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Wolff dismisses Horner's call for high-revving, noisy engines

NEWS STORY
17/07/2021

As Christian Horner calls for noisy, high-revving engines for 2025, Toto Wolff argues that the sound of F1 has little relevance to new fans and that F1's stakeholders, partners and sponsors want an end to the internal combustion engine.

While he will no doubt echo Ross Brawn's mantra that it's "for the fans", Christian Horner's call for high-revving, noisy engine in F1 is clearly aimed at Red Bull's own ambitions.

At the recent Austrian Grand Prix, the manufacturers, including potentials Audi and Porsche, met with F1 and the FIA to discuss the new engine formula for 2025 and beyond.

While little has been revealed about the meeting, other than the fact that it was (groan) positive, Toto Wolff has admitted that the electric component will increase "massively".

While he agreed that the internal combustion engine will be retained he believes that the use of sustainable fuels will help appease the critics, certainly in the short term.

Speaking at the official press conference at Silverstone, Red Bull boss, Christian Horner agreed with the move to sustainable fuels, however other than that, much like their on-track rivalry, the Briton is clearly at odds with his Mercedes counterpart, for while one wants noisy, high-revving engines, the other doesn't.

"I think the combustion engine does have a future," said Horner, "so why not introduce high-revving engines that sound fantastic, and that are doing it in an environmentally friendly manner. I think that the biofuel and sustainable fuels enable you to do that."

"Electrification, I know, politically it's being pushed," he added, "but actually is it the right route for 25 to 30 years' time? I think F1 could play a key role with the fuels and with the fuel partners that we have on sustainability and zero emissions, with a high performance, high revving emotive engine.

"Wouldn't it be fantastic if we went that route? I'm sure every Grand Prix would be packed."

To emphasis his point, Horner - and without a hint of irony - recalled last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Fernando Alonso rans a number of demonstration laps in his 2005 championship winning V10 Renault.

"Every fan out there, when you hear Fernando running his V10 Renault, around Abu Dhabi, the emotion and noise for me is still such a key factor that is missing from the sport.

"We need to turn the volume up," he continued, "but do it in a responsible and cost-effective manner, and environmentally friendly, but it needs to be entertainment - that's why people turn the TVs on, that's why they watch this sport."

Wolff doesn't agree.

"I would disagree with Christian because it's what we think, but we are not the most relevant generation anymore," said the Austrian. "When you ask an 18-year-old or 22-year-old, what relevance noise has, most of these guys consume it via different screens where noise has little or no relevance.

"I personally like it too," he added, "and I'd like to have a 12-cylinder that screams down the road. But, it is a matter of fact, we are a sport and we are a business. I think we would lose complete relevance with our partners, sponsors, and major stakeholders, if we weren't looking at the environment and the impact that we make.

"I think it would be totally misaligned of where the world is moving, and probably turn every single business partner away from F1 if we stick with internal combustion engines that scream, even though we may like them."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 25/07/2021 22:06

"Electrification is being pushed down our throats. Maybe that's not the best way forward but the political elite ruling class has decided, for whatever reason, that it will be. The free markets did not decide that. F1, at one time, along with some other forms of motorsport, led with innovation. That which made sense was adopted elsewhere. Now it's just a rolling billboard.

We don't have the infrastructure for the electrification that they envision, which will lead to electric rationing effectively controlling our movement. Remember when racing was suspended during the gas crisis of the 70's?

I find it interesting that BruceBoy has his head in the sand on both this global hysteria and his 12 yr old's internet use. "

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2. Posted by The stogie, 18/07/2021 2:10

"I agree with Horner. You want quiet go watch the E series!!"

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3. Posted by BruceBoy, 17/07/2021 19:56

"@flyinglap - Firstly while your kids may be watching porn at 9 +12yrs old my most certainly are not.

Secondly - my kids don't give a a rats ass about the sound of the engines, they watch Formula E too, all they care about is how fast they are, the drivers and the racing. It doesn't matter if its silent, whiney or noisy.

