F1
Lewis Larkam 14d

Red Bull 'very encouraged' by 2021 F1 engine blueprint

Formula 1

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is "very encouraged" to see Formula One and the FIA aligned over the 2021 engine proposal.

Following a meeting in Paris last week, the FIA and FOM revealed the initial details that will shape the future of F1's engine regulations. In a bid to future-proof the sport, the blueprint presented a vision that included cheaper, simpler and louder power units for 2021.

There has been a mixed reaction to the proposal, with Mercedes and Renault expressing doubts over the plans, while Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said his team would consider quitting the sport altogether unless circumstances changed.

Horner has been a long-time critic of the six-cylinder hybrid engines since their introduction in 2014 and recently said that F1 should scrap the V6 turbos as soon as possible. However, after having the specification outlined to him, he is now more willing to accept the direction F1 is taking.

"I came back from the meeting in Paris and I have to say I was very encouraged with what I saw," Horner told Motorsport Magazine. "For once the FIA and FOM were absolutely aligned in what their vision of an engine is for the future. The really encouraging thing for me, it wasn't so much the specification.

"I would love to have a V10 or V12, a high screaming naturally aspirated engine. I'm a bit of a dinosaur like that but I accept that we live in a modern world and a V6 turbo engine has been elected. They've put a key amount of focus on several factors -- one being the sound. It's got to come back into F1, it's part of the heritage, the makeup.

"The other is that for an independent team such as Red Bull is really encouraging is that they want to ensure as a customer you get absolute parity, not just on product but on electronics as well, so electrical settings will have to be homologated. So the FIA will have to say 'like for like they'll have to be the same as on a works car'."

Another key element of the engine projection is the removal of the complex and controversial MGU-H component -- which recovers heat energy from the turbo -- as well as the introduction of standardised elements including the energy store and control electronics. Horner is in support of the move, which is aimed at not only reducing costs but also to help level out the competition.

"The other thing is that there'll be large elements of standardisation of certain components like turbos and perhaps prescriptive design. There's going to be less variance between engine manufacturers. We have too big a spread at the moment and it puts too much pressure on the chassis side of things and I think the FIA has basically looked at the engine and said: one, it costs too much; two, it's not delivering from an acoustic point of view; and three, it's too much of a performance differentiator from the best to the worst and I think they're really narrowing that gap.

"As an entrance, your biggest or bigger influence will be on chassis. Obviously, there's a few engine or works thing that weren't as happy with that outlay because that's dumbing down one of the key elements of F1. But I think the drivers are the biggest importance, teams or chassis secondary, and the engine tertiary."

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