Helmut Marko has stated that progress is being made between the teams regarding discussions on freezing engine development.
Sonn after it was announced that Honda would be leaving the sport at the end of the 2021 season, Red Bull stated that the preference beyond that would be to take over the Japanese manufacturer’s Intellectual Property and have their own engine.
However, this would only be possible for the team if every other outfit on the grid agreed to a freeze in engine development from 2022, as team principal Christian Horner said.
“We have got a little bit of time, we have got just under 18 months to get ourselves sorted,” he told Sky F1.
“But the more we look, there really only is one option that works and that would be to try and agree something with Honda where we could take on the IP for the Honda engine.
“But of course that would have to be dependent on the regulations. It would only make sense for an independent engine supplier, as Red Bull would effectively be, if there was an engine freeze.
“It would be impossible to fund the kind of developments that currently goes on with these engines.
“It is absolutely fundamental that there needs to be an engine freeze with these power units until there is an introduction of the new engine.”
This initially looked extremely unlikely as, while Mercedes agreed to the measure, both Ferrari and Renault have been firmly opposed to the idea.
The situation led to talk that Red Bull and AlphaTauri would both leave the sport altogether if an agreement wasn’t reached.
However, that now looks less likely to happen as, according to Helmut Marko, who reiterated his team’s need for a freeze, progress is now being made on that front.
“Without a development freeze, we cannot use complex technology. To do this, we would need a development centre like Honda in Sakura,” he said as per AMUS.
“The discussion continues, and we are moving in the right direction”
According to the German site, Ferrari and Renault are both now more willing to support the development freeze under the condition that it doesn’t come into effect until the start of the 2022 season rather than the end of the 2021 campaign, giving them a winter more to work on their engines.