Thirdly - You just need to read the papers to understand the seriousness of the situation. The amazon rain forest is now pumping out ore CO2 than it absorbs, america is basking in record temperatures, Canada literally burnt for a day and Germany and the Netherlands are seeing a whole months rain in one day. This is not normal... at all...

But its okay - just bury your head in the sand like most people do until it's too late - luckily for you, you will be spared the worst by the time you die.

Our kids will not.

In terms of F1, luckily with manufacturers involved the will change the shape of the sport. Horner can say whatever he wants as he doesn't have a manufacturer anymore (Honda pulling out because, for one reason, the sport doesn't reflect its ambitions for it's future of motoring), so he doesn't have anyone other than his team to think about. All this is about for him is making the simplest engine possible as he knows the odds are stacked against him if things get complicated or new technologies are bought in.

The manufacturers are being forced to change by government legislation, because of that F1 will be forced to change too, unless they want to lose all the manufacturers, sponsorship, and eventually when we are all pensioners and can't afford to go to a race and our kids who will be the paying customers.

It will get to a point were it is seen as dirty, and rightly so, as by its very nature it is.

I love F1, I loved it back then and I love it now but it changes, it always has, people whinge and complain (I mean Christian pretty much does that on a daily basis unless he is winning) but they always come back because it more than a noise, its the whole thing. It's the people, the teams, the drivers, the underdogs, the surprise result at a track, a back of the grid team coming good, the last lap car failure, records being broken, the last corner overtakes. It's more than a noise.

"

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4. Posted by Superbird70, 17/07/2021 16:16

"This is an opportunity for F1 to lead the development of hydrogen fuelled internal combustion engines (HICE) of all configurations."

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5. Posted by flyinglap, 17/07/2021 15:36

"Here we go again. There is a sinister agenda that is being fervently pushed worldwide ostensibly under the pretext of "saving the planet" and Wolff, due to his corporate afiliation, is one of its pre-eminent proponents in motorsport, undermining Formula 1 from within. Nevertheless, once you introduce biofuels and/or synthetic fuels the reasoning for electrification does not make sense anymore (let alone it does not make sense regardless). High-revving engines and quality of engine note are essential to motorsport, not only because they are unquentionably exciting but also because they allow the public at the track to better understand a driver's performance and style of driving. They allow to compare braking points, acceleration points and throttle modulation in between. Look up Ayrton Senna's throttle application for illustration. We used to have turbo engines back in the 80's as well, but no one complained then because there was no rev limit and the cars sounded fantastic. With the appropriate fuels, and no limit on fuel quantity, I do not see why we could not have a free choice of engine type. Once upon a time we had V8, V12, flat 12, V6 turbo, inline 4 turbo (and I may be forgetting something) more or less at the same time. Just let the teams and the manufacturers choose freely what they consider the optimal from a pure performance point of view.
@ BruceBoy: Plants inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen; living beings inhale air (nitrogen and oxygen) and exhale CO2. More CO2 allows for more plant life on the planet and more plant life allows for more oxygen. When you limit CO2 you directly limit plant life and consequently you limit oxygen and therefore all life on the planet, against both natural and moral law. Education would be advisable rather than repeating a constructed mantra. By the way, your kids' generation also watch and pleasure themselves with more porn than any generation ever before, but not for that reason should we abolish the "real thing" :)

"

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6. Posted by Malemoi, 17/07/2021 11:22

"What is Tot0 smoking? The fans want noise not an update FE. This time I agree with Christian"

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7. Posted by BruceBoy, 17/07/2021 11:03

"Oh Christian

Totally out if touch with everything going on in the world. Especially if you look at the news this week. F1 can no longer be oblivious to climate change and unfortunately that means that combustion engines have had their day. Im a fan from the 80’s. I loved those V12’s and V10’s but I also have kids and want them to inherit a world they can live in.

Everything that Christian says is just to benefit himself and his team, Toto is right, my kids generation dont want noise and pollution, they are used to sim racing and consoles, when they are looking at cars they know its going to be electric. The view things VERY differently to us."

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