F1'S ENGINE ROW: Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has brushed off engine war rumours and has stated that all major automakers have come to an agreement. Image: AFP
OXFORD, England - Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff has played down Red Bull's threat of an engine development spending war in 2016 by saying the major automakers have agreed on the need to keep costs down.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday (Nov 13 2014), the Austrian made it clear that Mercedes and Red Bull's engine supplier Renault was closely aligned in its strategy for the V6 turbo-hybrid power unit and in regular dialogue.
He added that any return of V8 engines was a non-starter and manufacturers such as Mercedes would leave the sport if it were to happen.
Wolff said: "Nobody can really be in favour of an all-out engine war in 2016. No serious company would allow that to happen and none of the current engine suppliers can allow that to happen because costs would escalate out of control. It's irresponsible."
GLOVES TO COME OFF?
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told reporters in Brazil during the F1 weekend there that after manufacturers failed to agree any changes to the 2015 regulations the sport could be forced into a spending war. Red Bull and Ferrari want the rules to be relaxed to allow them more development time to catch up with Mercedes, the team with the dominant engine.
Mercedes has offered a compromise that has been rejected by its rivals and the result has been deadlock with any changes for 2015 requiring unanimous agreement. However, technical changes for 2016 can be pushed through on a majority vote.
Wolff indicated that Horner was speaking for Red Bull rather than Renault and said Mercedes would be "very vocal" if the gloves came off for 2016. Renault and Mercedes are aligned on their strategy on where the engine should be. On a motorsport level, between the two departments Renault sport and Mercedes motorsport, we are fully agreed.”
The two automakers would, however, have further talks in Abu Dhabi on November 23.
Wolff also pointed out that Renault had made the new engines a condition for them staying in F1 "so all the other things being discussed are just funny”.
"If we dropped the current format,” Wolff added, “I can guarantee that Renault and Mercedes would not be interested in supplying any other power unit because of the stability and sustainability of the sport and the road-relevance of the hybrid technology.
"We should be promoting the technology of those engines."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.