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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull and Honda deal at risk as teams disagree on engine freeze

Although Red Bull recently announced a deal that would see them use Honda engines in 2022, that agreement was dependent on an engine freeze being approved. RacingNews365.com has learned there is a major stalemate amongst teams, which puts the agreement at risk.

Red Bull's agreement that would have seen them run Honda engines in 2022 looks to be at risk as Formula 1 teams aren't sure they want to put a freeze on engine development.

The Japanese engine supplier will leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, which means Red Bull have been forced to find another power supply moving forward. With few options available to them, the Milton Keynes outfit looked to have put a plan in place that would allow them to continue with Honda engines.

Red Bull would take over the intellectual property and technology of the engine, along with some of Honda's personnel in order to facilitate the move. The team would also rename the engine to a yet to be determined sponsor, however it was dependant on an engine freeze being passed.

As a result a meeting was scheduled for January 26 between the FIA, F1 teams and commercial rights holders regarding a potential agreement, with 27 out of a possible 34 votes needed to pass the engine freeze. However a Red Bull source told RacingNews365: "The goodwill that was present on Friday disappeared on Monday."

The biggest issue comes with the Balance of Performance system. If a particular engine supplier were to have a major advantage after the introduction of the freeze, a system would be put into place to ensure that the advantage is limited and the performance of the engines is more balanced. This would involved restricting the fuel flow in the engines, however not all the teams are convinced that will achieve a level playing field.

Another sticking point for teams is the uncertainty over F1's power unit rules in the future. At this time there are plans for the next engine formula, or when it will be introduced, meaning teams are hesitant to agree to an open-ended freeze of the current power units.

A meeting is now planned for February 11 and plans regarding the engine program will be discussed. There will also be a meeting between team bosses next Wednesday, though the engine freeze will not be the top priority on the agenda.

With the cooperation of Dieter Rencken.


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