Red Bull, Sepang, 2014

Horner argues for twin-turbo V6s with standard ERS

2014 F1 season

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Red Bull, Sepang, 2014Christian Horner says Formula One should alter its existing engines to improve the sound they produce and introduce a standard energy recovery system to bring costs down.

The Red Bull team principal, who recently lobbied for a return to the V8 engines which were replaced at the end of last season, is now making the case for a cut-down version of the current power units.

“I think we have to recognise what’s been done from an engineering point of view and look to simplify things,” said Horner. “Potentially retaining the V6 philosophy, perhaps going to a twin-turbo that would address the sound issues we’ve had this year, and maybe even a standard energy recovery system would dramatically reduce the costs, dramatically reduce development and therefore the supply price to the customer teams also.”

Horner warned the cost of developing the current power units risks driving manufacturers out of Formula One.

“If the development costs stay at where they are we will not attract new manufacturers into the sport and we may well drive current manufacturers out of the sport,” he said. “We have to think not just about today but about the future.

“[For] 2015 there’s very little that can be done with the regulations. But 2016 an awful lot can be done. And I think that the teams, together with the FIA and the promoter, have to have the responsibility to ensure that those issues are addressed and the sport is sustainable and attractive for new manufactures to come in.”

“We’re not going to accept the status quo for 2016”

Red Bull and Ferrari had previously tried to introduce a relaxation in F1’s engine development rules for next season to increase their chance of closing their performance gap to Mercedes. Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci was adamant the engine rules must be changed, but conceded it will no longer be possible for next year.

“Definitely we need to look at something different for 2016 in terms power unit and in terms of regulation,” said Mattiacci. “2015 is clear that we’ll have to, at the moment, accept the status quo, but definitely we’re not going to accept the status quo for 2016.”

“The cost of the power unit is a problem. The fact that we cannot enhance our power unit is a cost for us, for not performing. So these difficulties that the small teams are facing is something that’s an issue on the table. I think all these problems are very well connected I think the Strategy Group and F1 Commission are the proper arenas where to touch those points and try to find a common direction.

“But, indeed, 2016 has to be different.”

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Keith Collantine
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61 comments on “Horner argues for twin-turbo V6s with standard ERS”

  1. And the story repeats….yet again.
    Im not a Ferrari fan, but I have to say that they are the only ones pushing hard in rough times. The other guys…just fold…as Toyota did, as Benetton, as Honda, as Jaguar, as …everybody that starts loosing. I dont expect redbull and Mercedes making 20 years runs like Ferrari, McLaren, Williams or Sauber. Thats where Bernie is wrong. Very few respect F1. The rest (Michelin, Renault, Toyota, etc) run away as soon as they dont like the situation.

    1. @mumito

      Im not a Ferrari fan, but I have to say that they are the only ones pushing hard in rough times.

      Of course, it’s Ferrari. That’s one of the main reasons to why I am a Ferrari fan. They stayed loyal to F1 through a 21 year drought, we all know that teams like Red Bull and Mercedes would fold long before they had a period of even half that length without winning.

      1. For one simple reason, Ferrari needs F1. All their threats over the years are just that.

      2. Ferrari were and are paid to stay. Their “loyalty” was brought by Bernie. They’ve threatened to leave in the past just as much as the rest of them.

  2. Shut up Christian. Just shut up.

    Translated by google:

    “We aren’t winning anymore and we are really really upset. We must change the rules to make sure we win because somebody else did a better job than us. We know that changing the engines again will cost even more money, but there is chance we can win again if this happens, so we’ll pretend this is the ‘fix’ to the ‘problem’. Standardising the ERS would mean that we no longer have a weakness in this area…..”

    1. You have summed up my thoughts exactly.

      1. I completely agree.

    2. Could not agree more.

    3. You can tell that his is being groomed as the replacement for Bernie. The bloke is a joke.

      1. He is** (autocorrect)

      2. So pathetic. He’s found a partner in Mattiaci. Pulling the worned “poor sound” card at this point is ridiculous.

    4. I love your google translator! Speaks Horner perfectly!

      1. Does that work with Dennis speak or would it break google?

    5. Spot on!

    6. I’m certainly no fan of Christian Horner but in this (unlike his matrimonial affairs), his judgement is spot on. Only Mercedes or its supporters would argue otherwise.

