Renault wary of cost implications of Formula 1's 1000bhp push

Renault has urged caution over Formula 1's push towards 1000bhp engines, amid fears that costs could rise dramatically

Renault wary of cost implications of Formula 1's 1000bhp push

F1's Strategy Group last week gave a green light for further work on ramping up engine power for 2017, with the 1000bhp benchmark in mind.

Rather than having to revert to a V8 power unit, teams believe the power target can be achieved through simply lifting the fuel flow rate limit and allowing more fuel.

But Renault is concerned that the issue of costs has not been properly taken in to account - with customer teams unwilling to pay more and manufacturers' budgets already stretched.

OPINION: F1 needs 1000bhp - but not at any cost

When asked for his thoughts on the move to 1000bhp, Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul pointed out that finances were a major concern.

"Personally I would love it, but I need someone to pay for it," he told AUTOSPORT.

"I hear small teams, the independent teams, are not prepared to pay the price of the power unit. And at the same time I hear that we need to add 200bhp or something like that. So how do you connect both?

"If you can find someone who is capable of paying for that, I would love to see that. I would love to see the current cars and the current drivers having to deal with 1000bhp.

"But there is no easy way and cheap way that you can do that with the current regulations."

Although initial discussions between engine manufacturers concluded that only minimal changes will be needed to the design of the current V6 turbo hybrids to deliver the extra power, Abiteboul thinks that the costs will still be significant.

"You need to make some drastic changes, particularly to the fuel allocation, and that is a different ballgame," he said.

"You need to resize some of the internal components of the ICE but, if you need to change that, then you need to change the sizing of batteries, and the sizing of the MGU too.

"You need to redesign the whole power unit, so you need to be a bit careful."

Teams are due to continue discussions about framing new engines for 2017 later this month, with a potential vote to approve ideas possible at the next F1 Commission meeting on February 18.

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