Red Bull hopes ‘Balance of Performance’ plan will win rivals over to engine freeze

2021 F1 season

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Red Bull hopes to gain support from rival teams for its engine freeze plan by proposing new ‘Balance of Performance’ rules.

The team is seeking a solution to the impending departure of its current engine supplier Honda after the 2021 F1 season. It has proposed the introduction of an engine freeze at the end of next year in order to allow it to take over the production of the Japanese power units without incurring the high costs of developing them.

However a full freeze on development would lock in a disadvantage for any manufacturer which is not on par with the competition. Ferrari, who are considered to have the weakest power unit in 2020, potentially stand to lose most from a freeze.

RaceFans understands Red Bull therefore intends to propose a partial freeze incorporating a ‘Balance of Performance’. This would permit manufacturers to continue developing their power units up to a certain level.

One potential balancing mechanism could be to restrict the fuel allocation each team receives based on their performance. This idea was proposed by AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost in an exclusive interview for RaceFans last month.

“If you calculate that [Mercedes] are currently around three to five tenths faster than the rest, it’s easy to calculate how [much] less fuel you have to give them to balance the field,” said Tost.

Limiting the performance of teams’ engines would inevitably come at the expense of Mercedes, who are on course for their seventh successive sweep of both championships. Team principal Toto Wolff has supported the idea of a full engine freeze, but may oppose a change which would allow the team’s rivals to reduce their advantage.

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“Mercedes has done a fantastic job to develop its infrastructure to come to this real high level of performance and normally teams should not be penalised for this because it’s a little bit unfair,” said Tost. “But if someone asks me what I would do, this would be the case.”

Red Bull is believed to want a decision on the freeze proposal within two weeks, in order for it to make arrangements to take over the production of Honda’s power units.

However Ferrari is understood to oppose introducing a freeze to accommodate Red Bull when F1 already has rules in place to ensure they will receive a supply of engines. Under F1’s rules, if Red Bull has not found an engine supplier by June, the manufacturer which has the fewest customers must supply them, which at present would be Renault.

RaceFans understands the possibility of a freeze on engine development was discussed during yesterday’s F1 Commissions meeting but no decision was taken and the subject of a Balance of Performance was not tabled.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said an engine development freeze is not a priority for F1.

“I think that before starting discussing the freezing it’s more important to discuss 2026,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “What’s the new technical format for the new power units in the future, where costs need to be address, where the technology needs to be addressed. So I see that as a first priority and freezing, it’s only a second priority for the discussion.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “Red Bull hopes ‘Balance of Performance’ plan will win rivals over to engine freeze”

  1. I have a question, has the FIA done something with regards to Honda’s development during the lockdown? I read that Honda was given green light to work during lockdown, while other engine manufacturers were ordered to close their factories. Is this correct?

    1. it wasn’t up to FIA, it was European vs japanese law

      1. Oh I see. I think that is pretty much fine. Although for this topic here above, I don’t see Ferrari and Renault possibly in accord with it.

    2. As far as I understand, Honda was allowed to do development when the European teams were closed. But then, after finishing their work to prepare ahead of the season, the Honda facilities closed down, while the European factories were reopened @krichelle.

      So Honda did get an advantage of sorts, since they were able to do their work earlier, before the season got restarted so the benefits of that were available to the Honda teams earlier. But overall they did not get to do more work on developing the engines.

    3. Every manufacturer is mandated to shutdown over summer break for an x number of weeks (believe it’s 3, could be different). Due to lockdowns in the UK, factories had to shut down in Spring anyways so FIA helped them by calling that the summer lockdown so they could stay open later.

      Honda being in Japan wasn’t under lockdown and did theirs at the regular August break.

      1. That rule only effects teams not engine manufacturers

        1. This year it was extended to include Power Unit Manufacturers, as well as elongated and moved to a slot earlier in the season. All due to the pandemic of course. Also everyone did not have to do their shut-down simultaneously, taking into consideration different timings of lock-downs and other measures against the virus in different countries around the world.

  2. I don’t see Ferrari agreeing in this, no matter the arrangements in place.

  3. These rules are insane. The engine regulations are a joke. It’s supposed to be a sport

    1. I don’t think it’s been a sport since before Alfred Neubauer’s days…

      To paraphrase Max Mosley (& others): it’s a game of chess for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon.

