Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone, 2014

Ecclestone and Todt’s client engine plan ‘rejected by F1 Commission’

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In the round-up: The FIA’s F1 Commission has rejected Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt’s plan to appoint a supplier for an alternative ‘client engine’.

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Does Ferrari having a veto over the sport’s regulations help them gain an on-track advantage over their rivals? @Lockup argues it does:

Ferrari, and its veto, is terrible for F1, and this is an example of why.

Without this latest veto the two leading engine suppliers would have less income, which as they freely admit they spend on development. It makes it even harder for Renault and Honda, who don’t have this customer income, to catch up. It ensures F1 will stay a two-horse race.

Motor racing is supposed to be a sport where you win with excellence. It’s crazy to give one of them advantages to help them win with less excellence. It makes the whole thing pointless.
@Lockup

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  • 83 comments on “Ecclestone and Todt’s client engine plan ‘rejected by F1 Commission’”

    1. I would say, aside from a few blowouts and poor PR / media handling, this year’s Pirelli’s have been the best so far. They have a long way to go before they are good, but to suggest going back to 2011 or 2012 (and 2013 if they say that next) is just terrible. What are they playing at?

      1. Coz they keep avoiding the real issue. So instead on focusing on what is making the sport boring, they come up with stupid ideas like trick tyres and DRS to make ‘The Show’ more interesting.
        They know they issue, why do they keep avoiding it? Why can’t they come up with a solution!?

        1. they come up with stupid ideas like trick tyres and DRS

          I assume by ‘they’ you don’t mean Pirelli, but the F1 rulemakers?

      2. Your allowed your opinion but this years tyres have not been good and I honestly don’t think Pirelli can make the tyres we all actually want.

        FOM asked for tyres that degrade but not for exploding, low grip, too hard, too cold, small temperature window, thermal deg, can’t push and make overtakign attempts for more than 1-2 laps tyres.

        I gave Pirelli a chance but in my opinion they have proven to be poor at making tyres for F1 even when asked for degrading tyres.

        To those who will defend Pirelli, do you not think the drivers want to say so much many more negative things about Pirelli? They have been mentioning things every since 2012 maybe even before. More spoke up this year and Bernie gave them a finger waging.

        Imagine having to race go karts the way F1 drivers are forced to “race” (ie conserve and not attempt too many overtakes) today. It’s horrible and a travesty that Michelin did not get the contract.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          25th November 2015, 5:58

          Maybe FIA should instruct Pirelli to make tyres with thermal upgrading; i.e. they more you race/attack the better the tyres get, and the longer you delay ‘the cliff’.

          1. Great idea. Tyres that degrade by ware but unless they are up to a set temperature they will not work so no choice but to drive them hard. Trying to back off to prolong tyre life will leave you know where so teams are shoe horned into driving flat out for 25 or 30 laps.

            1. I am skeptical of purposefully reducing the operating window…

        2. exploding

          Since Silverstone 2013 (where the teams were deliberately misusing the tyres), there’s been, what, four or five blowouts? All of them due to punctures, cuts, and in one case, flatspotting so badly the canvas was shredded.

          1. I agree I think Pirelli get a hard time when they cannot freely just design good tyres. Their road products are as good if not better than their rivals. Ferrari and McLaren chose Pirelli for their hypercars.

            1. That’s more a marketing partnership than outright performance I suspect given the performance of the Porsche 918 on it’s Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, which remember has less power, less downforce and weighs more than both the P1 and La Ferrari achieves.

              I’m pretty sure Alonso would like to see Michelin back with a race tyre, but only Pirelli will make the degrading tyres and fair play to them that with such limited testing it works as well as it does.

            2. @philipgb, the comparison between the tyres employed by the various hypercars is rather pointless, because the car has been designed in a fundamentally different way to its rivals.

              Individuals like Chris Harris, who has driven all three cars, have highlighted the fact that the main advantage that the Porsche has in terms of handling comes from the fact that the car relies far more heavily on its electronic systems than the other two to optimise performance.
              The 918 relies on the fact that the power output to each front wheel is independently adjusted by the onboard computers to minimise the amount of slip at the front axle – furthermore, the car also employs an active rear axle steering system that is designed to increase cornering performance and have a significant impact on handling.

              As for Alonso and his comments about Michelin, as other drivers have pointed out, Alonso probably has fond memories of Michelin because Michelin were biased in favour of Renault and produced tyres that were geared towards their cars.

