Mr Bernie Ecclestone is sure: Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso won’t leave F1 World Championship even if they are now without an engine for next season after their break with Renault.
In the last two weeks, Red Bull staff, from Marko Horner to Newey, have threatened by the press to leave the Circus after the refusal of Mercedes and Ferrari who are not willing to sell their latest PU models. The soap opera seems to have come to an end. Red Bull would got back in touch with Renault which asks for a public letter of apology for the treatment they have received by “The Soft-drinkers” in the last few months. Maranello’s doors should open for Toro Rosso even if there are technical complications not easy to solve because the team from Faenza uses the same transmission of Red Bull Racing. A new development would involve a considerable amount of time and money.
“The risk of a defection was high, but in view of recent events I think it can be considered avoided” Mr. E has commented on Autosport. FIA and Mr. Ecclestone refer especially to article 23.5 of sport regulation where it is stated that from 2016 to 2020 only the power unit validate by the Federation will be usable.
At present the deadline to freeze the engines is on February 28 2016. Then it will not be possible to improve them. Gian Carlo Minardi stressed this perspective already on 30 September commenting Red Bull situation ”On February 28th 2016 engines meant to be used during the season will have to be deposited and frozen.Not being able to use tokens for developing their PU along the season, the official teams and their customers will have the same power unit and, unlike this season, diversify supplies won’t be possible.In my opinion, the use of 2015 PU is unlikely, unless some change in regulation coming from constructors’ meeting in Ginevra, that should also pass the examination of the Formula One Commission”.
According to last rumors, at yesterday’s meeting in Ginevra, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda expressed their willing to avoid the freezing and to update their unities during 2016 (32 tokens would have been asked). Basically like this year. This way we could have official engines and customers. An evolution like this would be really favorable for Honda and Renault in a strong technical delay respect to Mercedes and Ferrari. We have to applaud the fair-play of Mercedes which probably will keep its leadership having important developments aside. But there is more. There is the willing to modify article 23.5 of sport rules so to supply 2005 power units.
We have to keep in mind that this kind of proposals should be discussed by F1 Commission, and approved jointly by all the teams.