Christian Horner: Engine cost cap ‘realistic’ in next few years

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner says talks are ongoing to expand the chassis budget cap to also limit the costs of engine development.

As of the 2021 season, teams are now permitted to spend a maximum of $145m per campaign on their chassis, a value that will reduce to $140m for 2022 and $135m by 2023.

However, there is currently no such ruling on the very expensive and complex power units currently used in Formula 1.

That may change though in the future, with Horner revealing talks are going on to match the chassis cap with an engine one as well.

“I want a 5.0-litre V12 with screaming high revs,” Horner said with a smile when asked by Autocar what he wants from the new engines, due to arrive in 2025.

“But I don’t think we’re going to get that. It will be an evolution of the existing regulations. We aren’t dictated to by the OEMs that it has to be this or that. We want what’s right for the sport.

“We would like it to sound good and it needs to tick boxes environmentally and efficiency-wise, so I assume it will be a derivative of what we currently have.

“Obviously we’re going to have an expensive couple of years as we gear up, but then there are powertrain budget caps being discussed that are extremely realistic to be introduced in the next couple of years.

“We’re talking about around the 50m euros (£43m) mark on research and development which, suddenly from where budgets have been, makes it entirely feasible.”

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An engine development freeze has been agreed on the current power units from 2022, something which Red Bull led the push for before agreeing to take over Honda’s IP.

Horner says Red Bull building their engines was an important gap to fill, and this now makes them an even more valuable partner for Formula 1’s owners Liberty Media.

“For us, it really does fill a gap that has always been missing and had been our Achilles heel until Honda came along – that we haven’t had control of our own destiny,” Horner explained.

“We’re tremendously useful to Liberty Media and F1 because we could gear up to supply other teams if required, as manufacturers tend to come and go. To have an independent engine builder like Red Bull Powertrains is attractive to Liberty.

“Red Bull has two grand prix teams and a circuit [in Spielberg, Austria] and is involved in all the junior categories and all major forms of motorsport around the globe. I don’t think there’s a company that has committed more to the sport, including OEMs, than Red Bull.”

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