  4. Balance of performance? No thank you!

  5. BoP in F1 is an heretic idea ! ;-)

    But maybe they could allocate more development token based on performance (or the lack thereof). So allow some development to everyone but allow more to those who lag behind. At least, we this system, it’s still up to the manufacters to come with the right solution and really improve their engine (not just balacing everything by allowing less fuel to the best in class), but you are just slowing down the best one in the speed of development (and they spend less, potentially).

    I like how RedBull is pushing for their long time dream: making the engine an irrelevant piece of the puzzle.

    1. I’d like to see them retain all the practice sessions, but allocate less time to each team depending on their WCC position. This season, as an example, teams like Williams, Haas and Alfa Romeo get the full 3 sessions. AT, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari get a reduced number of hours and RP and Red Bull Get even less, followed by Merc who get the least.

  6. Balance of performance has no place in F1.
    I truly hope the other teams laugh to his face.

    1. If a team can’t compete on an equal footing then perhaps they are in the wrong sport.

  7. Why not just turn F1 into a handicapped event like some horse races?

    Just say no to RBR’s ludicrous solutions to their self-induced issues.

  8. I can only see this having legs if this applies to the mechanical parts of the PU and leave all the battery only to development.

    There needs to be a way to obtain performance differentiation, otherwise what is the point of spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing something to compete.

    1. In previous seasons, the real differentiator was the amount of surplus energy that the MGU-H could return to the batteries so this is probably still the most interesting development area. However, although it’s an amazing piece of engineering, I haven’t seen any serial production road cars with MGU-H so it doesn’t really make much sense to keep developing this since Honda have pretty much said F1 engine tech is an irrelevance.

      Toto Wolff is on record as saying the increases in energy density for the batteries have been amazing.

      It’s funny how the engine manufacturers are the ones who spend billions to develop technology that has some relevance to road cars (sorry, but F1 aerodynamics are irrelevant IMHO as a mechanical engineer), yet they’re the ones who are frozen out first. I guess it all goes down to why OEMs started buying teams to try to shape the governance.

      I can’t see anyone budging just to accommodate Red Bull. “Honda are leaving? Oh dear, what a pity, never mind”.

      1. Well as a mechanical engineer as opposed to a mechatronics specialist with two masters and a doctorate, you must have missed the entire range of Mercedes cars using a variant of the mgu h? Something Honda demanded was kept within any engine regulation change. Why? Because it hands down changes the efficiency curve.

        Not George – you need to do a lot more research and stop jumping on bandwagons because Mercedes are considered to have an advantage right there. It has huge benefits without killing the world trying to increase battery density.

        If Honda who simply pop in and out of F1 to train the future leaders as opposed to MotoGP engineers of the company are focussed on it, it has benefits.

  9. Give better engines less fuel?

    No.

  10. In some ways this seems like a clever play to get Ferrari on board as then they can officially use more fuel than others, but on the freeze they had Merc not opposing (clearly, it would freeze in their advantage) while now they, and all teams running them, will be opposing it.

    But from what I have seen in other categories, and very clearly in the WEC LMP classes, it is asking for constant quibbles about where to measure, and how teams were or were not disadvantaged by it, hard to regulate, and prone to fishy workarounds too (would expect Red Bull to be the first found to do that actually, with Horner innocently proclaiming that’s the nature of F1).

    And in the end with the Red Bull chassis not so clearly being the fastest one for over 5 years (even in 2013, if not for the tyres and Merc chewing them in races, sure seemed like they had faster car, right!?) it might be quite a bit of egg on their face when Mercedes yet again turns out to be better at working within the parameters of the rules.

    Hope this doesn’t fly.

  11. RBR should threaten to leave the sport if they don’t get their way (it’s what Mercedes did).

    1. There is not one team that doesn’t do this. Ferrari did it, Merc did it, Renault did it. Red Bull did it. Since the FOM/FIA and the teams are in a constant state of co-dependence, it makes sense.

      1. @aiii if anything, Red Bull has arguably been one of the most active in throwing around threats to quit the sport in recent years. They’re now making threats frequently enough that some journalists now openly joke that Red Bull has taken over from Ferrari in the traditional role of making annual threats to quit the sport.

