Formula 1’s next engine regulations will be essential to keeping the sport appealing in the future, says managing director Ross Brawn.
Now in the seventh year of the V6 turbo-hybrid era, the current engines have had their fair-share of detractors due to their cost, relevance to the road-car industry and appeal (or lack thereof) to fans.
Nevertheless, the engines are set to continue in F1 for another half-decade yet, with 2026 the first chance the sport will have to devise a new engine formula – something Brawn insists must not be wasted.
“That’s what we’ve got to focus on,” he told Racefans. “The FIA with their group and Formula 1 with their group, that’s their priority.”
“What’s the next power train? What you’ve got to do before you say what it is, is you’re going to decide what the objectives are.”
“Where is the relevance of Formula 1, how does that stand in terms of defining the spec for the future? What’s the economic climate, how do you encourage the investment in a potential new powertrain? What are the lessons learned from the one we have now?”
As Brawn explains, the difficulty lies in the need for engine suppliers to be able to make road-relevant, environmentally-friendly engines, while still decreasing costs for F1’s teams.
“All that has got to fit in and make Formula 1 as attractive as we can be to engine power train suppliers. But the economics have to add up. The teams need to be able to afford the engines and they need to be good racing engines.
“So we’ve got quite a lot of challenges for the next engine and we don’t want to miss the opportunity of making it really relevant step forward with what we do.”