              When you have been given favourable treatment by a particular tyre manufacturer in the past, you are not going to have a neutral perspective – it is inevitably going to be biased in favour of the experience you had, rather than the experience that those who found Michelin to be rather less co-operative or unhelpful (Newey, for example, was critical of Michelin because of that).

          2. (where the teams were deliberately misusing the tyres)

            At Silverstone in 2013 the teams were doing nothing that they hadn’t been doing for decades & which was considered a perfectly normal part of the sport & something which tyres were expected to be able to withstand & up until 2013 none of those practices had ever caused any problems.

            The reason it became a problem in early 2013 was because Pirelli added the steel belt (For cost saving reasons) & that steel belt was causing the tyres to run hotter than normal & under certain conditions that was causing the canvas to detach which led to the delaminations.

            All of them due to punctures, cuts, and in one case, flatspotting so badly the canvas was shredded.

            As i’ve said several times before i’ve been told by multiple people within F1 than the Pirelli tyres have been far more prone to suffering cuts than the tyres from other suppliers in the past, Thats where a lot of the concern/dis-satisfaction on the team/driver side has come from the past few years.

            Even looking at the flat-spots the pirelli tyres are very prone to damage from flat-spots, Only a small lock-up can completely destroy the tyre to the point of requiring a change.
            It was very, very rare for tyres to be able to be flat-spotted down to the canvas… Let alone to fail as a result of that with tyres from the previous suppliers.
            There’s the obvious example of Kimi Raikkonen at the 2005 European Gp, Badly flat-spotted tyre as a result of several big lock-ups which was neither down to the canvas & which didn’t suffer a failure (Suspension broke but the tyre remained inflated).

            Pirelli often get the pass because people say ‘there making what they were asked’… Not entirely true as they were only ever asked to try & encourage 2-3 pit stops, The way they go about it has always been 100% left to them. The tyres been as fragile as they are, With as small operating windows as they sometimes have & with thermal degredation instead of compound based wear which is the biggest reason drivers are no longer able to push for very long is all purely down to Pirelli & the way they decided to make there tyres.

            1. Agreed @2gt-racer I still don’t understand why they don’t abandon their thermal degradation approach, so frustrating

      3. LOOOOOOOOOOL except at the races where the tyres failed, had no grip, and had sets within the same compound the reacted very differently. None of which instills driver confidence or good racing. The only thing if F1 worse than Pirelli is the Max Mosely legacy of terrible, expensive power units and the stupid regulations that came with them – all in the name of cost savings!

        I’m still waiting for anyone to explain why F1 has to have “green” hybrid technology and then uses the least green tyres imaginable.

        If it weren’t for fuel economy and emissions mandates for road cars none of this power unit nonsense would even be discussed. F1 is not a road car so why is it forced to use road car technology??? I liked F1 better when F1 technology ended up in road cars. Not vice versa like we have now.

        I’m glad the budget engine was shut down. Another daft idea that does nothing for the sport. Well, I shouldn’t say “sport” because it’s a business. A business that has but one goal. More profits for the shareholders with little or no concern for the presentation, history, or longevity of what was once the greatest sport in the entire world.

        1. No road car currently has a turbo connected to an ERS-H, along with ERS-K, nor the thermal efficiency of these engine packages. They will in the future because of this tech being developed in F1.

    2. I hate it when Mosley agrees with me.

      1. @hohum Many Mosley’s crazy idea back then seems like a good idea now. I still prefer his idea about separating drivers and the teams and randomly assign the driver to a car at each weekend. Sounds like a better way to make entertaining race than DRS and narrow window tires :P

      2. Off course many of us were surprised about a lack of a cost cap for the engines in the original proposals @hohum. Stating that now doesn’t help much.

        Yeah, a bit of a struggle to get anything in that was not in there off course.

    3. That “what if…” article about Abu Dhabi 2010 is interesting.

      I’d also like to do a “what if…” for the opposite corner, namely Red Bull. Had Alonso won that championship, the pressure would’ve been on Christian Horner and Helmut Marko. Do you guys remember back then, after Korea, how ridiculous it seemed for Red Bull’s title bids to keep going on and on about not using team orders to give their better ranked driver (Webber) a better chance? It almost happened what we were saying using the F1Fanatic points calculator: had Vettel, Webber and Alonso finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, in that order, in the 3 remaining races, Alonso would’ve won the title. And given Ferrari’s illegal (at the time) tactics in Germany that year, it stood to reason that if Red Bull asked Vettel to give way to Webber, their chances would’ve been better.

