Horner pushing for less high tech version of V6

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.”

8 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

8 responses to “Horner pushing for less high tech version of V6

  1. Ian Parsons

    Well. How about we give the teams the option to run the V8 with restrictions, along with the latest V6, should be a few lying around for financially strapped teams! Just a thought.

  2. Mick

    No-one believes your motives Mr Horner. You have no concern about cost or the smaller teams, you just want to go back to F1 being mainly about aero which is a race you think you can win. That suits a team who exists to sell drinks but isn’t really why Mercedes & Honda are in it.

    • Brian

      I doubt that any self-aware F1 fan believes the stated motives of *any* of the players in this game. Just like politicians, they talk a good game (some of them) but their actions speak the truth. The fact remains that while Bernie – in his few remaining lucid moments – has clearly, and rightly, pointed out that F1 is a *entertainment* exercise. Most of the income to the teams and the shareholders comes from television, not sales of motor oil. Yet it seems that not one member of the “strategy group” seems to get that fact – their actions speak the truth.

      Horner is correct re: the engineers having too much say in all this. These new “power units” (seriously?) are truly over the top in every respect. They cost a fortune to create, construct, and maintain. It takes hours to replace one in a chassis (!) And now he calls for doing _another_ new motor?? It must be nice to have unfettered access to someone else’s billions and the changes in perspective that are a result.

      And just how is a twin turbo V6 going to solve the sound problem, Christian?
      //

  3. James Cheung

    There should be one simple solution to these power units problems.

    It is the god damn manufacturers that asked for these expensive power units, so why should the small team bear their costs as well?

    Simply set a strict limit on the price the engine manufacturers sell the power units to other teams, than at least the small teams will have a bit of money (in fact quite a lot of money) to spend, or not spend, on other things.

    And it’s not like the engine manufacturers will suffer neither. Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda, and Red Bull/Infinity/Renault already have a massive budget anyway. After all, they asked for it and they should bear the cost.

    And while we are at it, we should also introduce some in season development of the engine. It is out right unfair for teams running anything other than the Merc engine to be losing out 1sec every single lap and they can’t do anything about it cos the engine is frozen. And as said earlier it’s not like the engine manufacturers can’t afford it. Small teams won’t suffer as long as the selling price of the power units are frozen too.

    I don’t always agree with Christrian Horner but he got a bloody good point when he said on Sky a couple of weeks ago that whatever advantage Red Bull had in the past seasons with their car and their design can either be copied or got banned. Meanwhile the advantage Mercedes power units are enjoying are frozen and no one is allowed to catch up (!). This is just wrong!

    But anyway what Horner just said was mostly bullcrap and was said purely because the Renaults are pretty rubbish.

  4. Lars

    Personally I do not know the correct answer as to engine format: well above my pay grade. It is, however, clear that F1 cost/revenue structures are out of whack. It also is clear that the more viable entrants in the field, the better the series will be. My biggest concern is that there doesn’t seem to be a real effort on the part of the movers and shakers to work beyond their on specific agendas.

  5. Stone the crows

    Oh, wonderful just what Formula One needs, another engine specification, of course Horner is saying this because of Mercedes’ superiority over Renault, and Ferrari is going to start spending on their 2015/16 seasons in earnest.. It’s a farce, every year there’s handwringing over escalating costs, and yet they’ll change aero or engine specs to be more relevant to the automotive market or improve the show. Racing is supposed to be excessive, and on the edge, that’s why people watch it and are so attached to it. It is especially amusing that the principle of the team which has been in a spending war with the others should speak of sustainability. Sounds to me more like engine envy.

  6. floodo1

    Laugh. One year into these marvelously high tech engines whose stated purpose was to be more road relevant and Mr Horner is trying to go back? Surely his opinion would be different had Red Bull / Renault won the constructor’s championship this season!

    Every time I go back by watching a video of the engines from the past 20 years i’m reminded just how glorious they sounded. On the other hand they weren’t all that high tech, having been highly developed around the basic naturally aspirated format. These new engines are INSANELY cool. They seriously have a computer controlled motor attached to the turbo so they can spin it up or down as needed … oh how i’d love to have that on a road car! You can have the KERS system on various super cars which has really taken things to a whole new level in terms of overall power but also in power band (see Mclaren’s “torque filling” motor on the P1).

    I always wished I had a car with an engine that could hit 15,000+ rpm, or sounded as cool as an old v8 or v10, but these new engines have so many more cool features (tons of street v8s run single turbos but none of them have turbos with dual inlets like f1!)

    • Stone the crows

      Yes indeed, ugly cars suddenly become beautiful when the put your man on a podium, funny sounding cars are a symphony when they put money in the bank. Horner isn’t experiencing much of that at all this year. He’s sound more and more like Luca De Montezemolo every year.

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