Mercedes F1 power units

New F1 power units planned for 2025, engine freeze agreed for 2022

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 will freeze its power units with effect from the start of next season, the FIA has confirmed, ahead of the introduction of a new engine formula which is planned for 2025.

The FIA described the decision, which was agreed unanimously in today’s F1 Commission meeting, as “a significant development for the sport that reflects the unity and collaborative spirit between the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams.”

A working group has been established to form F1’s new engine regulations for 2025. It will include both current power unit manufacturers and fuel suppliers, and those which may enter in the future.

Five goals have been set for F1’s next generation of engines, which will arrive 11 years after the current V6 hybrid turbos were introduced. The technology must be sustainable and relevant to manufacturers, include a fully sustainable fuel source, reduce costs, be attractive to new power unit manufacturers and result in a design which is “powerful and emotive”.

Reducing costs and achieving carbon neutrality are the key goals of the new design, the FIA added.

The introduction of a freeze on power unit development from the beginning of 2022 leaves teams scope to further develop the engines they will race this season. Red Bull and AlphaTauri, whose power unit manufacturer Honda will leave at the end of this season, were key proponents of the change, and are expected to now seek a deal which will allow them to continue using the engines next year.

No mechanism of balancing the performance of the current engines when or after they are frozen has been agreed, RaceFans understands.

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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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40 comments on “New F1 power units planned for 2025, engine freeze agreed for 2022”

  1. Yeah as I said in the first article today about this, I am greatly pleased and take great comfort not just in the fact that they agreed to this freeze, but that they did so unanimously, showing they’re all on the same page with this.

  2. Why freezing engines then? Pure nonsense.

    1. I agree. It was done to benefit Red Bull teams. Honda quits again and everyone else needs to stop. Just another step closer to becoming a spec series. Formula 1-1/2?

      1. I think the Mercedes teams won’t be disappointed either @sfrank15, which probably explains a bit of it, then if Ferrari are confident they can really get their rumoured revolutionary new PU done for the start of the 2022 season, they might be relative ok, while Renault will also have that winter to finally make their last step to parity, while all can tell their owners it will at least cost less to develop while they work on the 2026 engine :)

  3. While there is a “freeze” on engine development for added performance, there was recent indication that upgrades to enhance “reliability” were still permitted.
    Is this the case in the current agreement.?
    During the prior freeze in the 2.4 V8 era, there was considerable “reliability development” that some manufacturer’s were able to undertake that yielded associated performance gain. Renault was rumored to loose out on this at the time.
    So is it a hard freeze or just a sort-of freeze and does it include software.?

    1. You can’t separate performance and reliability. All the teams turn their engines down to improve reliability and keep engine failures at an acceptable level. If you are able to make changes that improve reliability, then you don’t need to turn the engine down as much, so you get more performance.

  4. I’d be even happier if the next engine formula would come in 2024, but 2025 is okay.

    1. Too soon for something that has not even been spec’s yet.

  5. I’m happy about this. I rather have constant development and a true engineering battle, but the fact is the costs went through the window during the hybrid era and 3 years of calmness, specially during the times we’re living, can only be welcomed.

    I hope the new engine formula is announced early enough so more manufacturers can join too, and be competitive.

    1. And how the freeze apply to new manufacturers?

  6. No mechanism of balancing the performance of the current engines when or after they are frozen has been agreed, RaceFans understands.

    I imagine there will be something imposed, unless Ferrari found all their overfueled power somehow again. Maybe it will be another FIA secret agreement.

    1. I would also expect somethign like that to be agreed, but not yet completely hammered out maybe @nanotech.

  7. F1 steadily keeps loosing its appeal.
    Why not the same engine from a sole supplier for all teams? It would be better solution.

    1. Yes, I agree, having a sole engine supplier would make sense, but that would open a huge can of worms. Really the question is what fuel does F1 want to use from the start of 2025 because that would dictate what sort of engine they should use. Formula E cars have their batteries charged from an engine using something like a synthetic diesel, so presumably F1 will follow their footsteps and use some sort of synthetic diesel or synthetic petrol.

