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New engine formula a "fantastic opportunity" for F1, says Horner

NEWS STORY
08/07/2021

Admitting that F1 has to "tick the sustainable boxes", Christian Horner believes the 2025 engine formula must "address the emotion, the sounds and entertainment" or risk being like Formula E.

Never ones to shy away from an argument or threaten to walk away unless they get their own way - in the future Red Bull will have another platform on which to fight, the engine formula, for having bought Honda's IP the Austrian company is now a manufacturer as well as a constructor.

At the weekend the manufacturers, including hopefuls Porsche and Audi, met with F1 and the FIA to discuss the engine formula from 2025.

Already committed to improving its green credentials, with its eye on the automotive industry in general, especially the banning of the internal combustion engine in numerous cities and countries within the next decade, F1 has its work cut out.

Toto Wolff has already suggested that the 2025 formula will see the electric component of the F1 power unit increase "massively", and while Red Bull's Christian Horner admits that the sport must "tick the sustainable boxes", he warns against going too far down that particular road lest the sport loses some of its core ingredients, the magic that sets it apart.

"We see that costs of the current engine are extremely prohibitive," says Horner, according to Motorsport.com. "It was not thought of when this engine was conceived, and I think there's a fantastic opportunity for what could arguably be the engine for ten years, when it's introduced, to do something a little bit different.

"I think it has to address the emotion, the sounds, and yes, of course, it has to tick the sustainable boxes," he added. "But, I think it still needs to be entertaining, otherwise, we should all go and do Formula E.

"Hopefully, the collective minds can come up with something attractive for 2025, or what would be more sensible is do the job properly for 2026."

Other than sustainable fuels, which appear to be the most popular route, other options on the table include scrapping the expensive MGU-H systems as well as increasing fuel flow and maximum revs.

"It was a constructive dialogue," said Horner of Saturday's meeting. "It's important we find the right solution, both in cost and product, for the future of F1. So I think all the right stakeholders are involved in that discussion, and it's important to work collectively for the benefit of the sport."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nnails, 09/07/2021 6:05

"One of the best things about 1980s turbo is drivers could turn the turbo up or down and they could make mistakes. 2020 are just dull"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Egalitarian, 08/07/2021 2:54

"I'm gonna be upfront here. I grew up with Formula 1 (a looong time ago). It can be really interesting, fascinating and sometimes entertaining on track. I think the innovations and approaches to problem-solving can be really inspiring. I fully support making sure the planet keeps living things on it for another million years or whatever, but to think that F1 being seen as green is important just does my head in. I agree that everyone needs to do their bit and I defintely do mine (wearing warmer clothes in winter instead of cranking up the A/C), but for F1 to focus on the cars' engines as a solution to a 'green' problem doesn't make sense to me. The impact that the transport of the F1 circus back and forth across the world is almost never considered and is thousands of times more than what the F1 exhausts ever put out. Nor do the engines come anywhere near the energy required to make F1 brakes' discs. And then, of course, turning night into day at Singapore and some of the races in the Middle EEast - I'm not sure that lighting comes free.
But wait! What about the flow-on effects to mainstream vehicles I hear you say. Well, there could be something to that but motor vehicles around the world , in terms of the % of cr@p in the air, is a very small percentage when compared to shipping, power generation, airlines and, make no mistake, data centres that store every last little bit of computer-generated bit/byte/cr@p photo/faceboook post etc (including what I am typing now). Keeping those data centres running takes huge amounts of energy too.
So, please, enough with the being seen to be green because of the engine thing... How about the races in the Americas are done as one lot. Asia and the Antipodes as another. The Middle East as another. And Europe in the Summer. The reduction in transport pollution alone could mean F1 can get back to engines that work well and sound great too. And if you really do want better and closer racing, longer braking distances can be achieved by having steel discs instead of the carbon discs... Anyway, as Beau would say - Just a thought. And to save you the trouble, I'll say it first. OK Boomer."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by F1 Yank, 07/07/2021 17:12

"I am kind of up in the air about this one. I for one do think the hybrid era is very interesting but I also miss the V12, V10, V8 days of normally aspirated engines. Allowing turbos was also very intriguing. But I tune in to see the quickest cars on the planet and if that requires fossil fuels, so be it. Perhaps F1 should switch to some sort of bio fuel/hybrid combination and develop the formula from there. You can't deny the amount of energy in the F1 fuel, just look at the fireball Grojean was in, that is not ordinary pump fuel! So where does it go from here and where should it go? The biggest problem is cost and complexity of the current engines. Interesting you would have thought the engineers would have made sure the engine/gearbox package would be easily serviced. I remember Steve Matchet stating once, the cars are engineered to be broken down with a set of tools that would fit into a small toolbox. Electricity is here to stay and along with that is the complexity involved. I guess it will be entertaining to see what the FIA comes up with. Until then Go Redbull/Honda!"

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 07/07/2021 11:30

"With manufacturers dictating the way forward, I am afraid "emotion and sound" will be way down the list, anyone listened to the Cosworth V12 in Gordon Murrays new beast, that run on synthetic fuel is what we want.
These people need to realise that road relevence is not required now, F1 is an escape for 2 hours on a Sunday and emotion and sound is all thats required. "

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5. Posted by kenji, 07/07/2021 10:13

"If I could be excused for double dipping....but on reflection there are two issues which I would like to raise. 'Wolff has already 'suggested' that in '25 the electric component WILL increase massively'.? Does that then say that Mercedes are actually pulling the strings here? No individual manu should be in a position to make such a statement as we are all aware that Daimler/Mercedes are well on the way towards total electrification. The amount of R & D across field and already in their possession would literally be 'humungous' when compared to any other team/manu. If they are allowed to exert so much influence then the future will be a reprint of the last seven years at the very least.

The other issue is the Horner comment ref the 'prohibitive cost of the current engines'. I've asked this question many many times and it would be great if we, the followers/fans could be enlightened as to what these 'prohibitive costs' actually are? This argument has been trotted out ad nauseum but no one actually ever puts numbers up!!! In lots of cases there comes a point where critical mass is achieved and costs either become static or they reduce over time. Why don't we ever get to know even the basis for these statements. Is there anyone out there that can open the door to real figures and why they are so prohibitive compared to exactly what? "

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 07/07/2021 9:51

"'Risk being like formula e'? ? Personally I think there is nothing wrong with Formula e and they are allowed to race, without stupid steward decisions too."

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7. Posted by kenji, 07/07/2021 8:45

"With a freeze on engine development in place Horner is now floating the possibility of blowing out the intro of a new PU until '26!! This would be in his interests as he believes he now has the measure of Mercedes and he wants to 'bake in' that advantage. How absolutely transparent....."

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