The F1 engine manufacturers have agreed than any move towards 1000bhp engines for 2017 has to involve using the current V6 as a starting point.
None of them wants to go in the V8 direction that has been suggested by Bernie Ecclestone, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that the V6 plan now has priority.
“The discussion about a 1000bhp engine has been around quite a while,” he said. “And I appreciate very well that it needs to be a spectacular formula, and if that’s the way forward then we should continue to work on it. But there are various groups coming together in terms of how the 2017 rules can look like in terms of power unit, and in terms of the chassis side. Yesterday there was a very valuable meeting, Charlie [Whiting] was there, Bernie was there, and concepts have been put in place to make it a spectacular new formula in 2017.
“All engine manufacturers are pretty clear that the current engine architecture with a hybrid component needs to stay in place. This is the direction we’ve headed to, and this is at least at the moment the current status between Ferrari, Renault, Honda and Mercedes.”
Wolff says that the current engines will in any case gain power as they are developed, and that a change to the fuel flow rules would be the easiest way to provide an extra boost.
“I think by 2017 those engines, between all manufacturers, are going to have north of 900bhp. Then it’s a question of how do you want to market that? Does it make a big difference between having 950bhp or 1000? I think there are pretty easy tools to increase the horsepower, and this is increasing fuel flow. If you want to increase the fuel flow by 10kgs an hour or 20kgs or whatever it is, then you are going to have more than 1000bhp.
“But you need to redesign crucial components of the engine, you need to make them more reliable, and that again involves a lot of development costs. We all understand that we want to have a spectacular formula, not only on the chassis side but also on the power unit side, and this is what’s being discussed at the moment – how to achieve it.
“There’s a governance in place and for 2017 you need a simple majority in the F1 Commission to change the rules, and this is the reality. So if you’re being a hardliner and you’re blocking everything, you’re going to be run over. So at least let’s stay on the table and discuss in a sensible way what we can do and what is for the benefit of the sport and the good of the sport, and this is what we’re trying to do.”