      1. Do you really expect Ferrari to accept a Mercedes PU?

    2. Why not the same engine from a sole supplier for all teams?

      If you’re going to go that far, you may as well just make it a spec series.

      1. It is disappointing, but that where F1 is heading to step by step.
        Freezing engines means freezing inequality of engine performance, thus car performance. That is worse than the spec engine or spec series.

  8. 11 years is good time for engine. Unfortunately this has been one of the most monotonous eras of the sport. I watched some stats and enginewise Ford was dominating 60s and 70s.

    For 16 years straight (1967-1982) their engines were always in top 2 in standings (10x 1st, 6x 2nd)

    2008-2021. 14 years. Mercedes’ same stats are (8x 1st, 4x 2nd, 1x 3rd)

    Here are some other stats from Ferrari and Honda

    1996-2008. 12 years. (8x 1st, 4x 2nd, 3x 3rd)

    1985-1992. 8 years. (6x 1st, 1x 2nd, 1x 3rd)

    Also Renault has 6 straight wins between 1992-1997.

    Not sure what to think about this but 2025 can’t come too fast.

    1. Agree, apart from its another lost 4 years. I really rate Domenicalli though, hes done it at the sharp end and isn’t, yet, 307 years old like Bernie. The paddock likes him and he seems to get it. SOme fans dont seem to care about the noise but theres a big core who do. If you lose them and it mustve been close recently, they never come back and the channel surfers were only ever interested because it was high profile will be gone in a heartbeat. No fans, no fun. No money.

  9. be attractive to new power unit manufacturers

    This is a very good goal.

    Hopefully the ’22 chassis regs and then the new engines will reset F1 completely by ’25. Quite excited by it all.

    Btw, anyone know where Andy Cowell went to in the end?

  10. I think this is a smart recognition across all the teams of the state of the world and the need to conserve cash for the next few years while the economic crisis plays out.

    I imagine there’ll be some minor allowance for convergence of power updates over the next few years until the new generation of engines come into play. Hopefully they’ll be cost effective enough to have mass appeal.

    1. Yep, that’s how I see it too @marcusbreese

  11. The gauntlet has been thrown for 2025, let the games begin. Assuming 2 years for development (what engine manufacturers said was about the required period last time around) that gives them around 2 years from today to come up with something. I simply can’t imagine all 5 of those goals being met. It’s probably a good thing that the engines are being frozen to free up more resources for R&D that will be working overtime.

  12. Red Bull might be down on raw engine power, but their political power is still stirring the waters in the piranha club.

    Now they have engine they want without the inconvenience of mending bridges or sipping from the humility bowl. Will be hilarious when they announce, in 2024, they’re leaving F1.

    1. Actually I’ve not yet seen any confirmation that Honda will even let them manufacture “their” PU in house so this might still end up coming to naught and they’d have to use Renault PU’s after all.

      Now that would really be amusing.

    2. Will be hilarious when they announce, in 2024, they’re leaving F1.

      There will be a whole plethora of whines before they actually cal it a day on F1. They start with the ‘No one wants to supply us engines because we’re so awesome debate’, before going back with their tail between their legs to the best engine partner they had – Renault. Then after a season of two of not winning the championship …bow out of the sport with a few masterful whining sessions from Horner and Marko alike.

  13. Philip Carr Sliven Bulgaria
    12th February 2021, 1:34

    Mercedes & Hamilton will be pleased. i predict a new contract for Hamilton from 2022 to 2025. He will be partnered with George Russell as the 2nd driver his defacto number two.

  14. Mercedes & Hamilton will be pleased. i predict a new contract for Hamilton from 2022 to 2025. He will be partnered with George Russell as the 2nd driver his defacto number two.

  15. Given that the regulations have already been changed to address the major performance differentials (oil burning, fuel flow, party modes ), I don’t see this as being much of a change.