      So had Fernando got that 3rd title, we’d have been all over them. Explanations would have to roll from Milton Keynes… they had the fastest car and driver, yet they’d have blown it in a way.

      No one at the time thought Webber would underperform as bad as he did in Abu Dhabi (we didn’t know about his shoulder injury), so that’d have not gone well in that direction, even if it ended up being worse… he lost the championship to Vettel and with that, he opened the door to an outstanding domination by his team mate. If Vettel was still title-less, 2011 would’ve probably gone a bit easier for him, I suppose… at least his position in the team – he wasn’t supported by his team back then, so losing the title to another manufacturer would’ve put pressure on them, not on Mark.

      And Seb? he’d have been alright… maybe 2012 would’ve ended up differently because of the mentality of both teams, tho. Ferrari was still trying to recover from that Petrov-assisted blunder and maybe it’d not have been that chaotic at the end of the year for them.

      Such a team can afford not winning a title that seemed lost from the beginning like in 2012, but losing a championship that was just THAT close to the trophy cabinet can hurt for years, and it shows.

      1. My main memory of that race was Webber being stuck behind Barrichello who was defending very aggressively and in my mind cost Webber the Wdc.

        1. I’ve still not gotten over that 2010 title defeat, as an Alonso fan. It was a perfect comeback performance from the early doldrums for Alonso and Ferrari in 2010. But Alonso should also have won the title in 2007 – his mistake at Fuji cost him that, and the unfavorable situation within McLaren which Alonso should probably have handled better (am not saying is entirely his fault).

          If those two titles were sown Alonso would have been a 4-time world champion by now, and I wouldn’t care if McLaren Honda improved or not. But now that those titles never came, I am desperate to see McLaren Honda get competitive again soon so Alonso could grab at least one more title before retiring. It has been extremely disappointing to see Vettel and Hamilton grab multiple titles while the widely considered best driver on the grid has just two titles to show for all his talent. I would also blame Alonso’s wrong career decisions for this. Had he been stronger mentally, he could have stayed on at McLaren and probably secured a title in 2008. Instead Hamilton got that title.

          1. Although I agree with practically everything you said, I cannot feel really sorry for someone with ‘only’ two championships. It could have been more, sure, but he will still be ranked amongst the greatest. I feel more sorry for talents that (likely) never got the chance to shine at all, like Frijns or (possibly) Vandoorne.

          2. But Alonso should also have won the title in 2007 – his mistake at Fuji cost him that, and the unfavorable situation within McLaren which Alonso should probably have handled better (am not saying is entirely his fault).

            Hungary where he blew a front row & top 2 finish by deliberately blocking Lewis cost him as well.

      2. I also think back about 2010 many times. But then, I now wonder if there was ever a chance of Fernando finishing in a championship winning position. Ferrari was the 4th best car that weekend. Mclaren, Renault and Red Bull were quite ahead of them all weekend.

        After the safety car went back, Petrov was always less than a pitstop behind Alonso. And Alonso wasn’t exactly gaining time on Petrov in the laps preceding the pitstop. Assuming that the graining of tyres would have gone away for Alonso (As it did for the leaders) allowing Alonso to become faster, I still doubt if he would have pulled out enough of a gap over Petrov to come out ahead of him as Petrov (and Kubica too) was very fast thanks to a new engine. Even Hamilton wasn’t able to gain time on Kubica later on in the race as we all could see.

        In total, I think Alonso was not going to win the championship no matter when he pitted.

      3. It would have been completely wrong for Red Bull to ask Vettel to give up his own chances for the title when he still had a mathematical chance. This is a very different matter from when a driver has already been mathematically eliminated.

        Webber might have had more points at the time but it was Vettel who was the driver in form. In the previous three races, Vettel had won in Japan, was leading in Korea when his engine blew up, and had won in Brazil. He had also had 9 pole positions (which would become 10 in Abu Dhabi) versus Webber’s 5 that season. I am sure Red Bull knew that Vettel was the faster driver, and that their future relationship could have been harmed if the team had taken away his chance to win the title.

