Christian Horner has branded Formula 1's revised engine agreement as 'very weak', the Red Bull Racing team principal expressing his frustration that more was not done to meet the criteria set out by the FIA.
Horner has long been an outspoken critic of the current V6 Hybrid engine formula, but had hoped a more favourable deal for his team – which is reliant on a supply from another manufacturer – was in the offing as the FIA sought to lower costs, simplify technology and guarantee supply.
However, though Horner forecast prior to the agreement being reached that it could not be passed as it didn't go far enough to meet the original criteria, an agreement was confirmed in Russia. The new agreement, which will ensure the V6 Hybrid era remains in place until 2020, will see costs reduced incrementally over the next three years and a guarantee that no team would be left without a supply.
Despite the revisions, Horner says he is frustrated to see the agreement go through despite his misgivings, suggesting the FIA has bowed to the manufacturers.
“It's a very soft agreement between the manufacturers and the FIA,” he said. “It tickles the price, deals a little bit with convergence, the obligation to supply doesn't really apply, so it's a very weak agreement. Unfortunately it's a shame more couldn't be done, but I suppose if you look on the bright side it's better than nothing.”
However, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff rejects Horner's criticisms, saying the manufacturers made concessions on each criteria set out by the FIA.
“I just want to digest what I just heard in the last five minutes,” he said in direct reply to Horner's comments. “We achieved a major price reduction over two years. We have opened up development scope for others to catch up. We have designed an obligation to supply so no team runs out of an engine contract.
“We have found a mechanism how performance convergence could be trigged. Lots of good things, many months of hard work in trying to get everybody on the same page, I think it's a good step forward.”