Red Bull are being forced to play a waiting game over whether Formula 1 will sanction an engine freeze from the 2022 season and beyond.
Rather than turn to help from one of the sport’s other engine suppliers, Red Bull want to take over control of Honda’s Intellectual Property and continue to run their engines even when the Japanese power unit manufacturer leaves Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 campaign.
But Red Bull will only use that option (a deal with Honda has already been agreed) if a vote is passed on an engine freeze being implemented in 2022, with the new engine regulations perhaps being moved by a year from 2026 to 2025 as somewhat of a compromise.
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, recently said he was confident a vote and final decision would be confirmed soon but the Milton Keynes-based outfit are having to wait.
The vote was expected to take place on Monday but did not happen and the upcoming team boss meeting on Wednesday is said to not have the engine freeze vote on the agenda.
Red Bull may even have to wait at least another couple of weeks until the Formula 1 commission meets for further movement on the issue.
“The agreement that existed on Friday was no longer there on Monday,” Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.
“There are further talks and negotiations.”
Marko fears that Red Bull’s competitors are trying to delay the process to give them less time to prepare their engines from 2022, while Ferrari are pretty clear that they do want the new regulations to be brought forward to 2025.
But, back to the upcoming season, Marko thinks the “signs are good” for Red Bull to pose more of a threat to Mercedes in 2021.
“[But] we want to be a serious challenger to Mercedes and the first signs are good.
“We are getting positive data from Honda showing improved performance. Our chassis has also been further developed this winter.”