Red Bull is set to take over Honda’s engine after a successful meeting regarding an engine development freeze involving all teams and F1 officials on Thursday.
Honda has already decided to quit the sport at the end of the 2021 season. It was earlier reported that Honda is open to the idea of Red Bull taking over its engine for 2022. Along with some third-party support, Red Bull is set to maintain the same engines developed by Honda.
However, Red Bull has made it clear that it will not be able to fund or carry out the development of the Honda power unit. Therefore, it set about on its attempt to bring about an engine development freeze.
Previous rules stated that engine development would be halted for a period of three seasons starting in 2023.
However, there was a motion to bring the engine freeze forward to next season and this has reportedly received the backing of all teams involved.
While Honda will quit the sport at the end of the season, the fact that the engine freeze has been brought forward works well for Red Bull. The team can request another update that it can deploy next season.
This will go some way in ensuring that Red Bull does not compete with a heavy disadvantage in the next three seasons.
Discussions have already taken place between Red Bull and Honda to establish exactly what their arrangement will be. It is understood that Red Bull has received approval.
While the agreement states that Red Bull will take over Honda’s Milton Keynes facility, it is also set to expand its own Red Bull Technologies campus. Some of Honda’s staff are also expected to stay on beyond the 2021 season.
All teams agreeing to the engine development freeze means the sport will retain four engine variants until its next-generation engine is introduced. This is likely to take place in 2025 now as opposed to 2026.
Red Bull has hinted that it will look to use the experience it gains through Honda engines to explore the possibility of building its own engine for further seasons.
Failure to do this will require the team to find a new manufacturer.
The F1 governing body has been searching for means to reduce the cost and complexity of its engine rules, as the V6 turbo-hybrid era approaches its eighth season.