Helmut Marko has confirmed to Auto, Motor und Sport that Red Bull and Honda have an agreement for it to use its engines beyond 2021. Honda leaves F1 at the end for 2021 so this means that Red Bull be taking over a lot of Honda IP and resources which will be needed to service and develop the unit in a limited capacity. "Everything is settled between us. The moment is there. Everyone is on the starting blocks. But there is no agreement until we have written proof from the FIA that the development stop on the engine side will be there," said Marko.
Despite this deal, there are hurdles for Red Bull as it is contingent on the Austrian company securing an engine development freeze. This is not set in stone as Ferrari and Renault are cagey about this freeze considering the two teams want to catch up with Mercedes in performance. Ferrari particularly wants a mechanism that ensures that a manufacturer falls behind in performance should have some way to catch up in despite the freeze and also wants to formula for the next generation engine pseudo ahead by a year to 2025.
Red Bull also needs a go-ahead from the FIA which plans on introducing new bio-fuels in 2022 which is another hurdle. Ferrari never and above as the oldest and most iconic F1 team also gets legacy veto which could scuttle this deal between Red Bull and Honda.
However, Marko sounds unfazed and belligerent," It is a very clear common sense decision for Formula 1." For what it is worth, Honda has been talking up its 2021 engine which will arguably be able to take on Mercedes which is why an engine freeze is being demanded by Red Bull as it doesn't have the resources to develop that engine further.