        As regards the Abu Dhabi race in 2010, Webber’s problems were caused by his poor qualifying, and people forget that he touched the wall early in the race, this may have contributed to the decision to stop relatively early once his tyres started to go off. It was also a strategic move to try and get him out of traffic and undercut the Ferraris, I remember Martin Brundle who was commentating thought that the early stoppers had done the right thing and that the drivers who had stayed out had made a mistake and would get jumped when they stopped.

        There is also the fact the the previous year when the title was decided in Brazil, Webber refused to support Vettel’s title bid even though he had no mathematical chance himself. I was surprised by this, Vettel had only an outside chance and Webber could have been supportive for one race at little cost to himself, which might have earned him some credit with the team.

        1. There is also the fact the the previous year when the title was decided in Brazil, Webber refused to support Vettel’s title bid even though he had no mathematical chance himself. I was surprised by this, Vettel had only an outside chance and Webber could have been supportive for one race at little cost to himself, which might have earned him some credit with the team.

          In this race, Vettel and Button started near the back and finished 4th and 5th. Webber started near the front and Mark won the race. Had Webber drooped back to 4th behind Vettel, it would have made no difference to the championship, as Vettel would have been 14 points behind with 10 points available in Abu Dhabi.

      4. Certainly intriguing @fer-no65

    4. Mecachromes’ engine looks fairly good if now totally irelevant, but, iirc that exhaust and intake arrangement is expressly forbidden in the current engine rules because erh,,, umm ,,,erh,,, for some obviously very good reason.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        25th November 2015, 6:01

        It looks so good that the cars should have see through engine covers like road supercars! @hohum

        1. @coldfly, Sadly no chance of naked engines like we had in 60-70s.

          1. Why would you want to have an exposed engine though? Is it purely for the shallow reason of aesthetics?

      2. As far as I can see its just a picture of an engine they have available (the GP2 or GP3 engine?) @hohum. But yeah, if this alternative engine gets in afterall, Red Bull will surely have prepared fitting rules to allow for as much aero advantages as they can get in.

    5. Max V ? I still agree with the age limit, MV is unlikely to lose his ability to drive when he turns 18 and no doubt would have impressed greatly in any other series he chose to compete in whilst still 17, not every ambitious talented teen is guaranteed to have the maturity MV has displayed and would we next say 16 or 15 or 10 was an acceptable age? A race to employ ever younger drivers would be bound to have unfortunate consequences.

      1. @hohum Yeah, I support the age limit too not because the ability to drive, but more about outside the car thing. Every driver in F1 has tremendous pressure of expectations on their shoulder and I think teenagers will have problems with that. Max Verstappen is really a rare example of how it gone right, but he also not handling it well on Monaco debacle this year. Also when you start that young and statistically will likely to fail to become top drivers, they won’t have any skills and education* beside racing to help them move on their life. Granted most of them are rich kids anyway, but still.

        *I know Max Verstappen has private tutor for his studies, but we prolly never knew if he actually doing fine on his grades.

        1. F1 cars should be made so tough to drive so that 15 or 16-year olds would not be able to come, see and conquer the way Max Verstappen did. I think that would be better than bringing out a rule like this. Of course I’m not saying Verstappen isn’t good, because he has also proved his prodigious talent and maturity in Formula Renault testing and Formula 3 (where he came straight from karting) as well. By contrast Alessio Lorandi, who also came to Van Amersfoort Racing in F3 straight from karting, could not excel.

          If an individual below the age of 18 is able to get the hang of an F1 car, he should be allowed to race it. There shouldn’t be an artificial rule brought in. Make the cars hard enough to drive so youngsters cannot excel, but don’t bring in a childish rule.

          The FIA should have waited till the end of the season and observed Max’s mature performance throughout the year before making knee-jerk rules such as this. But then again, when has the FIA refrained from making unnecessary rules and moves?

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            25th November 2015, 11:42

            I made the comment last year that under 18s shouldn’t be allowed into the sport and stand by it.

            The life of every driver is important but if – heaven forbid – a “child” was to be seriously injured or killed when driving an F1 car it would reflect very badly on the sport and the individual team they represented. Imagine if it happened to a Red Bull driver. The brand could be hugely damaged.