    The fact that it got 100% support also suggests that the teams realise that performance has converged sufficiently now that pretty much all PU’s have been maxed out. I’m guessing Ferrari will turn out a much better one this season after having to change tack last year.

    IMO it’s much better to do this and concentrate on getting the new PU specs right.

    1. @dbradock

      The way I see it, Mercedes already has a championship winning car.. they might not need to focus as much on the chassis this year as previous seasons. However, they can put all their development efforts in to increasing the engine performance and locking down an advantage for 2022 to 2024. Mercedes always has a few tricks in the performance bag.. and even though we feel engine performance is converging… you know that Mercedes wouldn’t agree to this engine freeze plan without having a masterful plan at the back of their minds.

      I’m going to make a bold and far fetched prediction today that the engine freeze is what’s going to keep Mercedes as the team to beat from 2022 to 2024. This engine freeze rule will probably frustrate F1 fans more than anything in the years to come.

      1. @todfod

        IF, and I doubt there’s a huge much more they can get, they do then in 2022, there will be 4 teams with the new spec chassis designs running the same PU, so I wouldn’t guarantee that having the best PU will give them complete dominance.

        2022 is going to be about the best chassis design and I’ve no doubt they’ll bring something pretty good to the table, but I expect others to as well.

        I’m rather hoping that the new chassis regulations reduces the importance of having the absolute best PU but I do take your point that they’ve so far had, and are likely to retain, the best PU since 2014.

  16. Very sensible of everyone. Hopefully this ends the most uncompetitive era in F1 history.

    It needs to be an aerodynamic limited series like 2006-13. One of the best eras in F1. 2012 had 7 different winners in the first 7 races. Can’t believe people used to complain about it.

    1. Right, so maybe from now on we should give it a denomination other than *motor*sport?

      1. We had engines effectively frozen 2006-13 and it provided close racing between teams in most of those seasons.

        The most uncompetitive season of that period was probably 2011 where non-RBR teams had 7 wins out of 19 races. I can remember the whinging from non-Vettel, non-RBR fans about how boring it was.

        The most competitive season in the hybrid era was 2018 when non-Mercedes teams won 10/21 races.

        2017 non-Mercedes teams won 8/20.

        2019 non-Mercedes teams won 6/21.

        Basically the most competitive hybrid era season was slightly more competitive than the least competitive V8 season.

    2. Dean Franklin, so you want the series to focus on the most ruinously expensive component of design that was actively detrimental to the health of multiple teams during that era? The component that so many complain destroys racing between the cars due to the effects of turbulent air and, to them, is the antithesis of good racing? The component that locked in a significant advantage at that time for the biggest and richest teams?

      1. Making it an engine dependent series has seen TV rating decline and given us the worst racing in the history of the sport.

  17. My whacky proposal is to make a power unit that can be detuned to actually work in a high end luxury or sports car. The more F1 performance would come from greater turbo charging and a big KERS (Bigger electric motor and battery than before).

    Engine development is then a shared cost for a road and F1 car and the licensing of the F1 engine to a car company would be a revenue stream for the teams / engine makers.

    More development work should then go to the turbo charging and big KERS. They should consider some rule where they increase the KWh of the battery every X years, but keeping the same package size and weight.

    1. Do a search for “Delayed Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar and Its F1 Engine Are an Engineer’s Nightmare”

      …the hypercar couldn’t meet noise or emissions regulations. As a result, engineers have been hard at work developing an exhaust system and a gasoline particulate filter that can comply with strict regulations.

      …the 1.6-liter V6 idles at 5,000 rpm. The engineers reportedly tried to get the engine to idle at 1,200 rpm. Unfortunately, this was more challenging than expected. It is worth mentioning that this also has a direct impact on emissions figures.

      It isn’t working out as they wanted it to. The engine expected to be rebuilt every 31,000 miles.

  18. It is a good idea to seek the input of prospective engine manufacturers as well as existing ones. Hopefully their views will be given more weight than the vested interests already in F1 – the overriding aim of the new regulations should be to make the sport more sustainable by attracting new competition.

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