- Red Bull
Horner calls for new F1 engines in 2016
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called for an overhaul of the engine regulations in 2016 in order to simplify the current V6 turbos and cut costs.
The new power units have been the source of much debate this year after Mercedes gained a big advantage under the new regulations and spiralling costs forced two teams into administration. Renault, Ferrari and Honda want to alter the development freeze next year to allow another opportunity to close the gap, but such a change would require unanimous agreement and Mercedes has baulked at the extra cost of lifting the freeze.
However, the regulations for 2016 will not be set until next year and therefore do not require unanimous agreement from all F1 teams. Horner, whose team has struggled with uncompetitive Renault engines since the switch to V6 turbos, is keen to simplify the engines to reduce costs.
"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. 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."
The FIA initially proposed a four-cylinder engine when F1 first started thinking about replacing the V8s used between 2006 and 2013, but Horner said the development of the regulations was given to engineers who came up with more costly designs.
"If you roll back the clock for when this engine was thought about, you go back to Max [Mosley's FIA] 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."