Wolff criticises F1’s lack of promotion of hybrid engines

Date published: October 20 2020

Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff doesn’t believe Formula 1 are doing a good enough job in promoting their hybrid engines.

With the chassis costs in Formula 1 set to come under the control of a budget cap, the next battlefield is expected to be the engines.

These highly complex and expensive turbo-hybrid V6 engines haven’t proven to be popular with the fans, teams or drivers, despite them being the most advanced pieces of technology in their industry.

However, this also means that smaller engine manufacturers are lacking the funding to join Formula 1, and with Honda set to pull out at the end of 2021, leaving only three engine suppliers, the finger has been firmly pointed at the power units.

Mercedes are widely seen as the benchmark in the engine department, and Wolff thinks Formula 1 are not doing a good enough job when it comes to promoting the hybrid PUs.

“I believe we are not telling the hybrid story well enough,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.

“With 50% thermal efficiency, and the complexity and technology that exists in these cars with the energy recovery with kinetic energy or exhaust gases, the batteries that we’re using and the technology within them, we are a pretty good showcase for hybrid technology.

“The next generation of power units, whenever they come, will lend even more to sustainable energy recovery and sustainable propulsion systems in the future.

“We know now that we have to look at the costs. We don’t want to make the same mistake that we are purely engineering driven, like with these power units.

“But make sure they are something innovative, sustainable, powerful, fuel efficient, and at a reasonable price.”

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Red Bull and AlphaTauri have been left in search of a new engine supplier from 2022 thanks to Honda’s upcoming exit, and their team principal Christian Horner has been vocal against the cost of the power units ever since the announcement was made.

He has revealed previously that Red Bull are paying in the region of £200 million a season for their power units.

“When you look at the costs involved in the engine supply, they are enormous, and that is why Formula 1 has failed in its attempt to attract new engine suppliers and new manufacturers into the sport,” he said.

“It brings into real focus those costs, those cost drivers through the regulations. Honda’s withdrawal is a real shame for Formula 1, but also a real wake-up call.”

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