Red Bull’s hopes of continuing to use Honda power units after the 2021 F1 season rest on a crucial vote next week on changes to the engine regulations.
With the current V6 hybrid turbo engine regulations reaching maturity and due for replacement in 2025, teams are open to the possibility of a freeze. However some are wary of locking in any performance disadvantage they might have.
RaceFans understands an electronic vote will be held on Monday to decide whether to introduce a freeze on engine development from the first race of the 2022 F1 season. If the freeze is approved, Honda is expected to continue developing its power units for Red Bull until that time.
Under the F1 Commision’s rules for votes on changes to the power unit regulations, a simple majority of the teams, manufacturers, Formula 1 and FIA is required for approval: 27 votes from a maximum of 34. Each of the 10 teams and four power unit manufacturers have a single vote, while F1 and the FIA have 10 each.
Red Bull also previously proposed introducing a mechanism of convergence to balance the performance between different power units. This has not been ruled out, and could be achieved by giving different fuel flow limits to each manufacturer based on the performance of their engines.
If Red Bull is unable to agree terms under which it could continue to use Honda’s power units, then according to the FIA’s rules the manufacturer which supplies the fewest teams would be required to supply their engines for the 2022 season. At present, that manufacturer is Renault, which has no customer teams.
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