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Red Bull Racing

Horner: Red Bull being a customer team again wouldn't have sat comfortably

The introduction of an engine freeze in F1 came as a huge relief for Red Bull, with it allowing the team to take on their departing supplier Honda's engines as their own from 2022. Christian Horner admits that any alternative plan would not have sat well.

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner has admitted that Red Bull would have struggled greatly with potentially having to become a customer team again if F1 had not introduced an engine freeze.

The freeze will come into effect at the start of 2022, which works out well for Red Bull given that their current engine supplier Honda will leave the sport at the end of 2021. The team's plan had always been to take on Honda's engines as their own intellectual property from next year, and the freeze grants them the extra time to do this rather than having to find an alternative supplier for 2022.

Red Bull team principal Horner thinks that it would have been an uncomfortable situation for the team if the engine freeze had not been approved.

"That was massive for Red Bull," Horner said during the An Evening With Red Bull event. "Because I think without that freeze the cost of development of these power units is just insane. I think the freeze does bring that under control.

"Without that, it's difficult to imagine a team with the aspirations that this has going back to being a customer. All the manufacturers have their own works teams, they have their own aspirations, so it would have never sat comfortably and I think by going this route it brings us in control of our own destinies to a large percentage.

"An insane thing to think of that an energy drinks manufacturer is taking on the production of a race car engine, but then we've done it on the chassis side and I think if we apply the same methods and philosophy on the engine, there's no reason it can't work."

Red Bull endured some difficult times as a customer team prior to beginning their partnership with Honda in 2019. The Milton Keynes-based squad's relationship with previous supplier Renault soured towards the end, despite them previously enjoying success together during Red Bull's championship-winning years.

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