A 2022 engine freeze was unanimously supported by teams during a meeting of the F1 Commission on Thursday, paving the way for Red Bull to continue to use Honda power units after the Japanese auto-maker exits the sport at the end of this year.
This comes just weeks after Red Bull and Honda agreed a deal which will allow the Milton Keynes-based F1 team – and its sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri – to take over the intellectual property of the Japanese automotive brand’s power unit.
“Everything has been settled between us. The timing is there. Everyone is in the starting blocks,” senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko said last month.
“But there is only an okay when we have written proof from the FIA that the development stop on the engine side is coming,” the Austrian added.
Now that an engine freeze from 2022 onwards has been agreed, it is almost certain that Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri will continue to use Honda power units over the coming seasons.
During the same F1 Commission meeting, sprint races were also discussed, with teams expressing “broad agreement” to conduct a trial at three races this upcoming season.
A final vote will be held over the coming weeks following further talks and the formulation of a concrete proposal.
Should F1 introduce sprint races at some grand prix this year, a shorter race will be held on the Saturday, with qualifying for these races taking place on Friday.
The result of the sprint race would then dictate the starting grid for the main grand prix on Sunday.
Drivers and teams would score points for their finishing position in the sprint race, though fewer points will be on offer than in the main Sunday race.
The Canadian, Italian and Brazilian GPs have been provisionally selected to hold these sprint races, according to reports.
“All teams recognised the major importance of engaging fans in new and innovative ways to ensure an even more exciting weekend format,” the FIA and F1 said in a joint statement.
“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.”