Ferrari now supporting an engine freeze

Date published: November 27 2020 - Jamie Woodhouse

Ferrari Red Bull

Ferrari will now back the introduction of a freeze on engine development from 2022 according to team principal Mattia Binotto.

With Honda set to walk away from Formula 1 at the end of 2021 Red Bull and AlphaTauri are in need of a new engine supplier to go with the new regulations which will kick in from 2022.

But for the first time Red Bull hope to have their own engine from 2022 if they are able to take over the Intellectual Property of the Honda PU.

However, in order for that plan to work, the Austrian outfit would need a freeze on engine development to avoid theirs going out of date quickly compared to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

Mercedes, seen as the benchmark in the Formula 1 engine department, were on board with Red Bull’s idea of an engine freeze from the start.

However, Ferrari firmly opposed it.

Now though the Scuderia have had a change of heart, and not only are they ready to back an engine freeze, they’re also willing to agree to the introduction of new power units being brought forward from 2026 to 2025.

“I think what we said is there are already regulations in place where somehow Red Bull has got a solution, they may be supplied by other manufacturers, that’s no doubt,” Binotto told Motorsport.com.

“We understand as well their intention to keep using their Honda engine for the future. We had meetings in the last days with F1 and the FIA. I think as Ferrari, we understand the situation.

“We are supportive in trying to anticipate by one season, one year, the freezing of the engines, because that would mean as well trying to anticipate to 2025 the new regulations for the power units.

“Knowing the situation and understanding the situation, it’s not the first time that Ferrari is acting in a responsible way in that respect.

“So we will support freezing, by anticipating by one year the engines, the power unit.”

However, if engine development is going to be frozen for three years from 2022 before new power units come in from 2025, then before all that Ferrari want the performance of the engine manufacturers to truly converge.

“Talks are ongoing at the moment with the FIA, with F1, if we should consider a mechanism of engine convergence, if there is any situation where eventually a manufacturer is really down on performance compared to the others,” Binotto explained.

“Because then it’s freezing for three years the relative performance between manufacturers. I think those details will be important.”

Red Bull Honda

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Asked for a deadline for when teams must have the technical details on the new power units for 2025, Binotto said: “To have a brand new format of power unit in 2025, we will need by the middle of next year clarity on the regulations.

“I think it will be quite a different power unit to today, because I think there are, at least from the Ferrari point of view, important objectives that need to be set, as for example quite a different cost.

“It has to be more sustainable in terms of a cost point of view. I think the power unit should cost 50% what we are affording today. In order to achieve that, I think in order to decide what will be the technical format, it is somehow a very difficult exercise.

“I think as well from the sustainability, so carbon footprint point of view, we have to set our objective which has to be very ambitious.

“We need to be very proactive but also collaborative between manufacturers, F1 and the FIA in order to progress very soon on the regulations. That will define the future of F1 from 2025 to 2030.”

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