Marussia in Merc-powered podium challenger for 2016?

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If there was an era in Formula 1 where silly season for engines was a prevalent as silly season for drivers, I’m not sure I was old enough to know it. Maybe the Ford DFV days? Mugen Honda days?

That’s where we are today though thanks to these impossibly complicated power units. You see the engine freeze (meant to reduce costs) has actually slowed the competitive arms race down so that’s good right? It’s also meant that the current domination of Mercedes is really tough to catch up with because there is only so much you can do to your engine.

Because of that, teams have all jettisoned their Renault engines and moved to Mercedes with Lotus, Williams, Force India, and now Marussia…yep, Marussia.

It seems Mercedes has had a few talks with the proverbial back markers of F1 about an engine deal (don’t ask me how they’ll pay for them) and who knows, perhaps this all has to do with the Red Bull and Renault deal?

It’s like when one key driver makes a move, all the other pieces start falling into place. Perhaps Red Bull moving to Ferrari has brought a capacity concern and Marussia is left looking for a lump? Just spit-balling here and offering pure conjecture.

It would be quite entertaining to see Marussia leap forward and battle Williams and Force India in the mid-field leaving McLaren and Sauber as the new back markers of F1.

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Shocks&Awe

if this were Caterham I might be a little excited. Does Marussia genuinely have fans or just folks who feel a bit sorry for them? i find nothing compelling about this team.

rambaldi

When they had max the most finishing rookie I was a fan but that was all for that one run till he umm had a disagreement with a team mate.

It would be nice to see this move made, if only for a few more dollars available elsewhere for Manor Marussia.

Tom Firth

Sorry. I don’t understand this article.

I don’t want to be critical but I don’t see how you can link the cost of engines/ reliability and teams using merc power, unless I’ve misread it, other than with regards Lotus.

Given Force India has never had Renault power and Williams swapped before we even knew what might happen, and as we both are aware, them getting merc power, was personal.

Apologies if I did misread. Just seeking clarification.

Tom Firth

By the way on the “engines been a prevalent silly season story”

Umm didn’t Lauda and Eddie Jordan have a fairly big spat over whether Cosworth could/should give Jordan free engines badged as Ford’s back in 02-03 somewhere?

MIE

Isn’t this linked to whether teams will be able to use one year old power units for 2016? Manor currently use last year’s Ferrari power unit (it fits nicely in last year’s Marussia chassis). They couldn’t afford a current power unit, but Mercedes may have some spare 2015 units left at the end of this year that they could sell off cheaply. The loophole that allowed in season development of the power units was supposedly closed for next season. If this remains closed then all power units supplied by a manufacturer must be identical, so Manor would need to pay… Read more »

Tom Firth

Perhaps. The alternative is that it’s linked to Ferrari unwilling to supply new engines for other reasons.

Just speculating.

MIE

I don’t think Ferrari can supply two additional teams (Red Bull and Toro Rosso) in addition to Sauber and Manor. So I think you are correct, it is linked to the Red Bull power unit supply.

Paul KieferJr

So, if F1 doesn’t go to spec engines by rule, then they might do it by fiat? Doesn’t that kinda run counter to the idea of a free market system?

jakobusvdl

I think you are right Paul, it seems that the rules intended to limit the cost of the PU’s are leading to the situation where Mercedes have an unassailable advantage – a monopoly situation.
Hopefully there is a way through this that can allow Ferrari, Renault and Honda to close the gap on Mercedes, within a reasonable budget.
There also needs to be a way for other PU suppliers (Audi/VW) to enter F1 and be competitive, for there to be a ‘free market’ for PU’s in F1