Manufacturers urge re-think on 2021 engine regulations

10/07/2018
NEWS STORY

While the proposals for the financial side of the sport are set to take centre stage in the months ahead, with the plans to introduce a budget cap while doing away with special bonuses and more evenly dividing the prize pot likely to sees teams leave the sport either in outrage or hardship, the proposals for the post-2020 engine formula are also important.

Just when it looked agreement had been reached, crucially with the manufacturers accepting the loss of the MGU-H, a number of unrelated factors may have turned everything on its head.

First off, with Red Bull now partnered by Honda, the Austrian outfit's attitude has changed. Whereas it previously sided with Renault, it will now side with the Japanese manufacturer which has admitted that, after initial doubts, it would like to see the MGU-H retained.

Secondly, despite interest from other manufacturers, most notably Porsche, it now appears that no new manufacturer is seriously looking to enter the sport any time soon, leaving the current manufacturers wondering whether change is really needed.

Admitting that they are open to some of the initial proposals put forward, including fuel usage, improved noise and more standard parts, the manufacturers see little point in fixing what isn't actually broken.

"It's still very much out for discussion," said Toto Wolff, according to Motorsport.com. "We had a presentation that would have meant a redesign of the engine.

"All four currently in F1 engaged OEMs would have given their preference, with an understanding from our side that we maybe need a bit more noise, and a discussion around fuel consumption that's important," he added. "But just for the benefit of redesigning an engine without anybody else entering doesn't make a lot of sense.

"So if somebody would commit to come into F1 in the way that we have committed ourselves, all four of us have committed ourselves, go through the lows and highs, the expenses and investment that it needs, then let's discuss engine regulations. But if nobody's inside, it's an academic discussion."

"I think we should always give priority to stability," added Christian Abiteboul "I think it's the baseline for everything, particularly in F1, which is such a competitive and expensive environment.

"That's true for the engines, that's true for everything else, for aerodynamic development, and so forth," he continued. "I think we underestimate the benefit of stability for the cost for everyone, for the manufacturers, also for the teams, but also for the show, because we want close racing, close action."

"I think ultimately the governing body and the commercial rights holder have got to do what they believe is right for the sport," admitted Christian Horner.

"It doesn't look like there's anybody new coming in, so really I think it's down to the FIA and Liberty to decide, what do they want?"

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Published: 10/07/2018
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