      1. Could you explain how scrapping engines that have cost hundreds of millions (a billion according to Horner himself) to develop and stripping them back down to a more basic V6’s, adding another turbo and then developing a completely new ERS/Hybrid system that all teams will be happy and is a standardised system that will work on all cars would solve the issue of engine costs?

        Not to mention the fact in the other breath Horner is said if Mercedes don’t allow for an engine unfreeze this time around there will be an engine war in 2016 with massive amounts of development from all parties.

        Which of these two proposals by Horner solves the issue of costs? What part helps keep the small F1 teams alive, which is obviously the reason for Horner’s proposal here, It’s not like he said in Texas that Red Bull has no responsibility for the small teams or to help them survive, of course not. No, this is the caring, sharing all loving Mr Horner who just wants to see Marussia & Caterham back on the back of the grid.

        What makes his judgement “spot on” here?

        1. But its inevitable that Renault and Ferrari will plug in as much money as they can in for 2016 anyway so hes suggesting that if you choose this new option hes put forward (which quite frankly is good for everyone, performance is normalised, sound is better and costs will be cut in the long run) it will be better for the sport compared to the Millions they will spend when they have a chance in a few years time. It would be stupid of him not to put his team first but lets face it, you cant argue with the solution he has provided unless you are a Merc fan of course

          1. So it’s spend alot of money on a engine war or spend alot of money on developing another new engine? Seems logical. None of these proposals help any small team with costs, spend massive money on a engine war = engine price goes up or spend massive money on developing new engines = engine price goes up. There is no cutting costs in either proposal. That’s not to mention to massive amount of money that would be spend even organising such a project, endless meetings, FIA meetings’ , sitting down with barmy bernie, new regulations drawn up, rules to be decided & agreed to, who would build the ERS/Hybrid, couldn’t be Renault, Merc, Honda or Ferrari so it would have to be a complete blank canvas moment. Mclaren build the ECU’s but it’s not really Mclaren, it’s actually a separate company.

            In terms of sound, that’s subjective, I quite like the new sound of F1, for me they make an awesome sound on lift off, especially the Ferrari.

            Seeing as both Renault & Ferrari had multiple years of open development on the new engine and they are still no where compared to Mercedes I don’t see how you can assume by opening up 1 additional round of updates in 2015 will make much difference, especially as there is a strong suggestion that Merc already know how to gain at least 60bhp from their engine. Along with strong rumours that Ferrari are already struggling with next years engine, and unless Renault have taken a magic pill they would be hopefully of getting on to Mercs pace this year never mind what the Merc will be performing like next year.

            You keep on saying unless you’re a merc fan but you are clearly a Ferrari fan, so if roles reversed would you be saying what you are? For me, It’s not about being a Merc fan, I really couldn’t care less if they opened up development on the engine, I don’t care if the pack is separated by 0.1s, as a Hamilton fan I like to see him race, he likes to race so give him somebody to race with. What I don’t like though is when somebody uses a situation that they really don’t care about in an attempt to get there own way.

            I can and will argue with the “solution” he has proposed as it doesn’t attempt to fix anything other than another poor season for him, Let’s face it, if Horner really cared about the small teams as much as he would of liked people to believe he should give up some of massive prize money so the teams at the back get more. This is nothing more than a sad attempt at feeding his self serving position.

        2. It’s simple economics – the money that has already been spent developing the engines will, in the most part, be carried over into the proposed 2016 engines which will utilise much of the current technology. Standardising certain elements takes away the potential for an arms race and therefore controls cost. Any technology that has to devolve is written off in the name of sustainability. Yes, the distribution of funds in F1 is grossly uneven but the cost of the current engines has evidently been a tipping point. Anything that can be done to control the cost of the power units should be seriously considered.

          1. Your logic is so far off, I don’t even know where to begin.

      2. And Honda, and all Mercedes engined teams…

    7. Re “We aren’t winning anymore and we are really really upset.”
      The problem is Red Bull are involved with F1 because they associate success in F1 with the profile of products they sell. So is winning important? Well, it depends on if the entire F1 race is broadcast on Free-to-air TV or restricted to just a news clip on Free-to-air TV news. If the entire race can be seen by lots and lots of people in your country, then winning is less important, but if the F1 races are on Pay-TV, which has a discouraging effect on viewership, then … well winning is about the only way to guarantee the public are seeing your brand.
      Did you notice “Wei Chat” on Alonso’s helmet? Yup, that shows how very important Free-to-air broadcasting is for revenue.

