Sauber against proposed alternative Formula 1 engine

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes Formula 1 is heading in the wrong direction by introducing an alternative engine

Sauber against proposed alternative Formula 1 engine

Following numerous futile attempts to introduce cost costs, and after Ferrari exercised its right of veto to block a maximum price being imposed on the current power units, the FIA this week revealed plans for a budget engine from 2017.

Specific details of the make up of the engine have yet to be revealed as there is to be an initial consultation process with all stakeholders prior to a call for tenders being made.

DIETER RENCKEN: Will F1's budget engine even happen?

Kaltenborn feels, regardless of the specifics, it is an idea that should not even be entertained.

"It's the right thing to say the new engine has been one of the major cost drivers, increasing the costs from 2013," said Kaltenborn.

"But at the moment I personally don't think it is right to have different engines because I know from past experience with a manufacturer [BMW] they would not want to be in a championship if that was the case.

"I also wonder how technically you could get any kind of equivalency. It is not that easy at the end of the day to say this is the power output and you try to find equivalency.

"You start playing with the weight of a car, with the fuel flow, with fuel, you start refuelling, and you have to limit your car from a different perspective, even aerodynamically.

"I don't see how this is possible, so I'm in no position to say this is something I take up or not."

Suggested to Kaltenborn that as an independent team a cheaper, commercially available engine was a viable alternative, she replied: "Our prime target is the price of the engine.

"Of course you are looking at reliability and things like that, but it is the price of the engine.

"If you look at the bigger picture, from the sport's perspective, we're not going to look that good if we start taking rules away from technology that is relevant in the market today.

"Formula 1 is there to represent the high-end technologies. People do value this, and we've seen in some cases people have decided to pay more for a car because it has better values on the road.

"We should not seclude ourselves from this reality.

"I don't think it's right, without having a very concrete, specific idea or vision of where you want to go, to start up these discussions."

The price of the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged system is around €20million, compared to around €8million for the old V8.

Kaltenborn feels €10million is "a fair price" for the system, claiming no team would have entered into an agreement to purchase it if it had been made aware in advance it would cost double.

"If we had been told it would be €20million with this technology, or €10million with something else, then pretty much every customer would have voted against the more expensive engine," said Kaltenborn.

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