Ferrari will not support engine freeze


Last week, after Christian Horner and Helmut Marko made clear that a condition of Red Bull purchasing the IP to Honda's F1 programme is a freeze on engine development for financial reasons, Mercedes Toto Wolff was among the first to give his support to the idea of preventing further development.

While some might argue that this was a magnanimous gesture from the Austrian in a bid to prevent the sport losing two teams, having won almost 74% of the 133 Grands Prix since the hybrid formula was introduced, it isn't too difficult to fathom why Mercedes might want to maintain the status quo.

However, currently six in the team standings, it is understandable that Ferrari, on the other hand, is keen to close the gap, hence company CEO, Louis Camilleri's admission that the Italian manufacturer is "firmly against" a freeze.

"We are firmly against freezing power units as it is against the spirit of F1," he tells Gazzetta dello Sport. "I think it is important to emphasise that the current rules already provide for freezing in 2023.

"Plus, F1 has ambitious goals in terms of sustainability," he continues. "Already from 2022, the regulations provide for the introduction of a fuel with a 10% ethanol content, but the FIA wants to reach 100 per cent as soon as possible, ideally the following year.

"This inevitably involves the development of some engine components. It is a very complicated subject, and we are actively talking about it with all the parties involved."

Honda claims that one of the main reasons for turning its back on the sport again is due to the increasing move by car manufacturers away from fossil fuel powered vehicles, a stance that has led to some to warn F1 bosses of the need for the sport to change also or risk losing other manufacturers..

Camilleri isn't convinced.

"I do not believe that it will happen," he says, "but it will accelerate the need to define the main characteristics of the power unit of the future.

"We, and by this I mean the FIA, Liberty Media and the engine manufacturers, must properly balance their respective goals, sometimes conflicting, in terms of innovation, environmental sustainability and cost.

"The latter factor has all too often been ignored, creating a danger for everyone. We must also ensure that the supply and development of an engine is an economically attractive business."

The current engine rules continue until 2025, but for a freeze on development from 2022 all the teams would need to support the move, including Ferrari, which, one must not forget, still retains its all-important power of veto.

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Published: 30/10/2020
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