    8. And his claim that the current regs might prevent new manufacturers entering the sport is just absurd. Honda is returning to F1 precisely because of this new power unit.

    9. To me it just reads like. “We have tons of money but the new engine that WE have is not as good as the best one so let’s start over with the engines so we can get an engine we like the best”.
      It’s like a kid who can choose between two candies and the kid picks one but later wants the other one as well “because the other one is better”.

  3. I guess Red Bull would be happy with a different exhaust layout too, surely, they have some ideas how to use those aerodynamically. That would be a much more fair way to spend loads of money for them.

  4. I can’t stand Horner or Ferrari (waiting to see about Mattiachi) but to be fair they’re entitled to be desperate.

    I think Merc should trade some engine for Red Bull and Ferrari’s unreasonable slice of the money pie.

  5. Shut up Horner you borer! I am happy to see that there is no Red Bull domination anymore. It was getting boring. However, I would love to see Ricciardo win WDCs, and I am sure that he will as he has proved to be as good as Vettel this year in my opinion.

    1. Yes, Red Bull domination got boring, but so has that of Mercedes. I am personally in favour of the more cut-down engines and the standardised ERS, as this would make it easier (and possibly much cheaper) for all teams to be in the sport, and may help remove that old chestnut of the sport becoming too expensive.

  6. I wish i could shove a sock in Horners mouth, I’m so tired of hearing him spouting of what ever comes to mind that he thinks will hurt Merc. How about he just pushes his team to do a better job, I mean he is the boss after all.

    1. Merc was ragging every day and night from 2010-2013 about everything that could hurt red bull. And every year thing got banned to bring them down. shut up.

      1. Actually they didn’t. They kept their nose to the grindstone and new that the new engine design was their meal ticket. Now they have the best car and the best engine. Renault screwed around and rested on their laurels(V8 that was obviously pretty good & Adrian), and now that Red Bull are their Works team and continuing to lose, Christian needs to whine about it. Every team except Red Bull based teams are running from the poorly designed Renault, while Mercedes was innovative. Of course Christian would promote streamlining things, that’s the way they were the 4 years he was winning, now it just so happens that their are alternatives to Aero and he doesn’t like it.

  7. “If the development costs stay at where they are we will not attract new manufacturers into the sport..”
    Err Honda? Audi maybe?

    1. Sshhhh…by pointing that out makes Horner look silly and self interested. We wouldn’t want that.

    2. 1. For the interest of the sport FOM could subsidie the engines

      2. Why didnt Horner asked for standard aero package in the last four years?

    3. Red Bull threatened making their own power units at the beginning of the summer. If Honda can come in mid-engine freeze what’s to prevent “Infinity” (aka Red Bull) from showing up in 2016 with a 100% new power unit while the rest are still restricted by the freeze?

  8. You can add as many turbos as you want but if they are going into an MGU-K they will sound the same—no bypassing off-throttle. And as for costs, Kaltenborn just spat out her coffee. Two turbos and two MGU-Ks is not going to make the PUs more affordable, “standard” or not. And it’s surely not going to increase reliability for Renault, not unless the the turbos are standard too. This is some real crazy-talk.

  9. Oh dear! I have never seen anything more desperate than this in the history of any sport, let alone Formula 1.

    1. yep, because RB is not a Mercedes or even McLaren, they are not a carmaker in any form, just a marketing device, so in case of losing, they surely will be dropped by “parent” company…

      1. Aha. Maybe that’s the subtext behind Horner’s gripe. Maybe Dieter M has said something to the effect of “We’ve won four in a row. But if we don’t win again in the next two years – we’re out!”

  10. Nothing he says makes sense. What is Honda going to do? Mercedes also said that they’d leave if this engine formula is dropped. So? he just wants his team to win and heck with the others.

    He wanted to open development and now he wants to cut costs… double standards much? and if he had Mercedes engines he’d not complain at all.

    1. If teams had RB’s aero in 2010-2013 they wouldn’t complain, but they didn’t. So they complained so long until they banned every last bit of it. Short memory much?

