Oct.15 (GMM) Honda is not yet committed to Formula 1 beyond 2020.
That is the claim of Dr Helmut Marko, a top official at Red Bull.
He admits that Honda still has work to do to catch Ferrari and Mercedes, even though ExxonMobil introduced an innovative new fuel for the Japanese carmaker’s ‘spec 4’ engine at Suzuka.
“In qualifying we are still clearly behind, especially Ferrari,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“We lost eight tenths to them on the straights. But in the race we are about equal to Mercedes,” he said.
As for Honda’s future beyond 2020, Marko admits that is clouded at present.
“They are waiting until the new regulations are on the table,” he said. “Then they will analyse everything and decide.”
Marko admitted that reducing costs for the engine manufacturers will be a “very important” aspect of that analysis.
“If it does not get cheaper, there will be hardly anyone left,” he said.
But he thinks it would be premature to ‘freeze’ engine development at the moment.
“Freezing only works when everybody is at the same level,” said Marko. “At the moment, Ferrari drives away from everyone in qualifying, including Mercedes.”
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!