Todt: F1 engines are too complicated and too expensive

jean todt

With Formula 1 owners and the sport’s top teams apparently squaring up for a battle to determine the future road-map for the future, FIA president Jean Todt warns that marginalising the current engine suppliers in an attempt to lure more manufacturers is a mistake while acknowledging that the current engine formula is too complicated and expensive.

Formula 1 has four manufacturers Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda supplying the ten teams on the grid with very complicated turbo hybrid engines, the power unit template has not worked as expected and the huge expense, coupled to the technical sophistication has done nothing to attract additional manufacturers.

Todt was one of the chief advocates of the new engine Formula, and now four years down the road, he admitted, “Clearly if you ask me what I feel about the engine – it has been one interesting exercise. I think it is too complicated.”

“I think it is too expensive. But it is probably a very good first step to go to a next generation of engine, which will be one evolution from what we have now.”

Engine costs claim the largest chunk of a team’s hardware costs during the course of the season, coming in at around anything between $7.7 million and $10 million for a power unit and related elements.

But Todt warned, “What I feel would be unfair would be to undervalue the existing engine suppliers involved, and listen to those who may think they will come.”

“For me, it is important in light of the existing situation to see what will be the best evolution of the engine for the future, but by respecting the investments of those who have made the investments so far.”

As for the way forward Todt suggested, “I am against starting on a completely new development of the engine.

“I think we should take what we have understood with this engine and allow the actual manufacturers who have been investing heavily to be able to enjoy what they have been investing for the next generation of engine, and also encourage newcomers to come,” added Todt.

Estimated Formula 1 Car Cost In 2017 (Engine & Chassis Expenses)
Excluding development costs that vary from team to team
Category Cost
Power Unit $7.7 million – $10 million
Carbon fibre monocoque $650,000 – $1.2 million
Front wing & nose cone $300,000
DRS & rear wing $80,000 – $150,000
Steering wheel $70,000
Fuel tank $140,000
Hydraulics $200,000
Gearbox $600,000
Cooling system $220,000
Transmission $250,000
Tyres (one set of tyres) Wet, Dry, & Normal $1714
Accident Damage Cost (Flexible) $500,000
Total Basic Cost $15.52 million

Big Question: What is the realistic engine concept for Formula 1?