F1 engine market is in a good place, reckons McLaren's Button

McLaren's Jenson Button says the quality of Formula 1 would not be diminished if the engine market is dominated by only a handful of manufacturers

F1 engine market is in a good place, reckons McLaren's Button

Red Bull's F1 future with Renault remains uncertain, and while the French manufacturer is poised to return as a works outfit with a takeover of Lotus, it is parting ways with Toro Rosso.

Honda, meanwhile, has ruled out offering a customer supply until 2017 at the earliest.

That leaves the majority of the grid powered by either Mercedes or Ferrari, something Red Bull boss Christian Horner has said is unhealthy.

But Button told Autosport: "More engine manufacturers are good for the sport but before Honda came along, there were only three.

"So if it goes back to three, it is the same as it was last year, so I don't think it is an issue for the sport.

"From what I read, Renault is trying to buy Lotus - hopefully that will be the case - and that will help with keeping the numbers up for the grid.

"I think F1 is very competitive at the moment, but there is a big divide between those who can afford to go racing and those who are struggling, so hopefully that can be bridged.

"I think everybody thinks more engine manufacturers in F1 would be better but that's always difficult with the way the world is at the moment.

"It's more interesting when it is mixed-up competition of course - but F1 is not in a bad place at the moment so it is not the end of the world."

Getting inside Honda's F1 power unit

Mercedes' rise to the top of the pecking order has coincided with the new turbo hybrid formula, which was introduced for the start of last year.

But Button - whose McLaren team has been hampered by a lack of power from its Honda power unit - does not believe Formula 1 has become an engine formula.

"Ultimately, you're not going to win with just a good engine," said Button.

"If you look at the Mercedes, they have done an amazing job with the car and with the engine.

"The Red Bull is a very good car, it doesn't have the power that the Mercedes has but still on some circuits, they beat them.

"F1 is still about the whole package - it's about the car, engine, driver and how you get the tyres working.

"If you don't have them all working - you're not going to win anything. F1 is in a good place."

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