Formula 1 at a crossroads over new power unit regulations - McLaren
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes Formula 1 is standing at a crossroads with regard to the direction of future power units.
New regulations are due to be introduced from 2026, with F1 faced with two choices: to continue with a system that retains its cutting-edge status, but is cost-prohibitive to new entrants, or a far less complex and cheaper alternative that may prove attractive to other manufacturers.
With F1 planning to be carbon neutral by 2030 a new system needs to be developed with this in mind, but the question is whether the sport is doing enough to attract new manufacturers with its green credentials.
F1 is to lose Honda at the end of 2021, both on costs grounds and also as it is keen to pursue its own ambitions for carbon neutrality.
"On the marketing side Formula 1 is as big as it's always been and is very attractive for every company, or at least every company will look at this," said Seidl.
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"But the investment you have to make at the moment to come into Formula 1 short term is too high on the power unit side.
"Plus the challenge is to put up a competitive powertrain with these complex regulations, which is in the way at the moment in order to attract new entries.
"It's important now, in the dialogue with the existing manufacturers, plus with potential new manufacturers, to work out a clear plan of what the new power unit regulations have to look like in order to be attractive to both. In the end, this will define in which direction this has to go."
Explaining the dilemma for F1 and the FIA, Seidl added: "There are two ways, from my point of view.
"One way is you keep having these complex power units because there is enough appetite from existing manufacturers, plus new ones, to use Formula 1 as a platform to develop future road-car technologies, which Formula 1 has always been about.
"Or is it actually more sustainable for existing manufacturers, new manufacturers, for Formula 1, for the teams, to go in another direction, to go for more simple, less complex powertrains?
"Maybe they are also powertrains with some standard parts or standardisation, with limitation on the budget side, which could open up the field for the likes of Ilmor or Cosworth in order to make a business out of it.
"That's a key question that needs to be answered first before going into timelines of potential newcomers into Formula 1."
F1 engine development is in a no man's land at the moment the petrol part is almost at an end in most country's that f1 runs in and the electric part is already covered by formula e so they should move across to formula e and increase the development there or keep f1 as a pure race series and use less complex petrol engines so more manufacturers and independent engineers could afford to enter into the series
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