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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Marko: Mercedes engine a masterpiece – but bad for F1

Red Bull's Helmut Marko levels praise at Mercedes' power unit, but says the manufacturer will keep dominating unless the engine concept changes.
Red Bull's Helmut Marko says Mercedes will continue to be the dominant force in F1 under the current regulations as its engine is a 'masterpiece', but believes a new concept will be launched for 2018.

As Red Bull continues to negotiate a new deal for the 2016 season having originally attempted to replace its Renault power units with Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda options, it appears likely the four-time title winning team will run an unbranded version of what it currently has, albeit with its own developments.

Though Marko refuses to comment further on this beyond the suggestion a decision will ultimately be made this weekend, it remains his view that F1 needs to consider a new engine concept going forward as the current model is unsustainable in terms of cost and complexity.

Furthermore, he is not convinced Mercedes' grip on the series under the current regulations will loosen unless the engine formula is changed substantially, though recent talk suggests an overhaul for 2018. Indeed, while he says Mercedes deserve credit for creating a 'masterpiece', Marko believes it doesn't allow F1 to progress and change is necessary.

“Mercedes' position will be as dominant as it has been in the last two years, and that is why everybody is talking about a new concept - because the existing Mercedes engine is a masterpiece of technical engineering,” he told the official F1 website.

“But I don't know if it [the current concept] is the right thing for Formula One: it is too complicated, too expensive and not noisy enough. We are talking about $30 million on average for such an engine. And if they open up the development and the others could catch up - that would increase the costs even further.

“I can understand [why Mercedes won't want change], but when it goes to the substance of the whole sport, then you have to start thinking in a different way. There simply must be engines available for everybody. And that is not the case. That is why this independent engine is so important.”

Though a meeting of the Strategy Group appeared to have put a halt on the 'independent engine' idea whilst manufacturers come together to discuss their own proposal to reduce costs and improve availability, Marko is confident the concept – which Red Bull is publically in favour of – will come through as a stop-gap before a new engine formula altogether is launched in 2018.

“We had a meeting Saturday morning and it looks like that there will be a new type of engine in 2018, which first of all has to be available for anybody who wants it, has 1000 horsepower or more, is much cheaper, and comes with much less electronics so that the driver again is a force that matters - and not the engineers at the pit wall.

“If it comes true what [FIA President] Jean Todt promised, that if there is no supply from the big teams he will go for the independent engine."



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Taipan

November 29, 2015 11:18 AM

It's not the Merc engine that's bad for F1 it's the rules that prevent others from catching up. Merc did a great job with the engine fair play to them on that front, yes they do everything possible to prevent competition but that's another story. And you cant just blame the FiA for the silly rules as the teams signed up to them. It should have been recognised that when all new, very complicated regulations came out for the new PU's that one manufacturer might do a much better job than everyone else and to agree to an development freeze straight after the inception of these PU's was just asking for trouble. I'm guessing all the engine manufacturers were arrogant enough to think they'd build the best PU and hold the long term advantage, this is why the FiA should have had the foresight to do the right thing for the sport and realise that in season development would be necessary.

titfortat

November 29, 2015 11:04 AM

Thing is Red Bull weren't as dominant as Merc and they didn't have one of the best cars because their engine was so much better, they had one of the best cars because of their aero package. Also they had Vettel who has proved without doubt he is one of the best this year. If it wasn't for Vettel, Red Bull wouldn't have won a single championship, Webber never had the class.



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