Formula 1 rule-makers look set to freeze engine development in the top flight from 2022 onwards in an effort to cut costs and keep manufacturers interested.
The move comes after Honda decided only to commit to the sport for one more year – 2021 – beyond the end of its current contracts with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
“Honda is waiting to see how the rules will change for 2021 and, above all, 2022, especially if engine development is frozen to cut costs,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, according to Speed Week.
“These power units are incredibly expensive, and all the manufacturers are looking to cut costs in this area.”
Even Ferrari – arguably the most purist of the competitors in F1 – agrees that it will “no longer be necessary” to develop the engines once performance levels converge.
“There will even be some freezing opportunities,” said the Maranello team boss Mattia Binotto.
“The fact that we are starting to freeze some of the components is because there is only a very marginal benefit at some stage in development, and it’s good for the sustainability to start freezing,” he added.