          2. To be fair the current F1 cars are probably very hard to drive fast and many good drivers on the road if put straight into one would end up in trouble. Martin Brundle crashed a Force India when he gave it a go and I would imagine him to be well above average compared to most people. If you Max Verstappen drove a 1960’s F1 car he would find it very easy. Drivers now a days are true athletes and can sustain much more physicality within the cars. With all due respect to someone like Nigel Mansell for instance he did not look like he went to the gym much but then that was the era.

    6. Love the BBC article about the tyres, Puts across all the negative aspects of the high degredation/thermal degredation nonsence far more articulately than i ever could.

      and points out how one of the best dry races this year was the race where there was no degredation and where the drivers were able to push hard throughout the race without having to back off to manage the tyres.

      1. The right observations, but only Webber and Vettel made the right conclusion, everyone else playing dumb.

    7. Pirelli have announced that there new super-soft will only be available on street circuits… Kinda makes you wonder what the point of introducing it is.

      1. That should read the new super-super-soft.

      2. So that’s Monaco, Singapore, Australia and Canada maybe, and Baku if it remains on the calendar. But why?

        1. Because public road tarmac is different to race circuit tarmac?

          1. In the past this was true but nowadays there actually isn’t much of a difference & in a few cases (Monaco, Sochi & Places around Singapore) the street circuits even use circuit grade tarmac.

            1. Hmm.

              Then it must be down to the presence of road markings, and the different rubbering-up of the tarmac (road tyres are a lot lot lot harder than race tyres).

    8. “So our customer engine proposal has been widely panned, we need to figure out a way to alter the proposal to make it appear more appeasing.”
      “How about… We change the name to ‘client’ engine?”
      “Why Max I think you’ve done it!”

      Was it really any surprise? And how on Earth do these jokers get paid so much?

      1. edit: Jean… Has there ever been an explanation for the lack of an edit button by the way?

          1. @keithcollantine The answer to the moderation problem is a simple one and one that I have seen work well elsewhere. Allow a five minute window for editing after posting the initial comment. After that it is locked. Posts that are put into the moderation queue are visible to the poster only, so they can still edit in that five minute window. I think the vast majority of mistakes that people want to edit are spotted almost immediately after hitting the Post button.

            1. I have already responded to a similar suggestion in the thread linked above.

            2. what about allowing us to delete our own comments? @ keithcollantine
              (maybe only when there haven’t been any replies yet)

              PS – there is a DELETE option on our ‘members/activity/personal page’, but not sure what that does.
              PPS – could not find if there has been any previous discussion on this.

      1. NO it isn’t, it is just ridiculous! Do you really think that Honda and Renault’s problems are budgetary? DO you really think that these two multi billion pound global motor manufacturers are sitting there with their shonky engines, crying into their respective beers, about how if only they had more money all of their problems would be solved?

        Both have just in the last few months TURNED DOWN supplying other teams! How the comment got anywhere close to COTD I’ll never know! Honda PAYS McLaren hundreds of millions EVERY YEAR to use it’s engines.

        To say that Ferrari’s Veto

        gives one of them advantages to help them win with less excellence

        is again nonsense. It doesn’t give them any performance advantage, the rules and regulations are still the same for everyone.

        1. Exactly. We didn’t see Ferrari veto the move to V6 turbos which is an engine formula they do not use, and we didn’t see them veto the testing ban when they were/are the only team with a dedicated test track at their factory. If an advantage was to be gained by having the veto, Ferrari would have used it long before now and far more often.

        2. @asanator

          It doesn’t give them any performance advantage, the rules and regulations are still the same for everyone.

          Except Ferrari get to get rid of any rules they don’t like, which is obviously an advantage for them.

          1. In theory but have they ever done that? The only time I remember them using it was for the recent engine maximum cost rule which does not have a racing implication rather it was used from a financial perspective. I cannot remember them ever having used it before and never for the actual technical rules of the sport.

            1. I’m confident that if one were to analyze the times Ferrari used their veto power it would come out that it helped them a great deal at times, particularly in the MS/Ferrari era. I don’t see money as the main issue, but more as Keith said, being able to get rid of rules that might have hindered them in their plans.

              It is an obvious imbalance in F1 and I’m sure they have to be very careful, they being Ferrari, FIA, and F1, to not be TOO blatant about it, so as not to make their advantage too ‘in our faces’, which is why some might ask ‘but have they used their veto?’ When we know the answer to that already. Of course they have. Probably way more often than we are allowed to know.

