Wolff: Manufacturers not leaving F1

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Red Bull’s Christian Horner has had some concern over the current engine format in Formula 1. Suggesting that perhaps a return to V8’s or a twin-turbo format with a more traditional energy recovery system. Horner has suggested that the series needs to do something for 2016.

The engine format also raised concern from Horner that Renault might back out of F1 if they don’t make a change and should they change, Mercedes could leave. All of this leaves the series is a state of flux and confusion over what direction will be taken. The new engines are clearly the single biggest element cost increase in 2014 placing the small teams in serious financial danger with Marussia and Caterham entering into administration.

For Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, this is drama that isn’t representative of what the manufacturers are feeling telling AUTOSPORT:

“What we have said is that Formula 1 needs long-term stability and that the constructors in Formula 1, Renault, Honda and Mercedes, decided to enter Formula 1 based on a set of rules.

“And all of the constructors, including Ferrari, share that vision, share that view.

“So he [Horner] is probably speaking about his team and not Renault.”

It is an interesting comment as Ferrari were not speaking very highly of the move away from V8’s from the beginning and while Renault were anxious to move toward the new hybrid power unit, they’ve been comprehensively pummeled with their efforts by Mercedes in 2014.

The debate may not be quite as dramatic as Horner suggests but there are concerns over the current format and the expense it represents. Regardless, Wolff says that Ferrari and others are fine with the current format:

“I think Ferrari is very committed to the current engine format, and it’s clear for all of us that short term we shouldn’t be erratic,” he said.

“We shouldn’t take any decisions that will destabilise Formula 1 and destabilise potential new entries such as Honda or others.

“We need to look at the long-term perspective and how we can optimise the sport.

“There were some very sensible discussions, very refreshing and direct views from Ferrari, and the meeting made all the sense in the world.”

I suspect the format will be tweaked but that’s a guess. The expense of these engines has to come down for the small teams and the sound and performance needs to increase so it will be interesting to see if Mercedes plays along with any possible changes or will they bail out?


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