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Wolff questions F1's need for more manufacturers

NEWS STORY
19/12/2018

The sport's powers-that-be's hopes for a revolution in terms of the 2021 engine regulations have taken a battering that perhaps only Theresa May might understand as she continues to push her 'solution' to Brexit.

One-by-one the proposals were rejected, be it in terms of compromising the sport's DNA and costs, even the move to ditch the complex and expensive MGU-H has been dropped as the manufacturers insisted that such a move would increase spending at a time the sport is seeking the means to keep it down.

And while all this meant the current engine manufacturers could breathe a sigh of relief, it was the kiss of death in terms of attracting new manufacturers to F1.

However, Toto Wolff, whose Mercedes power units have won 74 of the 100 Grands Prix held since the hybrid formula was introduced in 2014, questions the need to introduce new engine manufacturers, wondering why the FIA and Liberty Media were so keen to attract 'fresh blood' in the first place.

"Where does that thinking come from? Is it greed?" he told ESPN. "You want more than four? What do you want five or six? We should be happy with four premium manufacturers committed to the sport, already in there for a long time, trying to make sure that, foremost, we seek compromise with the loyal partners in there.

"And then we look at the ones who might join in the future and listen to them. But that is only the second priority."

Asked if he regards the eventual climb down over the MGU-H as a victory, he insists: "No, it's a purely economical factor because we have demonstrated to Liberty and the FIA that redesigning an engine is going to spiral the costs out of control.

"Even this engine now, which has more revs, more fuel flow, more fuel allowance will result in enormous costs," he says of the tweaks for 2021 that have gone through. "Ideally, we would have liked to stay where we are, and not touch it.

"Engine performance is converging," he adds. "We see that already - and I am curious to see where Honda are next year - but the engines are not far away from each other. Every time the regulations change, you're going to have a wider spread between the best and the worst. So why do we change it?

"We wanted it to stay where we are and that is the compromise we've taken, but it's still going to be too expensive in my opinion."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by SennaRacer56, 27/12/2018 11:01

"I have to agree with Totto on this one. But then the rule "changes" should apply to everything and not just engines. Every time there are rule changes MORE money is used to comply and the top teams who have the money stay on top.

I see constant calls for bring back the V12, V10, V8 bla, bla bla - NO guys that is not the future and never will be much as I too would love to hear the shivering ear busting sounds from those engines. The future demand progress sadly and only the stupid would turn a blind eye to not developing F1 towards the future.

STOP changing rules and the rising costs will also stop. No engine manufacturer would consider entering into F1 if the rules are constantly changed every 2 years - put a 10 year block on engine rule changes and you will see the likes of Ford, Audi, VW, Porsche, Toyota, Nissan, Chev, Jaguar, Aston Martin, etc rethinking their ideas to get into F1 with a great chance of success. With rules pinned down, none of the current manufacturers will need to keep on throwing money at NEW developments and can focus on doing things smarter, fine-tuning their products for better fuel economy, more power with the same fuel, better utilization of energy recovery etc - This will encourage manufacturers to join the party I believe "

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2. Posted by gearsau, 21/12/2018 19:24

"Perhaps they could dig out all the moulds for the block and cylinder head castings, and, produce some more V10 and V12 engines. I may even get interested again. As it is now, I couldn't care less about F1, as it has lost me . Started following it in 1965. Nowadays, I watch MotoGP where, they actually race each other, the winners always look happy, compared to the motley crew that appear on the F1 winners circle."

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3. Posted by Uffen, 21/12/2018 16:57

"In a sense I lean in his direction - the fewer manufacturers the better!
Nortim is correct - they all drop out eventually. "

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4. Posted by Yeyox02, 21/12/2018 14:56

"And.....who is Wolff to question if F1 needs more engine manufacturers or not?"

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5. Posted by PearBear, 20/12/2018 8:31

"If they are so worried about engines being expensive they could always go back to V8's or (preferably) V10's. The fans would be happier and the costs would be much lower."

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6. Posted by equator180, 20/12/2018 1:31

"And why would the master say anything different, as stated, his power unit won three quarters of the race in the last four years. He is a great persuader to get the other three to go along with this charade. Take the hit now if it costs more at least the field would be open to other entries. Ross was correct they raised the draw bridge and Mr. Wolf gave the order."

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7. Posted by Nortim, 19/12/2018 19:40

"Hey mr. Wolff, what if any of those 4 "premium" manufacturers suddenly quits??? Like they used to and I'm sure they will again. Renault did it, Honda did it, BMW, Toyota... maybe Mercedes will decide one day - "no more that's it, we won all, we want something else." Then what? "

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