Red Bull set end-of-year deadline for power unit decision
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has set a deadline of the end of this year to arrange a power unit deal for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Honda recently shocked the sport by announcing its withdrawal at the end of 2021 following the Russian Grand Prix in order to shake-up its resources as the company pushes for carbon-neutrality within its own ranks.
In 2022, F1 will undergo the biggest regulations overhaul since the introduction of the V6 turbo-hybrid engines six years ago.
While a power unit manufacturer does not have to notify the FIA until the end of May next year which teams it will supply from 2022, Horner has set a cut-off date for a decision to be made to ensure that year's car can be designed with the new system.
"Obviously there are three current suppliers remaining past the end of 2021," he said. "It’s only natural that we will engage in discussion with those parties.
"We’ve got a bit of time on our side to evaluate all the options. Inevitably, there’s always going to be a discussion about engines when you’re without one for the 2022 season.
"Ideally, [the decision will be made by] the end of the year because, of course, the engines are an integral part within your 2022 design. So ideally by the end of this year so the design team go into next year with a clear set of parameters."
Whilst Horner recognises the short-term impact of Honda's withdrawal, he is eager to ensure the correct path is taken to ensure the team can again fight for championships.
Referring to whether the lack of a known engine will limit the range of concepts the design team can investigate, Horner said: "I would say not at this stage, but that’s why you don’t want to leave this decision beyond the end of the year.
"A team like Red Bull is not a standard customer team. The team’s aspirations are extremely high. It wants to win. It wants to compete and win world championships.
"We need to take the time to do our due diligence on the options that are available to us."
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