Helmut Marko: “We have to change back to a racing engine…”

Red Bull’s push for a change of engine formula for 2016 is likely to continue to be a major talking point in the coming months, although it remains to be seen how much support the team gets.

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko share the view that the sport should go back to a simpler twin-turbo version of the current V6, which would create a better sound and allow the drivers more input into how it is operated.

Such a change could in theory be introduced for 2016 via a majority vote in the F1 Commission, should the idea get past the Strategy Group. Although Bernie Ecclestone supports change, it seems highly unlikely that it will progress. Clearly Mercedes and its customer teams will oppose any change, as will Honda, the Japanese manufacturer having just spent enormous resources on readying its hybrid power unit for 2015.

“For next year everything goes by regulations,” Marko told this writer. “We don’t ask any favours from Mercedes, we go with what the regulations allow. We hope to have a reasonable increase in performance. We can’t catch Mercedes, we know, but we want to be nearer.

“And for 2016 it’s all a new game. As Christian has said we want a new engine, because this engine is so expensive and so complicated. It’s steered by engineers. What we want is a racing engine with noise, and where the driver is in charge.

“Cost-wise, the costs can be reduced we hope by more than 50%. I think a V6 or a V8 is for sure less expensive than what we have at the moment. We could use this V6 and put a second turbo, with the wastegate, and you have the noise then. And you could put on a standard KERS, like we had on last year, and the cost that we calculated is 50% down.”

Marko is adamant that fans want the change: “We have to think globally. The viewing figures are going down, and the interest generally, and these engines are unfortunately, not the right development. It proved what F1 technology can do, but for the medium term we have to change back to a racing engine.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

13 responses to “Helmut Marko: “We have to change back to a racing engine…”

  1. F1_FAN

    Helmut and Horner should enter GP2, Indycar or Super Formula (Formula Nippon) they don’t have to change F1 there are single seaster series that have a V6 and V8. If you can’t bare change then leave F1. This nonsense about fans wanting to go back. This is the first time in years that F1 technology has been interesting. FIAWEC is going hybrid and F1 should still run these dinosaur engines that kill your eardrums when ever the pass and use 30-40% more fuel.

    F1 always has been about innovation racing is changing because the world has changed. So F1 has to change its that simple. Me as a fan would love to see the engine unfreeze so that Ferrari and Renault can catch-up that the only rule change F1 needs now. The engines they have now are brilliant peaces of engineering and are a really good showcase for what F1 stands for. Innovation!

  2. Yes a whole new engine is bound to be cheaper then continuing to develop the current ones. Of course it will be. The mind boggles.

    Renault seem strangely silent on this matter considering all the hot air coming out of their works partner?!

    And what happens if – by the exchange of a big envelope of cash – they manage to get this pushed through & Mercedes continue to humiliate them? Change again?

    They really are sore losers at Red Bull.

    “is likely to continue to be a major talking point” – only if reporters keep taking Mr. Halliwell & his cronies calls and writing about it!

  3. It ain’t gonna happen is it? Unless there is a way that a V6 with 2xturbo and kers can be somewhere close to the power output of this year new generation of V6 single turbo fully hybridized engines, then you could theoretically use both in the championship with a little rule tweek a kind of CRT type of system but the points are still awarded an won towards a single championship, no 2 separate championships running concurrently. It would be nothing new to F1 as there has been historic precedent for multiple engine configurations, designs and concepts. It would be great for F1, WEC manage it very very well.

  4. Floodo1

    As I’ve always said, it’s no coincidence that red bull complains about the engines only after it loses the first round of the engine wars. Yeah the sound sucks compared to the old NA engines but the new technology is awesome. On top of If costs are to be cut what we need is stability not constant changes!

  5. Robert McKay

    I have to say Red Bull are beginning to push my long-standing frontrunning team Ferrari in the “Most politically unlikeable F1 team” stakes these days.

    Nothing like a bit of winning to suck the fun out of a team, eh.

    • FastTJR

      I completely agree.
      Seems like the loudest thing in F1 these days is RBR’s whining.
      If the Renault power unit had been the dominant one this year does anyone think Marko would be making these comments?

  6. Nigel

    I don’t mind the engine noise it seemed fine to me in Austin, maybe I’ve gone deaf after so many years of listening to racing cars. What I do mind is the political games that Red Bull and others play, either against Renault, the FIA, the Fans, the Circuits and Pirelli. It cheapens the circus and turns people away. Berni and his ilk are slowly killing the sport.

  7. Henry Allen

    I am a new F1 fan and I see it as very un-competitive with the current rules.

    • This is the most competitive F1 has been in years and years. Especially down the order -if you forgot about the two silver arrows at the front the battles down the grid have been incredibly close and exciting.

  8. Stone the crows

    I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it again, RBR are sounding more like Scuderia Ferrari, than Scuderia Ferrari, i.e., if you can’t keep up with the competition, slow them down with politics.

  9. 360guy

    Red Bull is hating where they are right now and this drumbeat will continue. In terms of costs, the current power train formula is madness. So are 400 person staffing levels. The complexity of the technology is lost on the average viewer – the concept of a “green” F1 is comical as best. Keep this up and F1 will be composed of 2 / 3 manufacturer teams supported by one support team each. If you are keeping count, that’s 12 cars total. Keep Formula e for the zealots and get back to a realistic engine formula.

  10. Hedley

    Agree with Helmut and Christian – this year sounded like a pensioner farting contest. The racing was good, but that was only one element- the atmosphere was missing at the track.

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