Wolff, Horner talk of different future engine formula in F1; Brown adds on
While sustainability is key, the ways to achieve is discussed in different manners.
The opposing talk between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner is just not limited to what happened in F1 British GP, but also on future engine, as Zak Brown adds on too.
After the meeting in Austria between several manufacturers, the F1 media is trying to pick on things of what was discussed. The attendees have remained tight-lipped on the situation, apart from noting that it was a 'positive talks'.
But when asked on the topic of how the engines should be, there has been opposing messages most certainly, even though sustainability remains the key quotient. Red Bull's Horner is mostly opposing the over-electrification of parts.
Horner wants the noise to return, even if they are to stick with the V6 hybrid machine, which Wolff is not keen on. In fact, he believes, the biofuels will help significantly on the sustainability side, which opens up the avenue for having a high revving engines.
It comes at a time when Red Bull is investing heavily on their own powertrain programme at Milton Keynes, where they will produce their own engines for themselves and also AlphaTauri, especially for the new regulations to come in either 2025 or 2026.
"I think that the combustion engine does have a future, so why not introduce high revving engines that sound fantastic, and that are doing it in an environmentally friendly manner?," said Horner. "I think that the biofuel and sustainable fuels enable you to do that.
"Electrification, I know, politically it's being pushed, but actually is it the right route for 25 and 30 years' time I think F1 could play a key role with the fuels and with the fuel partners that we have on sustainability and zero emissions, with a high performance, high revving emotive engine.
"Wouldn't it be fantastic if we went that route? I'm sure every grand prix would be packed. Why don't we introduce a drivetrain with high revs and a fantastic sound that we can also run environmentally friendly? I think it would be possible with biofuel and renewable fuels," summed up Horner.
While Horner attended the meeting, Mercedes did not have Wolff, but Olla Kallenius representing the Diamler AG group. It didn't push down the Austrian to share his views, who reckons the future engines should be decided as per the future demand.
While Wolff and Horner may like the high noise engines, the decision should be made thinking of what the newer generations would want. "I would disagree with Christian because it's what we think, but we are not the most relevant generation any more," he said.
"When you ask an 18-year-old or 22-year-old, what relevance noise has, most of these guys consume it via different screens where noise has little or no relevance. I personally like it too, and I'd like to have a 12-cylinder that screams down the road. But, as a matter of fact, we are a sport and we are a business.
"I think 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. I think it would be totally misaligned of where the world is moving, and probably turn every single business partner away from F1 if we stick with internal combustion engines that scream, even though we may like them," summed up Wolff.
At the same time, McLaren chief, Brown, who is currently the customer of Mercedes, kind of agreed with both their solutions from a corporate point of view. He stressed on the fact that sustainability is the core point, how they reach towards it, would not concern a lot.
"I think first and foremost, what's most important is that F1 is sustainable," said Brown to media including FormulaRapida.net. "And you can get there through variety of different ways. I do not think the sponsors, as long as, F1 is sustainable are concerned over how you get to the sustainability. So if it's an ICE unit with sustainable fuels, or if it's electric, or hybrid, or anything, the important thing is that F1 is leading edge technology.
"And sustainability is critically important to the sport and the world. I think what you heard from Wolff and Horner was more of that you have an OEM, who probably wants the sustainability element to be consistent with how they go to market. So I think what's important to the corporate partners is sustainability.
"I think they are less concerned about what the product is to get you there. I think the OEMs, understandably, probably want the technology to be consistent with how they're going to go to market. So, I think you've got two different opinions there. But the question is, do I think fans and corporate partners would be turned off if F1 was sustainable, but in a technology direction that was maybe different than the automotive industry, I do not think corporate partners and the fans would mind at all.
"But we do have to take into consideration the OEMs because they're a massive part of the sport, huge contributors and when we need them, so I think you had Christian coming at it from his point of view. And Toto with his and I don't think either was right or wrong, but I think both of their solutions would satisfy the corporate world," summed up Brown.
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[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]