Red Bull’s Helmut Marko calls the F1 engine freeze decided a ‘common sense’ for cost-saving purposes as he details on the plans ahead, while Ferrari sets a launch date.
Red Bull were the first to propose an F1 engine development freeze after losing their partner Honda. The team insisted early on that an extended lock on development would be the only way in which they could continue with bespoke engines.
Honda announced their departure from F1 last year, saying that they intended to leave F1 after 2021. This left Red Bull with few options for engine suppliers, with the likes of Mercedes, Renault, and Ferrari not viewed as ideal options for the Austrian team.
Red Bull advisor Marko calls the decision to move forward with a freeze – a matter that was voted on Thursday – one of ‘common sense’. The idea got unanimous support. “We are satisfied with this decision, it is a good day for Formula 1,” he said.
Dwelling more into the freeze and the step forward for Red Bull, Marko spoke about creating ‘Red Bull Powertrains’, which will get the space to work at Milton Keynes. In fact, the F1 team will not use the operations building of Honda but build its own.
It looks like Red Bull will team-up with their long-time partner AVL, an Austrian specialist powertrain company, who will support their programme and supply them with the hardware required. The step will also help in car built, both at Red Bull and also AlphaTauri.
As a customer, they have also had to depend on the manufacturers and develop their F1 car to adjust the power unit but on their own, it helps in a proper balance with better communication. “I think this is not only good news for us, but also for the whole of Formula 1 in general as I said,” noted Marko when speaking to Motorsport-Magazine.
“This reduces a considerable cost factor. As of today, the course has been set for a new company to be established in Milton Keynes. That will be Red Bull Powertrains. Building eight, one of our existing buildings, is being adapted into an engine shop.
“Now everything is going on, now it’s starting. The Honda shop is more geared towards the electric motors. There are not enough and not even the latest test benches to carry out the necessary optimisation on the motors.
“This engine shop is technically designed in such a way that the development for the new engine regulations could be carried out here – provided it remains within the scope that is envisaged. We’re crazy, but we do a little math and calculations,” added Marko.
The former F1 racer hinted on Red Bull moving along with its own power unit when the new engine regulations comes up in 2025, which should be cheaper than the current one. The present step of having an in-house set-up is not necessary towards 2025, though.
Marko notes that it is an one-time investment and a slightly costly step, but bodes well for Red Bull than to rely on other manufacturers. It is a one-time investment in the building and, above all, in the test benches,” he said.
“But the running costs will not be so much higher than if we had bought an engine somewhere. It costs more, but not significantly more. Now we are building an engine that is coordinated with the chassis people. The optimum will come from both sides.
“If we had got an engine from Renault, for example, we would have been forced to put our chassis, radiator and other units around the to construct given motor around,” summed up Marko, as he added that they haven’t pinned on what the engine in 2022 will be called but it depends on the sponsor, which will not be any car manufacturer.
Looking at the F1 engine freeze step, it is significant in the current landscape. Although details of the said rule hasn’t been set out by the FIA, but various reports has discussed various steps to achieve parity for the ones who may lag behind when it kicks-in.
Amid the engine news, Ferrari had their fire-up completed on Friday morning, as they plan to reveal the 2021 F1 car on March 10 and the team on February 26 – both online. The Italian outfit join McLaren (February 15), AlphaTauri (February 19), Alfa Romeo (February 22), Mercedes (March 2) and Williams (March 5) in announcing a launch date.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) February 12, 2021
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