Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels

FIA president Jean Todt believes Formula 1 cars need to become simpler, cheaper and less reliable, ahead of a meeting with leading manufacturers in Paris on Friday

Formula 1 too complex, expensive and reliable, FIA boss Todt feels

The governing body will host leading manufacturers to discuss F1's engine regulations beyond 2020, inviting the current participants and some not currently involved.

Audi, for example, has long kept a watching brief in such meetings when engine rules have been discussed, and Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali will represent the VW-Audi group on Friday.

With opinions split about whether F1 should continue with turbo hybrids or revert to simpler, louder engines, the discussions are not likely to be straightforward.

While wary that a move back to V10 or V12 engines would not be accepted, Todt has indicated that would like to see the technology pulled back to help improve F1.

"I think the cars are too sophisticated, probably too high-technology, which is not needed for the sport," explained Todt.

"It's a very sensitive point because on one side motoring is evolving and it would be very difficult to say the pinnacle of motorsport is not following the evolution of motoring.

"I am not thinking of having an autonomous car or connected cars in Formula 1, but that's what the world is facing and what manufacturers are facing with electronics on the car and powertrains, which are completely different.

"So we have to see how we can translate that into motorsport, and of course include that in Formula 1."

The former Ferrari boss believes testing highlights issues with modern machinery.

"I feel it is too expensive, too complicated, in a way too reliable," he said.

"I am shocked when I see the first day of testing in Barcelona.

"I remember in my time when we were able to do five laps it was: 'Fantastic, we did five laps.' I saw cars were doing 70 or 80 laps.

"They have been building laboratories in the factories where nobody has access."

ELECTRIC MOTORS ON THE AGENDA

One issue manufacturers will have to decide upon is the extent to which electric power will play in future F1 engines.

Car makers are that arena pushing hard, but Todt is not convinced that going all-electric would be right for grand prix racing, preferring to leave that to Formula E.

"I see a very good future for electric cars in cities, which incidentally is why we want to promote one electric championship car, single seater, in the cities," he said.

"A lot of cars are still diesel, a lot of cars are hybrid, downsized engines with turbo and energy recovery, and I see a lot of future with fuel cells.

"I think we are considering introducing [fuel cells] in some category of motorsport in the future.

"But if we speak about F1, F1 will still be run with the more conventional engine.

"That does not mean we are intending to go back to what we were running 10 years ago. That will never happen."

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