        To pick some recent examples, you can fairly easily find threats from Red Bull that they were quitting the sport in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well – on this site, Keith documented at least five different threats to quit the sport during the 2015 season alone.

        In fact, you can find threats from Red Bull that they were going to quit the sport going back for more than a decade. As one choice example, back in May 2009 Mateschitz was complaining that “If the proposed rules for 2010 stay unchanged, we will not take part in the 2010 championship”.

    2. David Bondo
      One sells a soft drink the other is a major car manufacturer who have been a cornerstone of the sport since it’s inception. If RB were to leave they would want to sell the teams not just walk away and take a huge loss both financial and in advertising reach. So RB are not going to just up and leave imo, it would be a planned withdrawal with someone taking over the ownership/running of the teams.

      1. Not since its inception. Merc were absent from the grid for years.

  12. Any artificial ‘Balance of Performance’ rules have no place in a serious motorsport. I stopped watching the WEC and other such series when they kept fiddling with the cars’ performance to try and ‘level the playing field’. By all means level the playing field in F1 but do that in an ‘organic’ way and not stupid BoP rules. Restricting fuel allowances is just one step away from success ballast.

    1. Trouble is, competitors bring handicapped because of 3rd party agreements meaning it’s not an even playing field has no place in sport… If one runner had access to shoes that meant they ran the 100m 3 seconds faster than everyone else, it wouldn’t be considered fair.

      If part of the sport is designing the engine, all teams should design their own engine. Otherwise, if it’s a part that they buy, all teams should have access to buy any engine.

  13. Won’t happen. The whole purpose of technological marketing for the associated brands would be defeated.
    Red bull will have to suck it up just like Ferrari.

  14. I find it ironic that rb is pushing for that since they always complain about too many rules

  15. This is Formula 1.
    Not Lmp1

  16. Didn’t something along these lines happen in 2006? Renault being allowed to work on their engine to being hp up to the level of the others.

    If engine development is going to be frozen, there has to be some sort of rough parity. This was obviously coming.

    And obviously, Mercedes would like to lock in their advantage.

  17. Red Bull should stick to making coloured sugar water. Since they can’t develop their own power units they want to constrain other teams’ developments? And F1 even thinks of considering this? Soon teams with inferior aerodynamics or suspensions will demand that their competitors stop improving their aero and suspensions. Tell Horner to go fly a kite.

  18. I have not seen anywhere that Honda agrees to this RB engine idea. Also it makes no sense to freeze engines, RB will go back to Renault and the show will go on.

  19. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    27th October 2020, 16:04

    I think RB should just suck it up and take on the Renault engine. At some point, if they take over the honda program, they will need to do development at some point anyways. Just delaying the inevitable of becoming an engine customer again. No other engine manufacturer is coming in the foreseeable future so they will either need to suck it up and take Renault engines or pony up the $$$$$$$ to design and develop engines (don’t see this 2nd option to work out). This is their doing and no other team needs to go along with it. They risked a lot to go with Honda (burned bridges to do so) and this their predicament.

  20. No. Just No.

    This is a mechanism to prevent Red Bull slipping down the competitive order as they dont want to be in a position to have to accept a Renault engine.

    I have no problem with them purchasing the Honda IP and running as an engine and chassis manufacturer but there are plenty of engineers out there that can continue the development for them such as Mugen et al.

    With the decision to go down that route, they need to be able to accept the consequences of that decision which could be a performance deficit, but they cannot “strengthen the weak by weakening the strong” to paraphrase someone. They do not deserve their place at the top of the order without continuing to innovate or progress as the others do. If they fall down the order due to their own commercial strategies, that is their problem, not eneryone elses.

  21. We all know they will go back to Renault. That is what the current rules state and it is a clear and obvious solution to the problem. This smacks of the Bernie school of negotiation – demand something ridiculous so what you actually want seems reasonable.

  22. Yes this! 51% teams should vote this in to rules for 2022.

    Then Ferrari can get extra 50l of fuel, to balance out their slowness.

    In any case, I understand teams already run less than max fuel, probably they are purposing fuel flow limit?

  23. I can understand why RBR wants this, obviously. And I would understand if F1 is eager to keep another engine maker around. But I just can’t see this happening. I can’t see Mercedes giving anything up and certainly they’d be fine if F1 froze things without a bop. They’d stay dominant. Ferrari won’t agree to this, but perhaps would consider it if there was a bop element to it.

