How do Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault view an engine freeze?

21-01-2021 14:39
General
How do Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault view an engine freeze?

The development freeze on engines in Formula 1 depends on how Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault feel about it. At the end of last season, the engine manufacturers discussed the situation several times. 

Mercedes

Toto Wolff said he was in favour of the idea: "I think Formula 1 is in a great situation with three manufacturers, possibly four. I totally understand Red Bull's situation. They don't want to be a customer. And maybe there are still developments in Honda's pipeline that show that there is even more potential in the engine. We have to give Red Bull all the space."

The Mercedes team boss called it a 'realistic' advantage. Wolff emphasises the importance of Red Bull's presence in Formula 1. The Austrians will not receive much resistance from this corner. "We will do everything we can to keep both teams (including AlphaTauri) and give them the option to manage everything themselves."

The German world champion supports Red Bull and therefore wants to go along in a development freeze. This of course also has to do with the fact that Mercedes currently has the strongest engine in the field. When there is a freeze, they keep this advantage.

Ferrari

In mid-2020, Ferrari was very clear when Red Bull came with the request for an engine freeze. The Italian racing team did not think it was their problem and stated that their rivals should use their own creativity. "There are just rules that allow Red Bull to find a solution anyway, perhaps by getting an engine from another supplier. There is no doubt about that," said Mattia Binotto.

At the end of October, opinions had changed internally at Ferrari about Red Bull's plan. The Maranello racing team indicated that it wanted to act 'responsibly in the interests of Formula 1'. "We now understand the situation very well. We will indeed support the freezing of engine development."

Ferrari also seems to be open to an engine freeze from 2022. 

Renault

Then we have Renault as the last supplier. The same Renault did not have a good relationship with Red Bull in recent years, which resulted in a fighting divorce at the end of 2018. Will Renault now thwart its competitor again?

The answer is a cautious yes. Marcin Budkowski said: "We are working on our own development and all engine programs have a certain lead time. At an earlier stage, we argued for an early development freeze. At the time it was decided not to do that, after which we took time and have invested money in a new engine specification. Now we may still be able to find a compromise, as long as it is a reasonable compromise from our point of view. "

Renault is lagging behind Mercedes and has made huge strides in the last year. The French racing team does not just agree that the gap with Mercedes will therefore remain intact between 2022 and 2025. Renault believes that it will only get closer to Mercedes in the coming years, but that is not possible with a development stop.

Budkowski does not see a development freeze prior to the 2022 season anyway. The Polish CEO thinks it is all going to be short. An engine freeze is an option, but: "Whether that should be mid-2022 or not until the end of 2022, we have to discuss that again."

This article was written and originally published by Corwin on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.

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