Yesterday I inked a piece about Lewis Hamilton’s displeasure with the three-engine rule for 2018 and today, Autosport has an interesting article about Ross Brawn and his reaction to Ferrari’s threat as well as Mercedes’s reaction to the proposed engine rule changes for 2021.
According to the article, you can go read it here, Brawn is open to ideas, concerns and any road-relevancy issues the manufacturers may have but he is also keenly aware of how silly the engine penalties have been in 2017. He also is relatively convinced that the engine must change from its current format.
“It [the current engine] is very expensive, it doesn’t make any noise, and it has componentry that, in order to try to control the number of uses, is creating grid penalties that make a farce of F1,” stated Brawn.
“There are big differentials of performance between the competitors and we are never going to get anyone else to come in and make engines.
“We have the four manufacturers we have now and maybe we will lose one or two of them if they continue the way they are. So we can’t leave it as it is.”
The teams did not receive the 2021 concepts very well with Ferrari threatening to possibly leave the series and Mercedes sounding very concerned over the costs involved and Renault suggesting a more transitional process with the current spec engine. Regardless, Brawn didn’t feel like there was enough radical change that would prevent all sides from reaching an agreement.
“If a manufacturer can demonstrate that there is a better way of doing it than what has been proposed, ie. it is cheaper, it is more appealing to the fans, it is something that a new supplier could engage with, then why not?” he said.
“We think with the expertise that we’ve got and the work we’ve done, these are the solutions that can work.
“If somebody suggests another solution that they think will achieve the same objective, we are not going to say no.”
However, one key battleground will be over whether or the MGU-H remains – with Brawn especially sceptical that it has a place in an F1 that has louder engines, brings down costs and is simpler and lighter.
“That is a difficult one, because I don’t see how it achieves the objectives,” he said. “I don’t think if you put those objectives down, how does it achieve it?
“So it is a discussion point, but I think it will take some convincing.
“If you look at the set of objectives that we all agreed to – it is hard to see how it meets those objectives and I am not sure it is road relevant anymore.”
The rest of the article has more information and comments from Brawn but the above quote got my attention as it relates to the need for a change and the need to avoid the engine penalty issue. In another Autosport article, there was this notion that McLaren actually gained from amassing a new engine inventory by taking penalties and this led some fans to wonder if teams might take early season penalties to amass a larger engine inventory than three for the 2018 season.
This article from Brawn is more prescient to the current hill Formula 1 has to climb to reach any sort of bipartite, tripartite or even practical new Concorde Agreement—to borrow the former agreement name. The talking has just taken a turn down threat road and Brawn’s reaction is the answer to Sergio Marchionne’s threat. Pop some popcorn, this is going to get interesting.
Hat Tip: Autosport