Renault: F1 should bring forward 2026 engine rules changes

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul believes that Honda's pending withdrawal from the championship should trigger an earlier than planned change of Formula 1's power unit regulations

Renault: F1 should bring forward 2026 engine rules changes

The current rules are due to remain in place until the end of 2025, and discussions are already underway about what direction F1 technology should take after that.

F1 managing director Ross Brawn has publicly acknowledged that no new manufacturer is likely to join the sport until new regulations come into force.

Abiteboul suggests that Honda's withdrawal indicates that the current rules are not as successful as they should be, and that the change should be brought forward from 2026 in order to encourage other manufacturers to enter.

Honda announced last week that it will stop its F1 programme at the end of the 2021 season, leaving the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams looking for a new partner.

"I want to be very clear that we take no satisfaction in the Honda situation," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"We need to call it the way it is, it's not a positive development for F1. We want an F1 with car makers, with OEMs, with engine suppliers, and being down to three engine manufacturers is not a positive development.

"We need to draw some clear conclusions from this situation, and it's something I've been urging the governing body to look at more carefully.

"The engine situation is simply unsustainable. In particular from an economic perspective, but also from a technology perspective.

"I am not sure we can afford this perception.

"Either we're capable of changing this perception of the current engine architecture, or probably we need to fast track the adoption of a new architecture, so that we get in a better place in terms of perception again.

"I would expect that this development triggers some harder thinking about the scheduling of the next generation of power trains."

Abiteboul concedes that under the current rules the sport is not attractive to new manufacturers given the resources required to develop a competitive package, especially with the other manufacturers having units developed for over six seasons of racing.

But he also agreed that Honda's stated reasoning for its withdrawal - focusing on its plans to pursue sustainability and carbon neutrality - did not reflect well on F1, and says that F1 as a whole has not effectively promoted its efficiency credentials.

"It's just more evidence that we have failed in putting together the right messaging and the right marketing of these engine regulations, which are mind blowing - there is nothing more advanced in the world in terms of automotive powertrain.

"There is nothing that even gets close to this efficiency level for light vehicles, so that's remarkable.

"But it's just as remarkable to have failed so badly in explaining to the world and getting the world to understand what this is all about, and the windfalls that could impact more mainstream technology.

"It's just the basics of marketing, we need to get the world to know what we're doing, not simply do it and complain about it.

"Every now and then when drivers are talking about the engines, it's to complain, and it's very unfortunate that we have very little opportunity to talk about how amazing the engines are.

"Maybe we need to ask ourselves if we need to have that level of technology in the engines if technology is only deemed to be detrimental to the competitiveness of a team and of a car."

shares
comments
Planned Rio F1 race faces environmental group opposition
Previous article

Planned Rio F1 race faces environmental group opposition

Next article

Vettel: 'Some fights I shouldn't have picked' in failed Ferrari spell

Vettel: 'Some fights I shouldn't have picked' in failed Ferrari spell
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022