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Manufacturers 'will not be blackmailed' - Wolff

  • Published on 24 Nov 2015 10:02
  • comments 2
  • By: Rob Veenstra

The battle over the future of formula one will move to Paris on Tuesday. It is there that the strategy group will meet, pitting Bernie Ecclestone and the governing FIA against the powerful car manufacturers.

They are arguing bitterly over the proposed new 'parallel' engine regulations for 2017, after Ilmor and AER lodged their interest in supplying a new twin-turbo 2.5 litre V6. Small teams struggling to pay $30 million bills for their current 'power units' may be interested. Bild reports that cash-strapped Force India, Sauber and Manor are all now asking Ecclestone for an advance in their official prize money.

But also interested in the 'client engine' idea is Red Bull, desperate to escape the control of the carmakers. Franz Tost, boss of the Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso team, said the 2.5 litre engine will cost less, give teams some freedom, and the fans something louder to hear trackside. "I think that most of the fans want to have another engine with a better sound," he said.

Germany's Bild newspaper, however, thinks Ecclestone-Todt against the carmakers is actually all about politics and control. It claims: "The four current manufacturers and engine suppliers agree 100 per cent, and will argue and vote against the new low-cost engine".

It is rumoured Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda will submit a counter-proposal during Tuesday meeting: an offer to increase Todt's proposed engine price limit from 12 to 16 million euros. But Sport Bild reports that the FIA president may have his own carrot to dangle: a proposal to extend the current 'power unit' regulations from 2020 - when they are currently set to expire - until 2025.

Todt confirmed: "A stable regulatory framework is important so that other manufacturers can come into formula one." Some insiders regard the suggestion of 'parallel' rules as obviously unworkable and actually only a bargaining chip to frighten the carmakers into submission. "We can definitely talk," Wolff told Bild, "but we will not be blackmailed." (GMM)

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  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    It's time for the whole of F1 to wake up. There clearly is a problem when you only have 4 PU suppliers of which only 2 are competitive.
    Maybe they need to standardize most ERS components like the MGU-K, MGU-H, batteries and electronics to bring down costs and level the playing field a bit. Put out a tender for a single supplier...
    Everyone can develop their own ICE and gearbox and so on but basic ERS package is the same for all. This would make the PU a less dominant factor and increase the reward for teams that put together a good chassis.
    Would make a lot more sense than bringing in a new engine category that will undermine the current manufacturers. And what if it's actually faster...

    • + 0
    • Nov 24 2015 - 19:35
  • dr002

    Posts: 141

    In order to create a workable regulatory framework the rules need to be structured in such a way as to provide incentives that accord with the agenda’s of the individual participants, which, at the moment, they do not.

    I believe that having 4 championships within Formula 1, as opposed to 2 championships, would go a long way to resolving some of these agenda issues, as per the outline below.

    AGENDA ISSUES
    1 The engine manufacturers want their factory cars to be superior to the teams they supply.
    2. The independent teams want access to a competitive engine and still want to be able to win ‘a’ championship
    3. The independent teams find engine costs prohibitive, whilst there is no ‘incentive’ for manufacturers to subsidise the supply of engines.

    CURRENT SITUATION
    As a result of the above three agenda issues, there is in effect two championships being run, as the factory teams are essentially focussed on competing against themselves, whilst the independent teams are pitting themselves against each other as they are not afforded the same spec engines as the factory teams, due to there being an opposing motivation for the factory teams to do so (as has recently been seen with no engine supplier willing to supply Red Bull with a current spec engine, and with Williams being delayed given the latest spec Mercedes engine).

    SOLUTION
    Create 4 Championships.

    Create a championship for each of the three championships already being waged at the moment, that is, a ‘Drivers Championship’, a ‘Factory Team Championship’ and a ‘Constructor Team Championship’ (which excludes the factory teams). Then create a fourth competition in the form of an ‘Engine Championship’ which would include both the factory teams and the constructor teams. A fifth competition in the form of a ‘Tyre Championship’ could also be created as outlined below.

    HOW IT WOULD WORK
    F1 would comprise 4 ‘COMPETING’ engine manufactures each fielding a factory team with 3 cars on the grid, AND AT LEAST 2 independent constructor teams with each having 2 cars on the grid. A 5th development engine manufacturer would also be on the grid each year by being able to bid at the beginning of each season to field a factory team of 3 cars to compete in the Factory Team Championship. If at the end of the year the development manufacturer places 4th or better, the team would then enter the competition in the subsequent year as a ‘competing’ engine manufacturer, whilst the team coming 5th would need to bid alongside other potential teams for a place on the grid as the development team.

    Engine suppliers would therefore need to woo 2 constructor teams to align their engines with in order for them to be able to field a factory team, thus there would be a motivation to keep their costs affordable in order to woo a better team, whilst also motivating manufacturers to supply their best engines so that the constructor teams would be prepared to pay more for their engines, which would no doubt be the case if a constructor felt they were being looked after better than a rival engine supplier (this scenario would also align with the motivations resulting from the Engine Championship, as detailed below). The above framework would result in 31 cars on the grid.

    Having three drivers within the factory teams would effectively create a series of mini competitions within the teams, and would give more drivers the ability to better show their skills.

    The Factory Championship having teams of 3 drivers would no longer be a problem in terms of points allocation as they would no longer be competing within the Constructors Championship which would comprise teams of 2 drivers. There would also be no impact on the Drivers Championship of there being 3 drivers in the Factory Championship, in fact it could make it more competitive for drivers within a consistent Constructor team, as there would be a greater disbursement of points due to drivers in the factory teams competing against each other.

    The Engine Championship would be based upon points being allocated in relation to the FINISHING position of EVERY car on the grid. This would therefore reward, and place greater emphasis upon, engine reliability, and it would also be a motivator for manufacturers to provide the latest spec engines to their fleet of constructors.

    The Tyre Championship could comprise 3 tyre manufacturers. Each tyre manufacturer would be required to supply at least one of each of the engine manufacturer’s teams, the appointment for which would be nominated at commencement of the championship and locked in throughout the season.

    I believe the above framework would go some way to addressing some of the agenda issues presently within F1.

    • + 0
    • Nov 25 2015 - 00:42

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