Ferrari demand urgent acceleration of future power unit talks
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has called on Formula 1 and the FIA to accelerate future power unit talks in a bid to control costs and attract new manufacturers.
F1 is continuing to feel the aftershock of Honda's seismic announcement recently that it is to withdraw from the sport at the end of 2021, leaving Red Bull and AlphaTauri in search of a new power unit partner from 2022 onwards.
Although F1 is set to implement new power unit regulations from 2026, Binotto feels Honda's departure has exacerbated the need to bring talks forward and swiftly implement measures that might otherwise have been delayed for a period of time.
"We are a team, and we are a power unit manufacturer as well," said Binotto, whose organisation supplies not only the works team but also Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri. "It has always been like that in our history, and that’s an important value.
"What can we do to improve? Certainly, the engines are very expensive today. The cost of development is very high. If we compare to what it was years ago, it has increased a lot. We need to control those costs, we need to try to reduce them.
You may also like..
"We have just changed the regulations, to freeze as much of the engine developments as we could, to reduce dyno running for the next years, which is certainly a step forward, but eventually not sufficient.
"We will have the opportunity for brand new regulations in 2026. In designing the new regulations, we need not only to decide what will be the technical choices, or the technologies we intend to develop, but to look at the cost of the product itself."
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has suggested F1 is faced with two choices: to maintain the current level of cutting-edge technology, a move that will likely dissuade new entrants on costs grounds, or to produce a simpler version of the PU that could attract the likes of Cosworth and Ilmor.
Referencing the discussions that unfolded prior to the introduction of the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo-hybrid systems six years ago, Binotto added: "When we decided on the 2014 regulations we were focused on the hybrid format, on the technologies, making sure that F1 was a platform of innovation.
"But we completely forgot the cost, and in the last years, the cost of the power unit has been certainly too high.
"Now, it will be an important discussion that eventually we need to accelerate, to try to understand the vision for the power unit format of the future because its cost and its technology will be a key element again to attract new OEMs [original equipment manufacturer].
"Time is very short but we need to certainly accelerate the discussion and understand the format for the future."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.