'Honda and Red Bull appear to have reached an agreement to take over engines'

13-01-2021 18:22 | Updated: 13-01-2021 20:01
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'Honda and Red Bull appear to have reached an agreement to take over engines'

With Honda leaving Formula 1 at the end of this year, Red Bull Racing has to find an alternative power source. Mercedes will not be supplying it, neither will Ferrari, so Renault is the only one left. Since that did not work out in the past, the team is focusing on a takeover of the Honda engine and things seem to be moving in that direction now.

Deal is close

The Race reports that Red Bull Racing and Honda are close to a deal to take over the Honda engine starting in 2022. Red Bull Racing initially wanted clarity in November 2020, which then became December 2020 and now in January it is still not finalised. However, the two sides were due to meet again this week, with the two confident that a solution is close at hand.

The primary reason the deal has not been finalised is because of the complexity involved. Several manufacturers agree with Red Bull Racing on freezing engine development in general, but clash on fundamental positions. The ideal scenario for Red Bull Racing is a complete freeze from 2022 on engine development, but not everyone wants to go along with that.

Ferrari lags behind

Ferrari, for example, would only agree to the new engine regulations coming into force a year earlier (2025 instead of 2026) and they also have to deal with the fact that they are still behind the rest. With a complete freeze, they would be shooting themselves in the foot and from that perspective, it is not wise to go along with Red Bull's proposal.

The whole discussion around freezing engine development is obviously much more complex, but that is what The Race believes is the main obstacle to getting the deal done. However, the talks between Honda and Red Bull Racing are on good terms and going in a positive direction, also because it is supported by Honda Japan.

Once the deal is done, Red Bull Racing will take over Honda's operations at the Milton Keynes plant and expand their own Red Bull Technologies campus. A deal also means that the existing Honda staff will be taken over. It is also highly likely that Honda will continue to provide long term support, albeit in a scaled-down form.

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