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Red Bull waits on F1 Commission vote on freeze

NEWS STORY
22/01/2021

Next week will see the sport vote on the engine freeze that will decide whether Red Bull takes over Honda's F1 programme.

Ever since Red Bull proposed that it purchase the IPO for Honda's F1 programme, the move came with the caveat that in order to proceed there would have to be a freeze on engine development from 2022, after all, having gone to the expense of purchasing the programme the Austrian team doesn't want to have to invest further to develop engines which are likely to be dropped at the end of 2025.

As ever however, while some were okay with a freeze, others were not. Understandably, Mercedes, which has won 74.6% of the races held since the introduction of the hybrid formula was introduced, was happy to see the freeze, while Ferrari (12.3%) and Renault (8.7%) were not.

Since then, while the Italian team has relented and says it will not oppose the freeze, Renault remains ill at ease.

Next week sees the F1 Commission, which comprises the teams, manufacturers, certain suppliers such as Pirelli, F1 and the FIA carry out an e-vote.

Helmut Marko is confident that common sense will prevail.

"Everything has been settled between us. The timing is there," he tells Auto Motor und Sport.

"But there is only an OK when we have written proof from the FIA that the development stop on the engine side is coming," he admits.

"We are waiting for the FIA's decision," he adds. "A corresponding clarification should be made next week.

"We have a cost cap, we are discussing a restriction and reduction in driver salaries. Only with the engines everything should remain open.

"The tendency is clear that the new engine regulations will be brought forward in 2025. Unfortunately, this engine was such a cost driver. It makes no sense to invest any further now."

Should the commission not vote in favour of the freeze, as the manufacturer supplying the fewest (one) teams, Renault would be obliged to supply Red Bull, a move that would please neither party.

With that in mind, asked if there is a 'Plan B', he said: "That would mean that Red Bull has to rethink its Formula 1 situation drastically

"This is not blackmail," he insisted of what is widely perceived as an ultimatum, and not the first. "For reasons of reason and cost, an engine freeze is the only way with these ill-fated engines."

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1. Posted by kenji, 22/01/2021 12:50

"If the freeze is adopted it will be a huge mistake and in fact anti competition. Red Bull are not being forced to take the Honda PU. Renault are, by way of FIA determination, obliged to supply them. Of course Wolff is happy to have his advantage 'baked in' so why would he oppose? IIRC Ferrari's acceptance has a caveat re equalisation so that leaves Renault. They should oppose this dumb proposal. The racing is boring enough as it is."

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