Christian Horner’s wish for an engine development freeze for 2022 may be thwarted by Renault Sport, with the French manufacturer seemingly rejecting the request.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing are looking at the possibility of taking over the running and development of Honda’s power unit once the Japanese manufacturer pulls out of the sport at the end of next season. However, for this to be financially feasible, Red Bull are looking for the engine regulations to be frozen for an additional season in 2022.
Mercedes-Benz and Scuderia Ferrari have both revealed they are open to the freeze, but Red Bull’s former engine partners at Renault look set to veto the move. For a freeze to happen, all engine manufacturers need to be in agreement.
Marcin Budkowski, the Executive Director of the Renault DP World F1 Team, says it is too late for a decision to be made to freeze development for a further year, with the French manufacturer well into the development phase of its planned 2022 engine.
However, he says there is scope about a possible compromise, as well as finding the right engine formula for Formula 1 in the years to come.
“We’re not opposed to this as long as it’s the right calendar,” Budkowski is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “So the regulations as they are set today, until they are changed, is with severely restricted development from 2023. It’s almost akin to a freeze, because there’s no more development allowed on ICE and ERS from 2023. And a new set of regulations is coming in 2026.
“I think there’s a lot of talk about anticipating these regulations by one year, which I think for Formula 1 can make sense if we find the right set of regulations, and potentially a better set of regulations than now. And then I’d say you have to freeze at some point in 2022. Well, if it’s the end of 2022 or mid 22, it’s all to be discussed. So, you know we’re in line with this. It’s a position we’ve always defended.
“However, you know, we can’t say now we’re going to freeze from 2021 for example, it’s too late. You know, we’ve been engaged [in development and] engine programs have a certain life cycle.
“We’ve pushed before to freeze early. The decision of the sport was not to freeze early. Now we’ve invested time and effort into a new specification of engine.
“We have to find a compromise as long as it’s a reasonable compromise. That’s our position and to be honest, it’s been consistent throughout. So let’s make some compromises if you want to the regulations, but not only because suddenly Honda decided that it was too expensive to do a Formula 1 engine – even though they were not of this opinion before.
“But also because it’s the right thing for the sport. So let’s find the right engine formula for the future, and the right time to introduce it.”