Red Bull has had “constructive” discussions with the FIA and is “close” to concluding a deal to use re-branded Honda units from 2022 onwards, team principal Christian Horner has revealed.
Honda, which supplies both Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri, shocked the sport when it announced earlier this year it is to pull out of F1 from the end of next year, leaving Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault as F1’s only engine manufacturers.
Red Bull’s ‘Plan A’, however, is to take over the IP of the Honda system in tandem with a hoped-for development freeze until new regulations arrive in 2026 or earlier.
Horner said: “Well, obviously we are very focused on Plan A and Honda have been very accommodating, but nothing is finalised.
“We’ve got constructive discussions going on with Honda and the FIA and I think that we are close to coming to a conclusion.
“Obviously, the FIA are consulting with the other teams. I think there’s alignment regarding the freeze, it’s just should there be a safety net if an engine manufacturer undershoots from one season to the next.”
The major sticking point in discussions is that locking in regulations at the end of next year leaves any engine manufacturer, and its respective teams, with a long-term performance deficit if it is behind its rivals when the freeze comes in.
Appreciating the issue, Horner added: “Obviously, to lock in performance for three years could be quite damaging.”
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