1 if regulations are not introduced to freeze engine development from 2022 onwards.
The rumoured ultimatum follows Honda's announcement of their departure from the sport after the 2021 season, leaving both Red Bull and junior team Alpha Tauri without a confirmed engine supplier. Red Bull's intention is to continue with the current Honda engine by investing in maintenance rather than development, according to comments made by advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, and insist that this will not be feasible without a complete freeze on engine development for the 2022 season.
Elsewhere in the paddock there are mixed reactions to the proposal. Mercedes are allegedly in agreement, as are Renault under the condition that engine performance is aligned up and down the field before the freeze. Ferrari, unsurprisingly given their current struggles, categorically do not accept the proposal, citing the necessary movement towards emission-free fuels and the availability of Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari units as replacement for the Honda engine.
This new suggestion comes after rumours that the Red Bull junior programme will be shut down to release funds in order to retain the Honda power unit after they officially depart from the sport. These funds, however, would still not allow for improvement of the engine. "Further development is not possible if you don't have a technology centre like Sakura," says Dr. Marko. "We neither want to build that, nor can we finance it. We don’t want to or can’t finance it.”
What do you think about Red Bull's proposal? Do you agree with Renault, that engines would first have to be equal for a freeze to work? Or do you think it would be a step backwards in F1's movement towards sustainability? Let me know below!