F1 agrees to engine freeze, supports Sprint Race concept

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Renault F1 Team RS20. Hungarian Grand Prix, Saturday 18th July 2020. Budapest, Hungary.

The F1 commission met this week with all the teams and agreed upon an engine freeze that would allow Red Bull to continue with their Honda power units until the next engine formula change slated for 2025.

The teams also focused on aligning on lower cost, carbon neutral, sustainably fueled hybrid units from 2025.

With Honda’s announcement that they were leaving F1, Red Bull were keen to bring the freeze forward for by a year so they could utilize Honda’s current power unit from next season and not have to develop it.

There was also broad support for a new qualifying format in the shape of a sprint race on Saturday to determine the grid for Sunday’s race.

“All teams recognised the major importance of engaging fans in new and innovative ways to ensure an even more exciting weekend format,” said F1.

“There was, therefore, broad support from all parties for a new qualifying format at some races, and a working group has been tasked with creating a complete plan with the aim to reach a final decision before the start for the 2021 championship.”

A process has not be determined yet but the working group will begin looking at what efforts in 2021 will be made to test the sprint race concept and what process will be followed during those weekends. F1’s newsletter said:

“Meanwhile, there’s broad support for sprints starting this year. The shorter race could be on Saturday, with quali on Friday. Better start blocking out your calendar now.”

I assume they are referring to qualifying for the Sprint race as the shortened race itself determine Sunday’s grid positions.

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I’m confused, wasn’t the point of the soft-sounding hybrids that “racing improves the breed” and F1 needed to be an efficiency laboratory for car manufacturers? Since there is an engine freeze does that not mean that F1 doesn’t improve the breed anymore? Why not just bring the V10s back? (Disclaimer, I have never bought into the road car relevancy argument)


Low emission fuel actually makes a lot of sense to me because that really would be racing “improving the breed”. But you could run low emission fuel in a V10….. I guess what I am really saying is that F1 keeps getting burned by virtual signaling. Why do they do it? Formula One is my escape from having to hear about racism, homophobia, the gender pay gap, the environment, income inequality, etc; and yet, the sport seems hell bent on bringing it in.

charlie w

So the RedBull-owned teams got a 2 year reprieve with this engine freeze. Unless they go back to Renault, with hat in hand, asking for customer engines, what happens in 2024? The situation to keep those 4 cars on the grid will greatly affect on what engine specifications the FIA chooses for F1 and maybe choose a viable engine specification that allows non-manufacturer like Cosworth to return in F1. Ideally, it may attract a new manufacturer in F1 but I would not count on that. Much to my surprise, the teams accepted the Saturday sprint races. Now, someone please explain… Read more »