Ferrari willing to agree to engine freeze


Facing the loss of Honda as its engine partner at the end of next season, Red Bull is willing to buy the Japanese manufacturer's IPO and rebadge the units with the proviso the there is a freeze on engine development.

While Mercedes has effectively agreed to the freeze, Ferrari and Renault have yet to give their approval.

Speaking to reporters via video-link today, Mattia Binotto said Ferrari was willing to agree to a freeze, but in return the Italian manufacturer wants the introduction of the new engine formula brought forward a year to 2025.

"We understand their intention to keep using their Honda engines for the future and we had meetings in the last days with F1 and FIA," said the Italian.

"I think as Ferrari we understand the situation," he continued, "we are somehow supportive in trying to anticipate by one season, one year, a freezing of the engines, that means as well trying to anticipate to 2025 the new regulations for the power unit.

"So knowing the situation, understanding the situation, it's not the first time Ferrari is acting in a responsible way in that respect. We will support freezing by anticipating by one year the engines, the power unit."

However, keen to see the new engine formula introduced in 2025, Binotto admits that he would want clarity on the rules by the middle of next year.

"At first I think to have a brand new format of power unit in 2025 we will need by the middle of next year to have clarity on the regulations," he said. "I think it will be quite a different power unit to today because I think there are - at least from the Ferrari point of view - important objectives that need to be set.

"It has to be more sustainable in terms of the cost point of view,", he continued, echoing the demands made by Toto Wolff in Turkey, "I think the power unit it should cost 50 percent less of what we are affording today.

"From sustainability, a carbon footprint point of view we need to set our objective which has to be very ambitious," he added. "I think we need to be very, at first, proactive, but also collaborative between manufacturers, F1, and FIA, to progress very soon on the regulations as it will define the F1 from 2025 eventually to 2030."

In the meantime, while agreeing to the freeze, Binotto made clear that at the point it is introduced, no manufacturer should have a clear advantage, whilst also noting the switch to sustainable fuels in 2022.

"In freezing for 2022 it is only a matter of deciding what we intend to do," said the Italian. "We have had some discussions with the FIA and F1 over whether we should consider a mechanism of engine convergence. If there is a situation where eventually a manufacturer is down on performance to the others, then it would freeze for three years that performance, relative performance, between manufacturers.

"Those details will be important," he added, "we should not forget in 2022 we are introducing E10 fuel, so I think if that will change the regulations and we will need to see if you can change the engine development.

"So by the time that we are introducing that fuel we are freezing and I think in that respect some risks are in place. So those risks will need to be managed and make sure we are doing the proper job as manufacturers."

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Published: 27/11/2020
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