Red Bull threaten to quit F1, Ferrari block engine freeze

Date published: October 18 2020

Ferrari Red Bull

Red Bull will withdraw both their works team and the AlphaTauri team from Formula 1 unless a freeze on engine development is introduced, according to a report by Auto Motor und Sport.

The report states that Red Bull want to take on the Honda engine for themselves after the Japanese manufacturer announced that they will withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season.

That means Red Bull and AlphaTauri would be without a supplier, but continuing Honda’s work on the power unit side seems like the most logical solution for Red Bull, considering the way their relationship with previous engine supplier Renault imploded, while Mercedes have ruled out supplying engines to their nearest rivals.

But if the Red Bull team were to continue working with the power unit Honda leave behind, then they would need stability in the regulations to remain competitive.

And the report by Auto Motor und Sport states that Red Bull and AlphaTauri are threatening to quit Formula 1 if a freeze on engine development from 2022 isn’t introduced.

Ferrari's Mattia Binotto and Jonathan Wheatley of Red Bull

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Dr Helmut Marko, head of the Red Bull driver programme, has “confirmed to Auto Motor und Sport that Red Bull prefers the Honda engine on its own responsibility. Because it is the only way to preserve a piece of independence. Red Bull has also let the managers of Formula One know this.

“However, the plan sounds a little more dramatic: either engine development will be frozen from 2022, or Red Bull will leave Formula One with its two teams.”

The report goes on to state that Mercedes are “positive” about Red Bull’s proposal, while Renault will support it if there is an “alignment of engines beforehand”.

However, Ferrari are the ones set to block the proposal, with the report stating that they don’t believe Red Bull are in an emergency situation, and the Scuderia it seems are willing to supply Red Bull and AlphaTauri with their power units.

It remains to be seen though whether or not Red Bull would be interested in Ferrari power considering how the team has struggled in the engine department this year.

Another major stumbling block is the upcoming changes to the engines which will see 20 percent of biofuel added from 2022, while from 2023 the sport will be using 100 percent CO2-neutral fuel.

Ferrari are reportedly unwilling to let all of these changes collapse simply to accommodate Red Bull’s request.

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