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Wolff and Horner lock horns over future of F1

Wolff and Horner lock horns over future of F1

F1 News

Wolff and Horner lock horns over future of F1

Wolff and Horner lock horns over future of F1
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have again voiced a difference of opinion over the future of F1 and the next breed of power unit.

Current and prospective engine manufacturers met at the Red Bull Ring across the Austrian Grand Prix weekend to discuss the path of new rules to be introduced in 2025, which would bring an end to the 11-year stay of the V6 turbo-hybrids.

Red Bull team principal Horner has stated his preference for pursuing a combustion powertrain, with an introduction of synthetic, environmentally friendly fuels.

With Red Bull becoming an independent engine manufacturer as it takes over Honda's IP when the Japanese giant withdraws from F1 at the end of this campaign, Horner was asked if the team was taking the talks at a different angle to other OEMs.

"We are slightly different because we don't have an automotive range of vehicles, we are not selling millions of cars per annum," explained Horner.

"So what we find interesting is the future of the combustion engine certainly feels like it is limited in certain areas.

"If you take that to its extreme and by 2035 everybody is going to be driving an electric car, what does F1 become by then?

"Obviously, there is an interim period between now and that point but that's why I feel we are very much at a crossroads where we need to decide what is right for the sport."

Pointing to Fernando Alonso's demonstration show at last year's season finale in his championship-winning Renault R26, Horner added: "Every fan out there, when you hear Fernando Alonso was running his V10 Renault around Abu Dhabi, the emotion and noise is still, for me, such a key factor that is still missing from the sport.

"We need to turn the volume up and do it in a responsible manner, in a cost-effective manner, in a way that is sustainable, that is environmentally friendly, but there needs to be entertainment.

"That is why people turn their TVs on, that is why they watch this sport."

Wolff - Noise has "no relevance"

With Mercedes and stakeholder Daimler AG being a heavyweight in the automotive sector, Wolff took a different angle when asked for his thoughts on the future of F1.

The Austrian warned of a potential exodus of partners should combustion units remain in the sport.

On noise being important with the new engines, Wolff stated: "I would disagree with Christian because it is what we think, but we are not the most relevant generation anymore.

"When you ask an 18-year-old or a 22-year-old about noisiness, most of these guys consume it via different screens where noise has little or no relevance.

"I personally like it too, I would like to have a 12-cylinder that screams down the road.

"But as a matter of fact, we are a sport, we are a business and we would lose complete relevance with our partners, sponsors and major stakeholders if we weren't looking at the environment and the impact that we make.

"It would be totally misaligned with where the world is moving and turn every single business partner away from F1 if we stick with internal combustion engines, even though we may like them."

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