Abiteboul: F1 needs better engine 'balance'
16 June 2017 – Formula 1 needs to find a better "balance" with future engine regulations, as talks continue over the best route to take, according to Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul.
Formula 1 has run 1.6-litre V6 power units since the 2014 season, as part of a 'greener' push, though talks were recently held to discuss potential options beyond 2020.
In March's meeting, involving the FIA and manufacturers, a "broad agreement" was reached to work towards introducing simpler, cheaper and noisier engines.
Asked by the F1 website for Renault's vision, Abiteboul said: "If I want to keep it simple and short – as this is a vast field – we say the engine is still important in a car.
"We are carmakers and the engine is the heart of the automotive industry, so we believe that it needs to be the prevailing factor in Formula 1.
"Having said that, we need to find a better balance than the situation we have now, where the pecking order of the grid is basically the ranking of the engines, which is not healthy for the sport.
"So yes, we need a better balance between the engine as performance differentiator and the fact that a team with a fantastic chassis can also be hugely successful."
Abiteboul added that Renault "believes in electrification", and hopes to see further elements reach Formula 1, but not to the extreme that the sport becomes "fully electric".
"The world is going towards lower emissions, so Formula 1 cannot turn its back to this evolution so we need electrification," the Frenchman went on to argue.
"All cars will be hybrid in the future. For sure, we don't mean fully electric cars. It is all about balancing between combustion engines – as this is where the DNA of Formula 1 is – and electrification.
"Then it is much about finding the right balance between the technology and the show.
"Maybe right now we have an engine that is too complex and too heavy – and is not producing enough sound and horsepower, but we are open for any discussions in that direction."
Expanding on post-2020 options, Abiteboul commented: "We have made a proposition to keep the current engine, but increase the fuel flow and increase the sound.
"And we have made a second proposal, which will be a simplification of the current engine by removing some of its elements but still keeping electrification and fuel efficiency."