Teams agree on engine freeze


Teams unanimously agree to freeze on engine development thereby giving green light to Red Bull's bid to purchase Honda's IPO.

Though the exact details are not yet known, today's meeting of the F1 Commission saw the teams unanimously agree to a freeze on development of the current power unit until the introduction of the next formula in 2025 now as opposed to 2026.

While the freeze was originally due to begin at the end of 2023, it has now been brought forward to the start of next season in line with the introduction of a raft of new regulations aimed at levelling the playing field.

The move means that Red Bull can now go ahead with its plan to purchase the IPO to Honda's programme following the Japanese manufacturer's decision to quit the sport.

While Mercedes, which has dominated the current formula since it was introduced in 2014, was always warm towards the freeze - and why wouldn't it be - Renault and Ferrari were against it.

The Italian manufacturer gradually softened its stance, leaving Renault as the only likely obstacle to Red Bull's plans.

In a twist typical of F1, failure to agree on the freeze would have meant that Renault would have been obliged to supply engines to both Red Bull and AlphaTauri, a move which none of the various parties was keen on, to put it mildly.

As for F1's plan to replace qualifying with a sprint race at three of this season's events, it is understood that while the teams have agreed to the idea, with an eye to some of the sport's previous failures, most notably some of the changes to the qualifying process, they have called for more time in order to carry out further investigation of the proposal.

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Published: 11/02/2021
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