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MGU-H set to be dropped as new formula delayed until 2026

NEWS STORY
15/09/2021

The MGU-H is to be dropped as F1 looks set to delay the introduction of the new generation of power unit until 2026.

Ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix, F1 and the FIA issued a brief statement following a meeting with the existing - and potential - power unit manufacturers.

"Today a meeting took place involving the FIA, Formula 1 and existing and prospective Power Unit suppliers on the potential new Power Unit," it read.

"The discussion was positive and progress was made - some details remain to be addressed, however we expect these to be resolved in the coming weeks."

As ever, short, sweet and giving away very little.

The "potential supplier" that attended was the Volkswagen Group, whose brands include Audi and Porsche.

Up for discussion was the next generation of power unit, which has now been delayed until 2026.

Keen to reduce costs - and improve reliability - the costly MGU-H is to be dropped, which should hopefully see the cost of the power units reduced from $2m to around $1m

Other than cost, another item on the agenda was sustainability, and to that end the sport is looking at a more simplified design, the use of biofuels and increased electrification, indeed there is talk of increasing the electrical power from 120 to 350 with kilowatts, with recovery possibly set to use the front axle.

Interestingly, it is understood that the sport, while looking to encourage new manufacturers, is considering an 'entry fee' while also calling for a guarantee of commitment for up to ten years.

Considering what was to happen later that afternoon, it is interesting that once again Mercedes and Red Bull were involved in a minor war of words, as the sport considers whether to categorise the Austrian manufacturer as a new entity or not.

While few were giving much away, Toto Wolff revealed that despite initial reluctance, Mercedes has capitulated and will allow the MGU-H to br dropped in the hope that it will bring the Volkswagen Group on board.

"The MGU-H is going to be dropped if we can find alignment of many other points," said the Austrian, according to Reuters. "I think it's a compromise. I cannot speak for anybody else but at Mercedes we are prepared to... in order to facilitate the entry of the Volkswagen Group.

"But there are several other topics where compromise needs to be found," he admitted. "If compromise cannot be found then we will probably revert to the governance and have 2026 regulations that the FIA and FOM are going to come up with."

At Williams, new boss Jost Capito was formerly head of Volkswagen Motorsport, while McLaren's Andreas Seidl led the Hybrid Porsche LMP1. Renault CEO, Luca di Meo was previously at (VW brand) Seat, having previously worked with Audi, while F1 boss Stefano Domenicali was head of Lamborghini, a subsidiary of Audi.

Small world.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 16/09/2021 8:59

"I've always been a bit suspicious of the prices being bandied about.... it always felt the price depended on the point the person stating it was trying to make.

I'm sure the current ones are expensive and would guess the development costs are high whereas the unit costs aren't so much.

I came across an old Fifth gear video the other day and it seemed to suggest that BAR (and by extension most F1 teams) were getting through 100+ engines a year, I think that was in 2007. I thought it was said at the time that an engine cost 70K a unit so that would mean that today's annual costs for a customer are actually lower. Even if the cost was only 30K each that's still over 3 million.

I'm not saying the above figures are 100% correct just that perhaps the "good old days" might not have been as good as I remember them :-)"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 16/09/2021 2:27

"The article is very interesting. For many years I've tried to get a handle on just what the PU costs are and how they are made up..component by component [ significant primary parts ] and we now have first look. If, as indicated, the MGU-H is dropped the the rest of the unit is valued at $1M. No wonder the series has seen very little interest from new teams. That any one part could actually cost $1M on its own just shows how ridiculous the costs of F1 have become. If that is coupled to an entry fee of $200m no wonder there has been zip interest despite the FIA stating that they have been approached. Summarised then, using AM as an example...$200M for premises, $200M for entry fee plus annual running costs [ under the cost cap ] $150M then marketing and salaries another $60M and we have a first year capital investment of $610M!!! That's a lot of money in any ones world. Those figures are simply a very basic look and not intended to accurately reflect any existing structure as other sophisticated financial arrangements would normally be in place."

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3. Posted by Tom2681, 15/09/2021 19:43

"NS Biker: surely MGU-H will be dropped in 2026, not 2022. I'd assume the design for the 2022 cars and engines has been set in stone for a while."

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4. Posted by NS Biker, 15/09/2021 18:17

"When does the MGUH get dropped.? Is it 2026 or is it 2022.?
Hopefully the latter.
ER and S from the front axle, be careful what you wish for.
This means either hub based generators or drive shafts into the nose. Either way it implies electrical braking control which is effectively ABS. No more flat-spotting tyres.
The FIA will probably add another 40 kg to the minimum weight."

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5. Posted by sagosac, 15/09/2021 15:51

"Now that all ordinary privateers being sacked it became a sort of (contemporary) closed shop model (you know, to cater for the ever-mantra of risk-limitation) and so the lust for more competition is so and so:
the CRH would be happy, the established contestants rather reluctantly.

Once a complex uissue became complicated, it is a heavy task to uncomplicate it ... I worry that it needs a new sport for open development with no nonsense, simple rules."

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6. Posted by sagosac, 15/09/2021 14:34

"so we should not hope for more units allowance (per season), nor for a wider scope of formula than we have today -- noted (at least the front axle ERS sounds good)"

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7. Posted by Wokingchap, 15/09/2021 13:08

"How can an 'entry fee' encourage new manufacturers?"

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