            2. Maybe you are correct but I still cannot remember a time they used this. In effect though this Veto is putting in writing the same power all the big teams have in that if any top team is that unhappy with a new rule they can always threaten to leave until the rule is changed. Renault pushed for these new engines so rumour goes and so did Merc and they got their way. Red Bull want a customer engine and they got the rule proposal put forward. In effect Ferrari do not need this Veto as no team would but they still have the power to change things. The cost cap was not subject to a Ferrari veto but it got cancelled as some top teams threatened a break away series so in effect a veto type power in itself.

    9. I answer Lockup by saying there would be 10 cars on the grid had this plan went forward, and thank someone that Ecclestone’s and Todt’s plan to make a few quid out of engines went bust. Governing body needs to set the rules not rule themselves. Pirelli’s 2012 tyre was the best show tyre because it allowed drivers to have an input rather than just controlling temps and mileage.

      1. I answer Lockup by saying there would be 10 cars on the grid had this plan went forward

        What makes you think this @peartree? We know from the 5th engine debate that the cost to make an extra engine is €750k. That’s €6m per season per team. The rest of the €30m, €24m, is on fixed costs and development. But at this point there should hardly be any development for the top engines, only for Renault and Honda.

        Ferrari and Merc are just looking at each other, naturally. It’s a classic case of where the governance had to step in on behalf of the sport as a whole, but because of the veto they couldn’t.

        1. the 750k is just the Harware though @lockup. You also need engines for testing, engineers to run the engine and off course some budget for further development of the engines.

          The reason Bernie is interested in this has nothing to do with cost (an issue he would be perfectly able to solve on his own) but only with power over the sport. This engine plans purpose was to get back more control over the sport, to change it into what he wants the sport to be. Just imagine the many great races in the middle east, Russia, etc with maybe the odd European race and a US race until their budget runs out once every few years. Off course we could have crazy looking super aero cars, with extremely loud and inefficient engines. That would be fun. But completely irellevant to any real world cars and probably would have little to do with a real sport either.

          1. I agree with most of what you say @bascb @drmouse. I include these costs under ‘fixed costs’. All four manufacturers have these costs, irrespective of how many teams they supply.

            They all want the technology and hybrid branding for their road cars, too.

            The question is just how big an advantage does the sport want Ferrari and Merc to have over Renault and Honda? If we take Horner’s price figure of €30m and take off the production cost of €6m that leaves €24m simple profit from each customer team. Okay less some staff perhaps I don’t know, but it’s a lot of profit, and it’s clear it gets fed straight back into development. 3 teams is €72m to invest and that seems to be more than Renault have been spending altogether.

            So the cost cap would have been good for the sport. Ferrari and Merc would have had less to spend on development, while Renault and Honda would have had the same. This is what F1 needed.

            Simples. Sensible governance. But for the veto!

            1. @lockup

              I agree that some of these are fixed costs. It would be great to have a breakdown of these from Merc and/or Ferrari… I can dream, can’t I? lol

              I have to say that the cost cap should have been in place from day one, if there was going to be one. Bringing it in now gives the manufacturers ammo against it. They can say their business plans are based around what they are currently charging, and they will not be able to claw back the investment they have made. They may not have invested as heavily if the cap had been there, or they may have anyway and just swallowed it in their R&D budget, we will never know.

            2. I certainly agree that a cost cap should have been part of the whole engine regulations from the outset. That way the manufacturers could have decided up front whether they thought the rewards from running in F1, income from engine customer teams and the knowledge gained from the developing these engines was worth their investment @lockup.

              The funny thing is, that the Mercedes package is said to be lowest price of the manufacturers, with Ferrari charging a bit more and Renault having been most expensive (no clue about Honda, maybe they themselves have no clue either what to ask for their sad excuse of an engine so far!).