    But no as much as I want the best for RBR and Max, I don’t think this will fly nor should. Ideally I wish they could just find the ways and means to keep developing Honda pu’s through a third party assuming Honda would agree to that, but I doubt it, and I doubt there will be a freeze. That is, unless F1 and Brawn really really want to figure something out and put forward some ideas otherwise, in an effort to keep a fourth pu on the grid.

    No I think RBR need to accept Renault pus for now and keep working on an alternative for later. It’s not ideal, but nor is winning because you were able to get everyone else held back.

    1. @robbie you’ve pretty much nailed it with your last sentence and I really do think winning would be hollow if they were able to convince FOM/FIA to hold the others back as proposed.

      For the life of me I can’t understand why they don’t kiss and make up with Renault although I suspect that Renault now don’t want RBR more that the other way around because they’ll likely be in a position of being soundly beaten by a customer. Pretty much the same applies to the other PU manufacturers as well but I’m still not convinced that RBR are bringing a chassis that is as superior as people think it is.

      The other thing – has Honda actually said it would agree to licence out their tech? if they haven’t then all this discussion is just moot and another case of RBR (or Marko really) throwing ideas into the wind in the hope they can get some advantageous concessions that they can then use/leverage.

      If RBR are turning out great chassis’, something they haven’t really done for a while now, or something they haven’t been able to do at the start of a season anyway, then they should be able to win with current Renault PU. If they’re not that confident that they can with Renault, then they simply have to bite the bullet, build the “Honda” PU’s as proposed and engage a partner to “develop” the PU as needed.

      1. @dbradock For me it is quite clear as to why they don’t want to just immediately cede to Renault pus. Nothing to do with kissing and making up. It is simply this, or at least so I am convinced. Mercedes, and to a much lesser degree Ferrari, have proved that in the hybrid era one must be a factory works team doing everything in-house in order to vie for the titles. End of.

        By trying now while they have time, to somehow some way retain Honda pus, they keep themselves that much closer to being a works team. With Renault they will be a customer, and a strong one at that, and they will likely beat the Renault works team again, but their odds of creating a WCC car with which to fight for the titles will be greatly diminished as a customer vs what they are trying to explore for now by doing everything under one roof.

        If they can’t work something out it will just be a wink and a nod between them and Renault, for Renault is obliged to supply them. They can wait til the last moment at which they are still giving Renault fair warning of their needs, if it comes to that. For now I absolutely don’t blame RBR for trying other avenues before resigning themselves to not being able to fight for titles.

        That said though I would add that for next year they should have a nice strong Honda pu, then there is the major reset for 2022. I do strongly suspect that without the clean air dependence F1 might be heading towards the possibility that a strong second place car in the WCC can indeed make waves, whereas overwhelmingly up to now one does truly need the WCC car in order to win and it’s been that way for a long time. Ie. perhaps there is a chance that come the new era RBR would indeed be a Championship threat even as a customer, and even as a second place team, simply by driving their way to it, unencumbered in Mercedes dirty air. One can hope;)

  24. It makes me very sad to read the dismissive reactions of people who call themselves ‘racefans’. A true fan wants to see competitive racing between the best drivers of the world. It would be a shame if RB and AT would leave the sport, possibly with very big consequences, in the current economic climate there will be no new manufacturers or teams to fill in the grid.
    I really don’t understand the attitude of the comments, why ‘hate’ a team (or driver for that matter)? I hope there will be a solution that is acceptable for everyone, I know Renault is obliged to deliver engines, but wouldn’t it be better to have a much diverse cars and engines as possible? To have great drivers like Max and Pierre not have a competitive car?

    1. If Max is that good he’ll get a drive at another team. So far he’s only proven that he’s better than mediocre teammates, except for Ricciardo, and Horner gave preferential treatment to Max over Daniel.

    2. wbravenboer :- Why is having an opinion ‘hating’ ? As I posted above I don’t think RB will be going anywhere. But if they did they would sell not just quit overnight. As for Verstappen I don’t think he’d have to much of an issue in finding another seat.

    3. wbravenboer, I would say that there are a couple of reasons why there are a lot of rather dismissive reactions from those on this site.

