Renault reveal hypocrisy of Red Bull call for engine freeze
Marcin Budkowski has said Renault is ready to “compromise” on an engine freeze and criticised Red Bull and Honda for previously voting against a solution they are now desperately fighting for.
Renault executive director Budkowski said the French manufacturer has previously “actively advocated” a restriction in the development of existing engines while the sport prepares for future changes.
Now Honda has announced it will pull the plug on F1 operations from the end of next year, Red Bull is pushing for an engine freeze that will enable it to continue to run its existing engines until the regulations change.
But Budkowski said: "We were always pushing for a freeze before a new set of regulations. [We think] it's unreasonable to have two development programmes at the same time.
“The best way to manage the introduction of a new regulation is to freeze or severely restrict development and keep your resources constant, with people and dynos just used to work on the new regulations.
"We think the right way is roughly three years, that's what it needs to develop a new set of regulations. So at a time [when] we were actively advocating such a solution, interestingly Honda was against.
"Honda was against limiting dyno hours, Honda was against freezing development and obviously, through the voice of Red Bull, [they] were then voting in the governance.
"So it's quite interesting now that Red Bull is very much in favour of a freeze, it's very interesting to see. We're not opposed to this as long as it's in the right calendar.”
The next specification of engines, currently proposed for 2026, is yet to be scoped out, but it is likely to include more sustainable technologies and require significant resources to develop.
The current hybrid V6 regulations are fixed until the end of 2025, and development has been restricted on the internal combustion engines [ICEs] and energy stores [ECs] from 2023.
Budkowski said this is already “almost akin to a freeze” and suggested a freeze could be introduced in 2022 if agreement can be reached on bringing in the new regulations a year early.
He added: "Whether that's mid-22 or the end of '22, that's to be discussed. We're in line with this, it's a position we've always defended. However, we can't say now we're going to freeze from '21, for example, it's too late.
"We've engaged in an engine program of a certain life cycle. We've pushed before to freeze early. The decision of the sport was not to freeze early. Now we've invested time and effort into a new specification of engines.
"Well, we're happy to find a compromise as long as it's reasonable, not only because suddenly Honda decided it was too expensive to do an F1 engine but also because let's find the right thing for the sport."
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