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Wolff dismisses talk of 2016 engine spending war

NEWS STORY
13/11/2014

Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has dismissed talk of an engine spending war in 2016.

As his team prepares for a season finale in which one its drivers will be crowned world champion, Wolff has other things on his mind.

With Mercedes unwilling to allow a full engine-unfreeze for 2015, essentially allowing its rivals to close the gap but also make progress itself, those same rivals are threatening an all-out free-for-all in 2016.

For 2015, the regulations dictate that unanimous agreement is required for the unfreeze whilst in 2016 such changes can be made on a majority vote.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner is leading the criticism of Mercedes stance warning that failure to give some leeway now will result in a spending war in 2016.

"Nobody can really be in favour of an all-out engine war in 2016," says Wolff. "No serious company would allow that to happen. And none of the current engine suppliers can allow that to happen because costs would be escalating totally out of control. It's irresponsible.

"Renault and Mercedes are aligned on their strategy on where the engine should be," he added. "On a motorsport level, between the two departments Renault sport and Mercedes motorsport, we are fully agreed."

Referring to claims that the sport could yet revert to the old V8 powerplants, he said: "If we dropped the current format I can guarantee for sure that Renault and Mercedes would not be interested in supplying any other power unit because of the stability and sustainability of the sport and the road relevance of the hybrid technology. We should be promoting the technology of those engines."

Furthermore, it is the new formula which has attracted Honda, which, unlike HRT, Marussia and Caterham, would not take being enticed into the sport under false pretences lying down.

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1. Posted by Paul RB, 16/11/2014 6:53

"". . . . the road relevance of the hybrid technology . . ". The old chestnut of justifying F1 in relation to road car development is largely irrelevant. There have been a few things over the years but, in the long term, most motorsport spin-offs to road cars have come out of endurance racing. Anyway, the current F1 hybrids have as much relevance to road cars as a Saturn rocket has to a Cessna. This is all overblown hype from Mercedes in order to protect their position, nothing else "

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 15/11/2014 11:25

"I can see both sides of this argument, and ultimately I think Mercedes is being 'unsporting', to the extent one can use the "s" word in connection with F1. The other teams did all agree on the freeze, and therefore Merc is perfectly within its rights to insist that it is implemented.

With fewer small teams as potential customers, more of the costs of developing F1 power units inevitably fall to Renault, Ferrari & Mercedes, and that's without additional development costs. I think its fair to say that to that extent alone Christian Horner has a point.

Tangentially it'll be interesting to see how good Honda's package is. They didn't have an engine to freeze, and have presumably been able to tap-in to McLaren's data about the Mercedes unit.. Logically I'd expect theirs to be something of a step forward. All McLaren needs to do is to develop a chassis that's good enough to exploit that potential. "

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3. Posted by nonickname, 14/11/2014 12:51

"I think one of the most crippling things about f1 is toto the little dog fro Wizard od Oz"

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4. Posted by Ro, 13/11/2014 19:22

"Please scrap the horrible sounding F1 engines and bring back last year's. These hybrid engines are crippling the small teams, we will end up with just 4 teams each running 5 cars...."

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5. Posted by nealio, 13/11/2014 19:02

"If the car manufactures are in F1 because of the technology of the present formula. If they use F1 as an R&D lab for developing technology which they can benefit from in their commercial businesses then why should the client teams have to pay anything for being the lab rats of the engine makers? The client teams are actually paying the R&D expenses for Mercedes, Renault and Fiat. So consumers buy more clios, pandas and c classes paid for with the livelihoods of the people who worked for Marussia and Caterham and whoever is next in line. Is this the new value of F1? Is this worth watching any more than a trainwreck or an Ebola outbreak?"

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