Following Honda’s exit as their engine manufacturer early October, Red Bull's preferred option was to take over the intellectual property of the nippon motorist, to then prepare and deploy the engines themselves in their facilities in Milton Keynes. However, that solution was only possible on the condition the engines be frozen by the beginning of the 2022 season. Red Bull had indeed admitted they could not afford any further development, neither technically nor financially. So the engine freeze was a prerequisite.
Regarding that matter, Mercedes expressed itself in favour of the motion, whilst Ferrari and Renault were understood to be against it. It was then all about a political game, to make the other two manufacturers change their stance. Horner said in that respect:
“I think we’ve been having quite productive discussions behind the scenes with the Commercial Rights Holder and the governing body. Obviously there are some key elements that need to be in place, before making any commitment on future engine plans, regarding engine freezes and so on.”
Ultimately, Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto said on Friday that the Scuderia would now back the engine freeze, having also agreed that F1's next-generation power unit would be introduced one year earlier than planned, brought forward from 2026 to 2025.
"I think what we said is there are already regulations in place where somehow Red Bull has got a solution, they may be supplied by other manufacturers, that's no doubt,"
"We understand as well their intention to keep using their Honda engine for the future. We had meetings in the last days with F1 and the FIA. I think as Ferrari, we understand the situation."
"We are supportive in trying to anticipate by one season, one year, the freezing of the engines, because that would mean as well trying to anticipate to 2025 the new regulations for the power units.
"Knowing the situation and understanding the situation, it's not the first time that Ferrari is acting in a responsible way in that respect.
"So we will support freezing, by anticipating by one year the engines, the power unit."
Considering how Ferrari PUs are currently trailing in terms of horsepower, the Italian manager tried to ensure there is some mechanism put in place for the engines to converge and reduce the existing gaps.
"Talks are ongoing [at the] moment with the FIA, with F1, if we should consider a mechanism of engine convergence, if there is any situation where eventually a manufacturer is really down on performance compared to the others,"
"Because then it's freezing for three years [and] the relative performance between manufacturers. I think those details will be important."
In the end, Binotto reflected on the necessity of having maximum clarity for the new PUs that are expected to be less costly and more sustainable.
"To have a brand new format of power unit in 2025, we will need by the middle of next year clarity on the regulations"
"I think it will be quite a different power unit to today, because I think there are, at least from the Ferrari point of view, important objectives that need to be set, as for example quite a different cost."
"It has to be more sustainable in terms of a cost point of view. I think the power unit should cost 50% what we are affording today. In order to achieve that, I think in order to decide what will be the technical format, it is somehow very difficult exercise."
"I think as well from sustainability, so [from] a carbon footprint point of view, we have to set our objective which has to be very ambitious."
"We need to be very proactive but also collaborative between manufacturers, F1 and the FIA in order to progress very soon on the regulations. That will define the future of F1 from 2025 to 2030."