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New engine controversy: War brewing in F1?

2015-11-18 12:48

NEW POWER UNITS: No limits on revs, engine durability or fuel flow... details of F1's alternative engine for 2017 has emerged. Image: AP / Silvia Izquierdo

London, England - A war is brewing in Formula 1.

The FIA and Bernie Ecclestone say they intend to introduce a new engine specification, built by an independent supplier, to run parallel to the expensive and controversial 'power units' in 2017.

Sides are being chosen.

Alliances made

Mercedes and Ferrari are clearly opposed, while Red Bull has admitted the new 2.5 litre, non-automaker option was "a condition" of it deciding to stay in F1 beyond this year.

Small teams struggling to pay their current engine bills are also likely to be on side, although their allegiances at present are to their current automaker partners.

"Honda wanted to charge us more than $30-million per year for an engine, which is completely absurd," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reveals.

Honda has said it wants to keep the engine rules as they are, but the collaboration with McLaren has been abysmal so far.

Mercedes has suggested the 2017 chassis rules might now also be in doubt due to safety concerns over the tyres, but McLaren-Honda does not agree with that.

Cat among pigeons

Team boss Eric Boullier: "That's pretty desperate by Mercedes. I think it's the usual game - if for whatever reason you want to prevent change, you start arguing about safety."

Undoubtedly, however, the 'parallel' engine plan has put the cat among the pigeons, and some suggest the real intention is simply to force compromise.

Mercedes' Toto Wolff said: "There are legitimate questions that need to be asked.

"Are the engine prices right for the smaller teams?  Is this engine concept right for formula one?  We are ready to discuss those.

"Like everything it boils down to a compromise. The difficulty is to reconcile everyone's interests under one roof.

"There is also the political element, as a team might think this is a way to break the dominance of Mercedes.  Then we have Jean Todt who wants engine prices down, and Bernie who thinks that the manufacturers have too much power.

"But is it really so?  I don't know.  All I know is that there are a lot of people all pursuing their own goals," Wolff said.

Read more on:    mercedes  |  toto wolff  |  engine  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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