Horner eyes new F1 engines for 2016
22 November 2014 – Mercedes' rivals are eyeing significant changes to the power unit regulations if the German manufacturer refuses to agree on a relaxation of Formula 1's engine freeze.
With Mercedes unwilling to lift the ban on in-season development next season, its main competition has warned that it could push for an overhaul for the 2016 campaign.
As the latest meeting of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission approaches, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has raised the idea of moving to a "simplified" version of the V6 units.
"I think an awful lot can be done for 2016, and maybe we need to even go as far as looking at a different engine," Horner explained.
"Maybe still a V6, but more of a simplified V6 that controls the cost. The cost of development, cost of supply to a team and to the privateer teams.
"I think it's something we need to have a serious discussion about during the next Strategy Group."
While he did not go as far as to suggest a brand new engine, Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci shared Horner's view that the rules need to be altered.
"Definitely we need to look at something different for 2016," said Mattiacci.
"In terms of power unit and in terms of regulation [in] 2015 it is clear we will have to – at the moment – accept the status quo. But we are not going to accept the status quo for 2016.
"The cost of the power unit is a problem. The fact that we cannot enhance our power unit during the season is a cost for us, for not performing."
But Mercedes' Toto Wolff has argued that such changes would be detrimental to the sport.
"We are all talking about costs and if you would open up the regulations in the way it has been described, that clearly means you don't care about costs," he said. "It would be like digging a grave for Formula 1.
"We have spent considerable amounts in the development of the power unit. But I think we need to be sensible and we need to come up with solutions which enable the small teams to survive and which still enable the big teams to showcase the technology.
"Reversing everything, changing the format, changing the engines would just increase costs and be the opposite for what we need for Formula 1 at the current stage."