“None of the four engineers is in trouble at the moment, the performance is similar”. According to the technical manager of the FIA Nicolas Tombazis the freeze on the development of power units rests on solid foundations. Starting from this season, 2022, the endothermic component – ICE – of the power units will no longer be able to be developed and the same will apply to the hybrid part (in particular the MGU-K) starting from September 1st. The decision to freeze the development of the current engines was taken to allow the manufacturers involved in F1 to start focusing on the new cycle that will regulate the engines and which will come into force starting from 2026, a year in which the MGU-H will be said goodbye. with an estimated cost reduction of 50% thanks to the renunciation of this sophisticated component.
Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda in all probability will be joined by the Volkswagen group in 2026, with Audi and Porsche ready to formalize their entry into F1 (alongside McLaren and Red Bull respectively). The start of the championship certainly highlighted the excellent state of form of Ferrari’s new power unit, which in addition to allowing the F1-75s to score 78 points out of 88 at stake, transformed Alfa Romeos and Haas, now ‘former’ Cinderella of the starting grid. The Honda engines renamed ‘HRC’ have highlighted several reliability problems as well as the new Renault engine, but Fernando Alonso himself has declared himself satisfied with the performance of the new engine which obviously ‘measures’ in terms of reliability must be taken. The Mercedes platoon is instead in clear difficulty, even if it is difficult at the moment to blame the performance of the power units built in Brixworth, given that Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams also have to deal with design errors that certainly do not put the engine in a position to shine. .
The freeze on the development of power units can only be released for exemptions relating to reliability. The objective and common sense requested by the Federation is that of not ‘condemning’ any motorist to a four-year period of non-competitiveness. “When we discussed introducing the freeze, we determined that if one got into trouble, everyone would be committed in good faith to discussing how to solve the problem, perhaps allowing for some development. There is no interest in sentencing someone to stay behind for four years. It is not ideal to freeze the engines for a long time, but we had to do it because it would have been unsustainable for the manufacturers to develop these units and the ones that will be introduced in 2026 ″explained Tombazis interviewed by The Gazzetta dello Sport. Conditions that, at the moment, according to the former Greek Ferrari technician do not exist.