Formula 1 could delay its major engine rules revamp beyond 2021

Formula 1 may be better off delaying the introduction of new engine rules planned for 2021 so it can be sure of attracting new manufacturers, reckons Ross Brawn

Formula 1 could delay its major engine rules revamp beyond 2021

The hope was that the louder, cheaper and less-complicated regulations being put together by F1 owner Liberty Media and the current engine manufacturers would attract new entrants, with Porsche, Aston Martin, and Cosworth all considering projects.

Amid delays in framing the specifics of the rules, and the existing manufacturers' push to keep the current MGU-H, interest from potential newcomers has fallen away.

F1's managing director of motorsport Brawn has therefore mooted delaying the engine changes.

"We want to try and create a set of technical regulations on the engine which are appealing to new manufacturers coming in as well as consolidate our existing engine suppliers," said Brawn, in an interview for the Belgian Grand Prix race programme.

"And I think we just need to think of our timing on that, whether 2021 is the right time to do that, or whether it's better to keep that powder dry until we can be certain that major regulation change will bring fresh blood into the sport."

Brawn said there could still be scope to make changes in the sporting rules to level the playing field even if the main revamp is delayed.

"My feeling is that there's still quite a lot we can do on the engine side in terms of sporting regulations such as limits on dyno test time, number of upgrades during a season, consistency of specification to all customer teams etc," he added.

"On the engine, we need to decide if now is the time to have a revolution or an evolution."

Cost cap trial

Brawn is clear that other changes being planned from 2021 - including new chassis regulations and a cost cap - are still being pursued.

He revealed a plan is in place for a "soft" cost cap trial to be introduced next year.

"The good news is that with the FIA and in consultation with the teams we are progressing well on the economic initiatives," added Brawn.

"Work on the mechanism of a cost cap is going well. At the moment we are looking to introduce it in a soft form, with dry runs in 2019 and 2020, and then it will be become regulatory in '21.

"I would say that barring some last-minute discussions that's pretty much finalised now."

There is also likely to be more use of standard parts.

"Why don't we all have the same transmission, at least the core parts of it - the same shafts, the same differentials?" said Brawn.

"That would have quite a significant economic impact. And the effect of this on the perception of the competitiveness of the sport would be negligible.

"For a marginal gain, the individual costs spent by each team are significant. If you are developing your own transmission, I'd estimate you are spending between $5-10 million a year - and no one sees it."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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