Red Bull engine freeze plan 'best choice' for F1 - Domenicali


New Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has called on teams to support Red Bull's proposal to introduce a freeze on engine development from 2022.

Red Bull is pushing for the freeze so that it can keep using its existing Honda power units even after the Japanese manufacturer quits the sport at the end of this year.

The team can't afford a full engine development programme of its own of the kind seen at Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. It could even decide to quit the sport if it can't find a solution to its engine supply headache for next season.

Mercedes has described the plan as a "sensible proposal" while Ferrari has also backed it after reversing its initial resistance. However Renault is firmly opposed to the idea of a freeze as it is already planning on a major upgrade to its existing power unit in 12 months time.

The proposal will be discussed this week at a meeting of the F1 Commission on Thursday, and it has the backing of Domenicali who took over as F1 boss from Chase Carey last month.

"The freeze of the engine is a very important point," he told the media including this week. "But I don't want to say only for Red Bull: it is for the entire F1."

A number of cost-cutting measures are currently being introduced to the sport. This season sees a new budget cap limiting the amount that teams can spend on their operation, and curbing the cost of engines is also top of the list.

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Lamborghini CEO.

"That is a priority for a lot of the manufacturers," Domenicali said of the current push to get expenditure under control. ""It is something that is for sure at the centre of the discussion in that meeting.

"The actual regulation and freezing is based on 2023," he explained. "We want to anticipate the freeze because we want to save money to make sure that the manufacturers and teams can invest in the new engine."

Domenicali said that he was cautiously optimistic a deal could be reached that would allow Red Bull and sister squad AlphaTauri to continue to take part in F1 after Honda's exit without being forced back into the Renault fold.

"The discussions that are in place are going in the right direction," he insisted. "I don't want to anticipate anything, but I'm confident that everyone will understand the importance of these things happening.

"I'm hoping that everyone realises that is the best choice - not only for Red Bull, but for the entire world of F1."

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