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- Updated: November 1, 2017
Manufacturers in Formula One are sceptical about Liberty Media’s proposed new power unit that is slated to come in from 2021 because of the ‘immense’ costs of development, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said on Wednesday.
The sport’s new owners, who took over at the start of the current season, and governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) presented their ‘road map’ for the future to the 10 teams in Paris on Tuesday.
As of now, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault supply three teams while Honda will be with Toro Rosso next season.
There is a hope that new suppliers can be introduced to the sport after 2020, with a focus on making the V6 turbo hybrid power units simpler and cheaper as well as higher-revving said to be a critical matter to make this happen.
What this will do, basically, is make the engines noisier and aim to satisfy fans who are largely unhappy about the current muted sound.
Another objective is to reduce the gulf between the wealthier manufacturers like Mercedes and those privately-owned outfits who have to pay for their engines and have far smaller budgets.
“This is their vision and proposal and we haven’t accepted it. The flaw of the concept is that it’s a completely new engine and new investment,” Wolff told the BBC.
“It portrays it in a way of this is how we’re going forward and none of the current OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) was particularly impressed,” added the Austrian.
The current engine contract runs till 2020, which means some existing manufacturers could walk away without penalty rather than accept heavy developmental costs and reduced revenues.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, when asked about his thoughts on this proposal, said that he expected ‘a lot of filibustering’ over the coming months.
Horner has been rather critical of the current power units which has seen Mercedes dominate the sport for the past four years while Red Bull has struggled with performance and reliability.
However, the proposal is unlikely to be passed smoothly, with major resistance expected from Mercedes.
“The new concept needs to tackle the deficit that has been outlined – development costs and noise level – and all that needs to be linked with a global view of F1. We haven’t seen any of that,” Wolff said.
Renault head Cyril Abiteboul told France’s L’Equipe that while he was impressed with some of the proposals, there was still some work that needed to be done as far as the chassis and distribution of revenues.
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said in Italy at the weekend that he agreed with Liberty on cost reduction but was opposed to anything that ‘distorted’ the sport for commercial reasons.