Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed to a 'gentleman's agreement' in place to allow an underachieving power unit to become more competitive despite the absence of a 'convergence rule' within the agreed engine freeze.
The freeze was agreed during an F1 Commission meeting in February, aiding Red Bull's decision to take Honda's existing power units in-house for the future when the Japanese manufacturer withdraws from the sport at the end of the year.
Whilst there was no official regulation regarding a touted convergence of engine performance in the event a manufacturer was out of line with the rest of the competition, Horner has confirmed there is a backstop in place.
“I think whilst there isn’t anything in the regulations, there is an agreement between the manufacturers to address it in the event if a manufacturer is out of kilter," said Horner.
"There is effectively an undertaking of each of the manufacturers to address it should it arise, whilst it is not within the regulations. There is a lot of goodwill in Formula 1.
"It is not as ideal as a regulation but it gives the FIA the necessary empowerment to bring the parties to the table. That’s important and there is a clear understanding at the top level of each of the OEMs."
Honda's withdrawal sparked the case for an engine freeze as Red Bull would have to gain knowledge of the current power unit technology at a great rate in order to stay on par with its rivals.
With the Japanese company withdrawing based on it setting a clear environmental goal, Horner does not expect a return to F1 for the manufacturer in the future.
“I think Honda has made their commitment that they are withdrawing from Formula 1 to concentrate on fully sustainable technology by 2050, so their company will be very much focused on that," added Horner.
“So there has been no discussion or talk of a Honda return, we’re just very grateful that they have accommodated this agreement and allowed us to continue with what I’m sure will be a competitive engine.”
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