Freezing the power units. A hypothesis that make shivers run down the back of most long-time fans, accustomed to an attacking Formula One, which experiments and innovates. Courageous, daring solutions, bordering on the unbelievable or regulation. Instead now the rules are limiting, all aimed in the direction of savings. A conservative attitude that penalizes every type of innovation, but which could also have a positive side.
The freezing, in fact, would almost completely remove the gap between the different power units, with a leveled performance that has hardly been seen during the Mercedes-dominated hybrid turbo era. An unusual situation that, in short, could favor a tighter competition in view of next year. Then 2025 will mark the introduction of a new generation of engines, more sustainable and greener . A new challenge for engineers and teams.
Mattia Binotto, Ferrari team principal, embraces the freezing decision, deeming it suitable: “I agree with the reason of the freeze because I believe that by then, in a year’s time, we may have somehow a good convergence on the performance of the power unit between manufacturers. We can see it’s already happening and I think that in a year’s time we may have a good convergence.”
However, this does not mean that all power units will be perfectly aligned in terms of performance. A leveling of this magnitude would logically not be conceivable. But we witnessed the great recovery of the Honda engine , as well as the recovery of Renault and Ferrari as compared to Mercedes. Mattia Binotto clarifies in this regard: “Convergence means that there will be a delta between power units which is sufficiently negligible to leave then the competition on the chassis”.
Few and targeted developments, therefore, focused on the chassis. Formula One looks to the future and to new regulations, as Mattia Binotto specifies: “If we are converging, I believe that we should simply make sure that everyone is spending their money on what will be the power unit of 2025. So it is a question of avoiding excessive expenses at a time when we need to think, possibly, of a new power unit.” – he added.
The question of freezing, in itself uninspiring, could bring some practical benefits. Of course, a Formula One that gives up innovating due to lack of money is far from ideal, but, in any case, we will get used to it. Because after all it is still the fascinating challenge between man and speed. A myth that not even the most unfortunate of regulations will be able to undermine.