Ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher says Red Bull should start making their own engines once Honda leave Formula 1.
Having achieved their aims of producing a race-winning Formula 1 engine, Honda have decided ‘to strive for the realisation of carbon neutrality by 2050’.
That in theory leaves Red Bull with only one realistic option, that being a return to Renault power.
Such a move would be easier said than done though, considering how the pair’s twelve-year relationship was left in ruins by the time of their split in 2018.
But what if Red Bull started making their own engines? Well, that’s exactly what Schumacher thinks they should do.
“There’s a similar problem with Renault. I don’t think they were entirely happy there either, and now that [Renault team principal Cyril] Abiteboul is Alpine’s new CEO, or rather, he will completely run the competition program, it will be difficult. But, of course, you still have until the end of 2021.
“A viable option could be to make your own engine. Red Bull has the power and possibilities, and in that case a partner with Honda, from whom you could take control and continue the whole thing.
“From the end of 2021 the engine will be more or less frozen. Until then Honda will also go full throttle, because next year it wants to race for the World Championship. From that point of view, that could also be an alternative.”
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Once Honda depart it will leave Formula 1 with only three engine manufacturers, them being Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, though the latter currently have no team to supply from 2021.
Schumacher isn’t concerned though about the decreasing number of manufacturers and hopes that Volkswagen and Porsche may turn rumour into reality and join the engine scene as early as 2025.
“Mercedes will remain part of Formula One, no matter what, and will also build an engine for their clients,” he explained.
“Everybody wants to have that. McLaren will have it next year. But it must also be admitted that Renault has done a great job. So I don’t see any risk that there won’t be enough manufacturers.
“And sometime, in 2025/26, there’s still a rumour that maybe the VW and Porsche group will come back. That would be great, of course.”