Renault Formula 1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul believes new engine rules should be introduced ahead of schedule as Honda has announced its exit from the premier class of motorsport after 2021.
“The current engine situation is simply unsustainable”, Abiteboul said on Wednesday Autosport. “I have therefore urged the Formula 1 board to take a good look at this.”
After the departure of Honda, which supplies the power sources for Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri, there will be only three engine suppliers left in Formula 1 with Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari.
It is unlikely that a new engine manufacturer will join in the short term, as the current rules for the engines in F1 will in principle apply until 2025.
According to Abiteboul, Honda’s announced departure shows that 2026 is too late for new rules. “It is clear that it is not a positive development for Formula 1 that we will only have three engine suppliers after next year. You can expect that this will make us think more about when to introduce the next generation of engines.”
It is certainly not inconceivable that Renault will again supply engines to Red Bull from 2022. According to Formula 1 rules, the engine builder with the fewest customer teams must supply an engine to racing stables without a power source. As things stand now, that would be Renault.