      Firstly, given that fans here have been listening to threats from Red Bull that they will quit the sport if it doesn’t make changes that favour them since at least 2014, quite a few of those fans are likely thinking “not another empty quit threat” and, since they don’t believe them, are reacting accordingly.

      Secondly, there are likely quite a few fans who are looking at this and taking the attitude that the sport shouldn’t change its rules because Red Bull are likely embarrassed about having to partner with Renault after their previous public criticism, and are therefore going “just accept the deal so we can all move on”.

      1. Anon I doubt RBR would be embarrassed if they have to use Renault pus. They simply know that the closer they can be to a works team is a step closer to the necessary ingredient of being a factory works team in this hybrid era. As a customer their odds are less of creating a WCC car. I suggest that if you were to hit RBR with the ‘embarrassed’ moniker they would perhaps claim it is Renault that should be embarrassed at their lack of performance after promises made before, they should be embarrassed that as a works team they are only mid-field, and they will be embarrassed by their customer beating them on the track again.

        Simply, Renault pus would fill a void, and I have no doubt these are big boys all around and Renault could benefit from the relationship and RBR will be grateful for any help/advice offered akin to what will be normal and necessary to hand over instructions for their pu.

        But just filling a void is no way forward for RBR, so who can blame them for exploring avenues. I don’t think their proposal will fly though, nor should. And I think it is as much the balance of performance suggestion that has garnered the negative response that wbravenboer laments. That and the thought of Mercedes’ advantage being frozen too.

        1. @robbie do you not think that, given the way in which Red Bull rather aggressively attacked Renault both during and then after they split with them, that it would not create at least some advertising and political issues for the team to then go back to Renault asking for engines? I would say that it was something of a case of the relationship breaking on both sides – whilst Renault had issues, at the same time I wouldn’t say that Red Bull were entirely blameless and acted at times to inflame the situation for political reasons.

          We have heard Mateschitz himself previously make repeated threats that he’d leave the sport if he didn’t get a competitive engine, only for him to then subsequently admit that his repeated threats were in fact empty – with that having happened before, I think a lot of fans are taking the attitude that he’s trying to repeat the same tactic again.

          1. Anon for sure I agree it is a two way street and both sides can share some blame. RBR were hard on Renault but then Renault continued to drop the ball with improvements. The reality is that RBR are not just another customer, they are a big team, and so the dynamic is different as they are playing at a higher and more tense atmosphere with much more at stake due to RBR’s size and potential.

            I think a team like RBR (any team), when being failed by the weak Renault pu, were not going to hesitate to protect their own brand by making it publicly clear that any uncompetitiveness was not on them…not their fault. No different than sometimes a driver doesn’t mind pointing out publicly that he didn’t have the latest upgrades that his teammate did, so it wasn’t that he’d lost his racing ability, nor was soundly beaten by his teammate, but rather he was just handcuffed that day compared to him. I think when they threaten to leave if they can’t get a competitive engine, that is simply them saying ‘we’re doing everything right on our end, but we’re a top team and we have specific needs, and if not able to be met, we’re not interested in trundling along ad infinitum, just to say we’re in F1.’

  25. Its time to think outside the box.
    To keep F1 alive some things must change. Any other development will be the end of F1 as we know it.
    The records by Hamilton will be forever after 2022.
    In F1 there was almost always a dominant team for some years.. But now its taking the others to long and the costs are way to high to bridge the gap.
    So every serious option to reduce the costs and to bring the field closer is worth discussing.

  26. First I hate the suggestion.
    Personally, I think the budget cap will result in manufactures leaving, but a freeze on engine development would probably expedite the exodus. Not being able to get a technical return on their investment will make it difficult for manufacturers to justify staying in the sport, so I think this request is pretty short sighted by RB. They’d be better off lobbying for a change to the power units that would see more engine manufacturers entering the sport.

  27. Using fuel to balance the engines is a pretty smart idea actually. But at the same time an awful idea. If there is one thing f1 needs less is lifting and coasting. There is already too much fuel saving in the race. I think two other possibilities should be thought about as well. One is air restrictor. Add a restrictor to all cars and then make them smaller until the cars are balanced. This is a mechanical solution and kinda hard to implement. Plus it would push engine manufacturers into a design direction that has nothing to do with road cars. Even if it was super mild restrictor. Other idea is to simply limit the maximum fuel flow from 100kg/hour to say 95% for example.

