Toto Wolff has hit back at claims F1 is heading into a spending war because of Mercedes' attitude amid the engine 'unfreeze' debate. Christian Horner, the boss at Renault works team Red Bull, said in Brazil that because dominant Mercedes is not helping F1's struggling suppliers to catch up, the entire cost-limiting freeze could be ended altogether beyond 2015.
"With a majority vote, 2016/17/18 can be opened," he said, "which is ridiculous because we will all end up spending a lot more money over a longer period of time." Horner's Mercedes counterpart Wolff, however, clearly suspects Horner is applying pressure and making threats that are not likely to be carried through. "No serious company would allow that to happen and none of the current engine suppliers could allow that to happen because costs would escalate totally out of control," he said.
Wolff even claimed he knows that Red Bull's works supplier, Renault, does not want the engine 'freeze' to be totally relaxed. "Where Mercedes and Renault are currently 100 per cent aligned is that with the current V6 technology it is state of the art, road relevant and is the future," he insisted.
Wolff suggested Horner's other threat - that F1 might be better off reverting to cheaper and more performance-equalised V8 engines - is also empty. His comments follow Niki Lauda's warning that if the V8s do return, "Mercedes will be gone". "If we drop the current format," Wolff confirmed, "I can assure you certain manufacturers like Renault and Mercedes would not be interested in supplying any other power unit." (GMM)