FIA hosts meeting to discuss future of F1 engine

The FIA is meeting today with Formula 1 teams, engine builders and stakeholders to map a way forward with regards to engines beyond the current hybrid turbo era, to be implemented in 2020.

Although the new era power units are entrenched until then, all proposals will be considered for the next decade. The collective objective will no doubt be to reduce costs of the engines, as the current formula has proven to be extremely expensive.

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff revealed to ESPN in Melbourne, “All manufacturers are invited to join that meeting called by Jean Todt. It is more than just manufacturers who are involved in F1. It is a meeting that was called with the aim of seeking the manufacturers view on racing engines going forward.”

“We [at Mercedes] have an opinion. I wouldn’t want to lay it out at that stage. We need to learn the lessons of what we have done right with the current set of regulations and what we have done wrong. And come up with a product that is exciting.”

FIA President Jean Todt insists that Formula 1 must be in harmony with modern automotive trends and technology, he said during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, “If you take me through a Formula One car, I think the cars are too sophisticated, probably too high-technology, which is not needed for the sport.”

“It’s a very sensitive point because on one side motoring is evolving and it would be very difficult to say the pinnacle of motorsport is not following the evolution of motoring.”

“I am not thinking of having an autonomous car or connected cars in Formula One, but that’s what the world is facing and what manufacturers are facing with electronics on the car and powertrains that are completely different. So we have to see how we can translate that into motorsport, and of course include that in Formula One.”

Formula 1 director of motorsport Ross Brawn talked to ESPN said in a press conference at Albert Park, “The current engine is a fantastic piece of engineering, but it’s ended up very expensive, very complicated and we see the challenges that are facing some of the engine suppliers.”

“So what sort of engine do we want for the future? I think when we determine that we can start to build the plan [for F1’s future] around that engine, because I think some of the thoughts we’ve got at this early stage fall in line with the introduction of a new engine.”

“If you wanted to have a standard transmission in the future, when would you do that? You’d do that when a new engine is introduced. There are certain things that link together quite closely for plans for the future,” added Brawn.

It is understood that a number of manufacturers and related entities will have representation at the meeting including multiple Le Mans winners Audi as well as engine guru Mario Illien – the latter allegedly working with Honda.