Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Formula 1 must avoid the “mistake” it made with the current engine rules when deciding the formula which will replace it.
“We don’t want to do the mistake that we did 10 or 11 years ago when we said ‘let’s call in the engineers to come up with a concept’ and we have a fantastic, very efficient power unit that is very complex and where the cost of development is still very high.”
Formula 1 plans to introduce new engine regulations in 2026, though this could brought forward by a year in conjunction with an earlier freeze on engine development. “We have a position that we always supported the 2022 engine freeze and bringing forward the 2026 regulations into 2025,” said Wolff.
However he is keen to see F1 engine development costs fall. “We need to reduce the costs for the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] that are engaged in the sport and that is the highest priority,” said Wolff. “And moving from there into the technical decisions, what can we do in order to have a relevant power unit considering how fast technology is moving out there on road cars.”
Wolff says F1 should follow trends in the road car market towards more sustainable transport, while keeping a lid on costs.
“It is very clear that batteries are getting ever more efficient and that energy reconversion is happening,” he said.
“I think more sustainable fuels, whether this is synthetic fuels or something else can be very interesting but need to be looked at with our fuel and oil partners, of course, because we don’t want to have an escalating fuel and oil war, as interesting as it would be for all of us to push boundaries. So it’s about the right compromise.”
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