Engine freeze from 2022 onwards, Portimao likely back again

Published on 12 February 2021 by Mike Motilall

The development of Formula 1-power units will be frozen as of next year, as has been decided during a meeting by the Formula 1-commission. Last year, after it became apparent that the collaboration between Red Bull Racing and Honda will end after 2022, the Milton Keynes based team had the intention to develop their engines on their own. Because Red Bull doesn’t have the necessary funds for the further development of the Honda-power unit, it has been suggested to do a so called ‘engine freeze’. The FIA, Formula 1-management and the teams have now agreed with the suggestion. This is good news for Red Bull because the Austrian squad doesn’t have to look for a new supplier now.

Apart from the engine freeze, the 2021-calendar has also been discussed. It remained unclear where the fourth Grand Prix of the season (on May 2nd) would be held. But the empty slot will now be filled by the Portuguese Portimão. At least, that is the intention of the commission. There still needs to be a final contract put in place with the promoter.

Also the proposition was discussed to experiment with a number of sprint races in 2021. This entails that a few Grands Prix qualifying sessions would be replaced by a sprint race, which will determine the starting grid for the race on Sunday. Qualifying in turn will take place on Friday to determine the grid for the sprint race. Although no decision has been made, the idea was received very positively. A task group has been assigned to further develop the idea.