Marko welcomes new engine rules


Understandably, Red Bull's motorsport consultant Helmut Marko is delighted by the engine rule changes being introduced next season.

Understandable, because not only was it the Austrian team's difficulty in finding a willing, competitive supplier - even though it still looks likely to stick with Renault, the cause of the original quest for an alternative supply - but another typical F1 manipulation will see performance between the various engines converged.

"It is at least a step in the right direction," Marko told the official F1 website. "But as always, the devil is in the detail.

"The price from where the reduction should be applied was not fixed. We have variations in engines from 16 million euros up to 28 million. That is one issue. Then it is still wide open on how the performance convergence is going to work; if we really can stay within these three-tenths of a second that's been calculated then we are okay - but there seems to be no guarantee on that.

"Another issue is, of course, that we have to be supplied with an engine - no matter what else happens - as the independent engine is now definitely off the table."

With money hardly likely to be an issue, it is clearly that it's those precious "three-tenths of a second" that really matter.

"Yes," he admits, "because if the gap is no more than three-tenths then we have every chance in the world to do something with our chassis. That would put us back up in a position where we will win races again and fight for championships again. But again, it all depends on whether everything is done the way it has been written down and decided."

Asked if the engine performance convergence will make the difference between the regular ability to win races and, as at present, only being competitive on certain tracks in certain conditions, the Austrian's reply is brief.

"Yes, that's accurate."

Understandably, Mercedes is against the changes, the world champions keen to maintain the status quo. Asked if he sympathises with the German manufacturer, he is honest.

"Not at all. Because it was all about not losing any advantage. Now all the teams again have the chance to close the gap. Of course we are probably the biggest beneficiary, as in the past when new regulations came in we've always been ahead.

"We want to be competitive again," he continues. "And we believe that the races have to be more exciting again, not so predictable…"

When it is pointed out that some of this year's races have been exciting, he interjects: "But only in the midfield. The midfield racing has been sizzling. But when it came to winning the race you knew that it would be a Mercedes driver. The Mercedes driver who comes out of the first corner in first is the race winner. Hopefully that will change."

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Published: 08/05/2016
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