    Personally I find the fuel flow limit the best option. It is super easy to do and could be implemented even for the next race. It is all electronical and software. All the mechanical bits are there, no need to manufacture anything. The same fia sensors can be used. It doesn’t increase fuel saving in the race but it does limit fuel usage. In fact it could even allow the teams to push harder through the race when the stresses on the engine are also lower. And it achieves its goal. Make engines more balanced. The best engine uses the least amount of fuel so there is something for the pr guys and gals as well.

    The only issue is that the electric side of the engine might need something similar. Otherwise you may end up with a situation where all engines are equal on race pace but the merc for example can harvest little better and do two quali laps where other engines can do just one and a half. You don’t want that advantage locked in with rules.

  28. If you can’t beat them, handicap them.

    1. Because if no one can beat them, everyone is going to switch off.

      1. I won’t. I’ll watch and appreciate the excellence of the victors.
        I will also laugh at those complaining while Mercedes continue to innovate while they do the big boy equivalent of stamp their feet and say how unfair it all is.

  29. Surely a good opportunity to court someone like VW? If the engines are good for now, they could strap a Porsche name on it and take over the running. I’m sure the logistics of it aren’t as simple as I suggest, but worth a thought.

    1. You are right, the logistics would probably not allow it. I’m quite sure Honda would never agree to hand over their investment to anyone without ensuring it was protected against being badged under a competing brand name, such as VW and probably Porsche too. It could potentially be badged under some tuning company, a drinks brand like RedBull or something else operating in a different segment. But never a car giant competing for the same customers as Honda themselves. If Honda agrees to sell, there will be a library of clauses in the contract.

  30. The real issue is Mercedes enjoys a healthy engine and chassis advantage.

    If we want to see close racing amongst the best, not just mudfield drivers, that advantage must be minimized.

    Engine frezze would bring much needed financial respite aswell.

    Mercedes would be just fine with 0.3s less pace, and sometimes we would see Verstappen pole.

  31. F1 is an engine manufacturers class. Not a drivers class. You can be the best driver but if you don’t have the right engine or car you will always lose. IMO F1 should be as GP2 but then with faster cars with beast engines.

    1. Go watch Indy car then. F1 has always been a technical as much as driving sport.
      And it always should be.

  32. I’m sorry, but this cannot pass. Red Bull have engine options built into the rules. If Mercedes and Ferrari don’t give them engines, Renault will have to under the regulations as the supplier with the fewest customers. This rule exists because Red Bull got into such a tangle with Renault a few seasons ago.

    I’m starting to get fed up of all their scheming which is solely aimed at avoiding Horner, Marko and Mateshitz knocking on Cyril Abiteboul’s door.

    1. @geemac
      I don’t really understand this anti-red bull stance in this matter. We are not talking about just red bull here. We are talking about keeping honda in f1 as well. Some people like you are a bit too happy to see red bull having to go back to renault as a customer team and fail to see that f1 is about to lose an engine manufacturer. And that will lead to more than just losing one engine manufacturer.

      When the number of engine manufacturers goes down so goes down the number of teams that can fight for championships. In this engine regulation era being a factory team is only way to win. Red bull might have been able to do it with honda in few years but never with renault. Also with just 3 engine manufacturers left each of them is stretched to their limits. This makes it harder for new teams to join, makes it harder for teams to switch engines and locks down the performance levels of the teams even more.

      F1 needs honda to stay. F1 needs more competition for the wins. F1 needs red bull to be able to win races. Engine bop and freeze would do a lot of good for f1 on track and off of it. Closer competition, more winners, teams more in charge of the performance levels instead of their engine supplier, cheaper engines etc.. There are only downsides in letting honda leave.

      Is getting rid of all that the right move just so some people get to point fingers and laugh when red bull has to go back to being renault’s also-ran team? Worst case we lose red bull as well. We have seen this “blindly follow the rules” ideology play out in the past in f1 and it has always resulted in disaster. Don’t make honda-exit into a 2005 us gp just because “because rules”.

