The Friday’s press conference certainly had signs of disagreements between teams regarding the regulation changes for 2016 season. Toto revealed that 1st March, 2015 is the deadline for the 2016 power unit regulation changes. Everybody agreed that for 2015, not a lot could be done because of time crunch. But for 2016, apart from Mercedes and to a certain extent Williams, both Ferrari & Red Bull were unanimous to state that they want regulations changes. Christian Horner went on to state that, “Maybe we need to even go as far as looking at a different engine, a new engine. Maybe still a V6 but maybe a more simplified V6 that controls the cost.”
Toto found support from Claire Williams; she was of the view that one should be careful about the changes because of the huge investment made for 2014. She was not interested for the big changes proposed by Christian and Marco but insisted that, all will be debated upon in the strategy group meeting slated for next week. She said, “I think making a U-Turn so quickly, I’m not sure is the way we want to go. I’m not sure it puts us in a very credible position. But again, the Strategy Group is a forum for that debate and one that we’ll probably end up having.”
It’s clear from the answers, that the debate about power unit changes, is to continue furthermore, and it is likely that, we are to see another situation, where an agreement is not reached upon. Toto is of the view that, if the power unit changes are made as per Christian or Marco, it could be disaster for Formula 1. Because it would mean reversing everything and incurring more cost, which is what is not required at the moment in Formula 1. Christian’s idea is to retain the V6 philosophy and probably go to twin turbo, which will solve the sound issues and a standard ECU system all across the teams, which will dramatically save the development costs. I
Interestingly, Christian and Toto agreed on one thing in the press conference and that, should Caterham use the 2014 engine next year, they will have to look into the current regulations to allow them to do so. It looks like next week’s Strategy Group meeting will be crucial for the future of Formula 1 effectively.
Written by: Darshan Chokhani