22 November 2014
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Horner wants new F1 engine regulations in 2016
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has called for F1 to adopt “a more simplified V6” engine in 2016 in order to reduce costs
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has called for F1 to adopt “a more simplified V6” engine in 2016 in order to reduce costs.
With Caterham and Marussia entering administration, a number of smaller teams complained about the costs of competing in the sport following the introduction of this year's more expensive V6 power units. Horner says there is little that can be changed next season but wants F1 to drop the current engines in favour of cheaper ones.
“Of course there are some big issues at the moment and a team like Caterham is in this situation because of the costs,” Horner said. “The costs are too high and I think one of the crucial aspects in those costs is the power unit and that's something the strategy group, as well as the other players within Formula One have a duty of care to look at very carefully and I think, whilst probably not a lot can be done for 2015, I think an awful lot can be done for 2016 and maybe we need to even go as far as looking at a different engine, a new engine.
“Maybe still a V6 but maybe a more simplified V6 that controls the cost. Cost of development, cost of supply to a team and to the privateer teams. I think that's something we need to have a serious discussion about during the next strategy group.”
And Horner expanded his idea for a different V6 engine, saying F1's strategy group should look at ways of agreeing on cheaper units which also address sound issues.
“I think the engine question is an interesting question. If you roll back the clock for when this engine was thought about, you go back to Max (Mosley's) rule, we're talking about a four cylinder engine and it was quite different. Those regulations were given to engineers, engineers then discussed them and there was a compromise sought because a four cylinder was felt to be wrong for Formula One.
“The four cylinder at the time was supposed to bring in more manufacturers into Formula One and the compromise was to go to a V6. And then, unfortunately when a bunch of engine engineers are left on their own to come up with a set of regulations, they've come up with something tremendously complicated and tremendously expensive.
“The engines that we have today are incredible bits of machinery, incredible bits of engineering but the cost to the collective manufacturers has probably been close to a billion euros in developing these engines, and then the burden of costs has been passed on, unfortunately, to the customer teams so unfortunately, I think we have to recognise what's been done from an engineering point of view and now look to simplify things, potentially retaining the V6 philosophy, perhaps going to a twin turbo that would address the sound issues that we've had this year and maybe even a standard energy recovery system would dramatically reduce the costs, dramatically reduce development and therefore the supply price to the customer teams also. So I think that's something that the strategy group need to discuss and look at.”
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