      1. @socksolid I’m not anti-Red Bull, but the fact is that the team is not doing this to keep Honda in F1 as you suggest. It is scrambling so that it doesn’t have to go back to a manufacturer which it publicly roasted for all its faults for years and years meaning it is in no mood to help it now. Despite being all sunshine and roses with Honda over the last little while, realistically Red Bull is no closer to mounting a serious world championship challenge with their engines in the back of the car than they were with Renaults from 2014-2018.

        If the FIA and FOM accept this proposal it would not keep Honda in F1. Honda is gone and, while it is incredibly sad, we must accept it. This move from Red Bull would keep a licensed specification of Honda PU in F1 and, without help from Sakura, it would fall so far behind whatever Mercedes produces next season Red Bull will again be crying out for a new engine deal before we get to Silverstone. I’m a Williams fan who remembers what those Mecachrome and Supertech engines were…outdated and underpowered and not fit for a team with lofty ambitions. This is why they are suggesting a BoP…they know they could build Honda PU’s, but with no proper development they will not be able to mount a title challenge.

        Red Bull is just doing this just so it doesn’t have to back to Renault. That is the bottom line.

        1. @geemac
          I never said or even hinted that red bull have any altruistic motives here. The fact is allowing red bull to keep using honda engines in f1 would keep honda in f1. That is a fact. Red bull doesn’t do that for honda or for f1. Red bull is 100% thinking about themselves now. But that doesn’t mean their suggestion wouldn’t also help f1 by keeping honda in f1 and improving everything I mentioned earlier. The engine bop and freeze should be done for honda and f1. It does help red bull but it also does help f1 as a whole. Red bull as a 2 team honda engine supplier could also sell engines to new teams coming in f1.

          I don’t agree with you about the situation with red bull either. Had they stayed with renault they would be a customer team to engine manufacturer that has their own team in f1. Unlike with honda red bull would have no say with the engine development with renault. Nobody has been even close to mounting a serious world championship since 2014 except mercedes so I don’t see how that proves anything either. Just because red bull could not do it (nobody expected to) with honda does not meanred bull has somehow failed. And what red bull said about renault was all true back then. Renault was thinking of leaving and did not even use its engine development points fully. Renault were looking for a way out and red bull suffered as their engine underperformed.

          Here are the key questions. Does it help or hurt to let honda leave? Is f1 better off with 3 or 4 engine manufacturers? Can engine freeze and bop be done technically, cheaply and quickly? Does engine freeze and parity help or hurt f1 on track, does it help or hurt with costs, does it attract or repel new engine manufacturers? Does it help red bull?

          Here are the right answers. It hurts f1 if honda leaves. Better with 4. Freeze and bop can be done cheaply and quickly with just fuel flow limits and/or total fuel amount adjustments. Engine freeze would not hurt f1 on track. It would lower the costs. It would attract new engine manufacturers as they can develop and spend money towards a known target. And yes it helps red bull. Is the last one the only thing that matters?

  33. There is one point lingering in the back of my old mind.

    I bet Horner & Co. are wishing for times like when Jack Brabham, Phil Irving, Ron Tauranac and a company called Repco, got hold of a good V-8 alloy engine and created a wonderful F1 car! Truly beautiful to look at, well crafted and performed exceedingly well. Great times, indeed.

    I say NO to any form of false ‘balancing’.

    It is high time the FIA actually did something to improve motor sport in general.

    Thank you all for an interesting read.

  34. F1 need to set a benchmark to assess how much of performance gap within teams. All the team should let Hulk drive their car on the same circuit to assigned ballast base on Hulk absolute unit.

  35. Why go for a complicated process of slowing down Mercedes with fuel restrictions when a simple alternative exists by making them race with 3 wheels. Success shouldn’t go unpunished if you ask me.

    1. Too risky, Lewis already won once on three wheels.

  36. Redbull wins 4 championships with Renault..
    Redbull then falters and cant win..
    Redbull blames everything on Renault..
    Redbull mocks Renault and go with Honda..
    Redbull is left high and dry by Honda..
    Redbull reaping what they sow and crying..

    Redbull is uncool, Dont be like Redbull.

  37. This is a terrible idea because it would be so difficult to manage and govern. Speed in an F1 car is down to a lot more than the engine, Williams are near the back of the field but would be expected to take a hit due to having the best engine, the FIA needs to take a lead on this or otherwise this story will run until July 2021.

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