      1. But there are multiple teams with the Mercedes engine, so they are sharing their technology. There’s a massive difference here. Not to mentione the Formula as a whole was changed with everyone onboard, Mercedez just did a better job. Sux for you and horner it sounds like @Seba :)

      2. But there are multiple teams with the Mercedes engine, so they are sharing their technology. There’s a massive difference here. Not to mention the Formula as a whole was changed with everyone onboard, Mercedez just did a better job. Sux for you and horner it sounds like @Seba :)

      3. But there are multiple teams with the Mercedes engine, so they are sharing their technology. There’s a massive difference here. Not to mention the Formula as a whole was changed with everyone onboard, Mercedez just did a better job. No good for you and horner it sounds like @Seba :)

  11. Lmao – what….. red bull and Ferrari concerned about the costs for smaller teams! Let’s not forget that Ferrari and red bull dropped out of fota as they didn’t want to be restricted by development caps! These guys have the biggest budgets in f1! I bet Martin Whitmarsh finds this hilarious. Oh well shame they can’t fix all there issues by next season!

  12. I’m just hypothesizing here but if the IC engines were to change to a twin turbo configuration barring the exhaust tail pipe position remains the same, engineers would probably utilize a potential double MGU-H to generate a blown floor or coanda effect.

  13. The man is clearly bonkers, as if asking Geri Halliwell to marry him wasn’t confirmation enough, we have it confirmed right here.

    1. Have a bit of respect. He’s been at the head of one of the most successful teams in recent years. And with regards to his personal life, that’s his to live, and ours to keep our noses out of (as I’m certain that, as a rational human being, you would also hate the prospect of outsiders making comment on your personal life).

      1. ‘Have a bit of respect’

        Hahahaha, that is fantastic. Really.

        Maybe when CH shows a modicum of respect to the smaller teams or any of the fans people will be more sympathetic. And his Mrs. IS a nut job.

      2. @stigrennfahrer Ever heard of a “joke”?

  14. Renault and RB pushed those V8 back in the day, but they have failed to do decent engine, so now they are pushing once more, but what if they`ll fail once more? another push for V4, or V12?
    enough already, we saw 4-5 years of total Ferrari dominance, next it was RB`s 4 year, so it will be fair if Mercedes reign a little bit longer than 1 year

  15. I increasingly get the impression that Christian Horner is a bit dim. The best way to reduce costs after the manufacturers have spent billions on these new power units is to change everything?

  16. …and there I was thinking, “Who will spout craziness week in, and week out now that Luca is gone?”, only to have Christian pick up the torch.

  17. Are Horner and Bernie having a competition on who can contradict themselves the most?

  18. 1. Twin turbos would perhaps even decrease the sound level, not improve it.

    2. Standard ERS is only an attempt to remove Mercedes’ advantage.

    Nice try, but sorry.

  19. Bernie Jr.

    That is all…

  20. Hm. Strategy Group would probably go against that anyway (FIA + four teams).

    After all the crap Horner has come out with this year, I’ve reached the point where I’d be happy to see Red Bull leave, even if it meant we only had 14 cars for a short while.

    1. If RB leaves, f1 will die sooner rather than later. 14 cars lol. what about 12? or 10?

  21. Given F1’s staked position as the pinnacle of motorsports, and the growing importance of electrical / alternative power units, surely it makes more sense to do the reverse of what Horner is suggesting?

    Standard aerodynamics (with NASCAR-style body kits to differentiate the cars but not at the expense of making it harder to get into a car’s slipstream) — scrap DRS.

    Standard / homologated ICE unit.

    Freedom to gain performance through optimizing ERS.

    Teams committing to a budget cap given freedom to tweak their engines completely (so if Horner really cares about the sound he could run a V8 if he could get it to perform), provided they stick to the energy budget (the equivalent of 100 kg/hr and 100 kg per race, to be adjusted downwards in succeeding years in the interest of efficiency)

    1. Given that such a position would effectively destroy the main area where Red Bull’s financial muscle gives them an advantage – in aerodynamic development – whilst enhancing the area where their rivals, Mercedes, already have a performance advantage (the energy recovery systems), the chances of Red Bull agreeing to such a move is zero.

  22. “dramatically reduce development and therefore the supply price”

    Wasn’t he arguing the other day that unlimited in-season development would be good for costs… somehow?

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