Christian Horner continues to make clear his frustration with the current F1 engine regulations, and has suggested that the sport moves to a simplified version of the V6.
Although he admits he’d like to see the V8s back – a desire he shares with close ally Bernie Ecclestone – Horner says that a revised V6 with twin turbos and a common ERS system would be a good compromise.
“If you roll back the clock for when this engine was thought about, you go back to Max [Mosley’s] 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.”
Asked why the manufacturers would support such a move he said: “I think the scenario is such that it’s unsustainable, it’s unsustainable for manufacturers, any of the manufacturers, to keep spending at the level that they are, and therefore, rather than perhaps going backwards with the V8, maybe we should potentially keep the basis of what’s been achieved but look at simplifying it because if the development costs stay at where they are, we will not attract new manufacturers into the sport and we may well drive current manufacturers out of the sport.
“So we have to think, not just about today but about the future. 2015, there’s very little that can be done with the regulations but for 2016, an awful lot can be done and I think that the teams, together with the FIA and the promoter, have to have that responsibility to ensure that those issues are addressed and the sport is sustainable and attractive to new manufacturers to come in.”