Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has made clear F1 "can't go back to a Flintstones engine" as talks over the 2025 configuration continue.
F1 will introduce all-new power units from the 2025 season but as yet, an agreement has not been reached on the form these should take with Red Bull boss Christian Horner keen on high-revving, biofuel-powered engines.
Mercedes, however, must align itself with its automotive arm and Wolff conceded that although he is personally fond of loud, V12 engines, the past must remain in the past.
“We can’t go back to a Flintstones engine and, on the other side, going all-electric at that stage is too early," said Wolff.
"We should nevertheless come up with a power unit that we can be proud of.
“Being proud means still having the audio-visual experience for the fans from an internal combustion engine, have a hybrid component that is very strong on the electrical side so we are giving the electrical side at least equal the performance of the ICE [internal combustion engine] or more.
"It is, in my opinion, the transitional step to something in 2030 that can be very different depending on where the car market goes."
F1 must be the "fastest laboratory"
During the pandemic, F1 pulled together to create potentially life-saving equipment in record time. This included a CPAP breathing aid designed by Mercedes.
Using this experience as proof of the good F1 can do if pressed into action, Wolff declared the sport must again become the "fastest laboratory" to develop environmentally-friendly biofuels that can be used on the road as well as on the track.
“We see some of the big automotive manufacturers commit to being in 2030 all-electric, but nevertheless there will be a lot of road cars, tens of millions of road cars on the street that will be running combustion engines," explained Wolff.
“What we need to achieve is to be the fastest laboratory in the world to develop sustainable fuels, whether it is just biodegradable or whether it is synthetic fuels or e-fuels that are available as pump fuels.
“Because that can be a real contribution to the planet, developing high-performance fuels that work for us and, if you listen to our fuel partners, what we need to achieve is not a spaceship fuel but something the final customer can actually utilise in his own machine.
“It is not only cars that will be on the roads, but also all kinds of industrial applications on machines that run on fuel or kerosine that may utilise our development and our science and I strongly believe in that.
“If you look at what we have done for the NHS with the CPAP and how quickly it went from prototype to actually being deployed on real patients, the speed of development and delivery in Formula 1 can make a real difference.”