        2. @lockup I have no idea what are the costs involved. The engine manufacturers themselves said 12m would not make up for the advantage of withholding their Pu’s. What happened is Bernie doesn’t like these engines he blames the engines for the overwhelming stranglehold of power in F1 and the loss of viewership, therefore the cash strapped FOM just made up a way of making money through selling their own cheaper engines, they knew all along that either the motion would get vetoed or it wouldn’t pass. This is not a case of charity lockup don’t for one second think this engine price reduction came from a good place. I would have greeted the leading PU makers had they accepted the price tag reduction, it could hurt newcomers but it would help the bottom teams, spend the same money elsewhere. I think you should find it suspicious that Todt wanted a 50% deduction with no discussions, if the FIA really didn’t want to get vetoed they would’ve keep the freezing development and negotiated perhaps a 30-15% decrease and or a progressive decrease in PU cost. In short FIA wanted to sell cheaper comparable engines, in order to eventually strip the PU makers of their leverage in F1, the whole of F1 stopped Bernie and the FIA. In the end I heard Monisha yes Monisha who’s team is on the brink of financial collapse, her own pocket is at stake, she said the 12m was not a good idea.

          1. I have no idea what are the costs involved.

            We know from the 5th engine debate @peartree as I said. An extra engine was €0.75m. Todt did some analysis and came out with €12m, which is double that unit cost. What’s wrong with that? Where did Monisha say that’s not enough to pay???

            So the veto was wrong. It tends to leave F1 between two teams. Nobody likes that, it doesn’t matter what convoluted motives and conspiracies may or may not be going on. The small teams are paying for the big car manufacturers’ R&D as Monisha has complained. Not production cost but development cost. We don’t want Ferrari and Merc to develop though, we want Renault and Honda to develop.

            Ferrari and Merc say OMG it doesn’t suit our business plan, well …

            1. @lockup In short Monisha feared that the 12m plan would make manufacturers drop costumer teams. Thankfully as you can check on today’s round-up Monisha’s fears shall be address via a minimum amount of teams one manufacturer must offer it’s engines. Monisha and others threw the development money card because they know all the profit they can take from the selling of the Pu’s is fed back to the main team. The costumer teams claim this is uncompetitive sporting behaviour and it is technically. Lockup what you forgot to evaluate is that as ever the product you are selling wasn’t made just to break even, none does, you don’t work for free, no one does. You point out R&D and the non debate of renault and Honda who don’t desire to supply more teams. The engines cost to produce but also meant gigantic investments in order to fund the project and infrastructure and workload all before the moment these engines were first sold, and this is why Cosworth said they wouldn’t chuck 20m plus for the new cheaper PU project. So the cost of the engine is meant to cover the investment, production costs, and the workforce that goes with the costumer teams, the rest shall be hard earned profit which by the way no PU maker thinks is actually worth it, as you can see by Honda they are not interested in supplying costumer teams. In my view, and I don’t disagree with you, there’s a few million that can be shed and help everyone, but I disagree with the r&d argument as it won’t make a difference on the r&d race as everyone will make less money from Pu’s, this where the 32 token conversation and the unfreezing of PU elements matter.

      2. OK, let’s put some figures here.

        Estimate that:
        – Merc currently charge €24m/team for their engines
        – They break even with that (I know they said they loose on each, but we can’t easily put a figure to that)
        – Merc supply 3 teams
        – Cost cap is brought in at €12m

        This means that Merc are paying €12m for the privilege of supplying a team with their engine, or €36m per season. If they were forced to supply any team, as Max suggests, there would probably be more teams, too. Is this a worthwhile use of their advertising budget, which is what Max is counting it as? This would be a commercial decision for the company, I don’t know the answer.

        1. I wish Ferrari would sell me a road car far below cost price.

          If you cannot afford the best option you have to buy a cheaper option that may not be as good as most people do with road cars. I think Merc and Ferrari and others can supply a cheaper engine and should but you cannot expect it to be the top spec. As far as RedBull are concerned they are so rich they should build their own engine if they cannot find a supplier. Before 2005 they did not build F1 cars and proved to be very good so why do they not build an engine or pay Cosworth or someone like that?

        2. Or Mercedes is only paying €36m for the benefit of having it’s brand of engines in F1 where it can reap hundreds of millions worth of marketing.

          The only people that wanted the new formula were Merc, Ferrari, Renault and Honda so they could market them as road relevant. So the privateer teams are paying way more than the engine formula they were content with to help huge global corporations market their technology.

          1. I think it was a compromise for Ferrari as they were very much again the 1st 4 cylinder proposal but came to an agreement on the v6. Although not necesarily their opinion outright LDM was rather vocifourous in his dislike for the current engines. I really hate the restrictions in anything and futile attempts at creating a utopia of a level playing field. It’s like in theory communism being a great idea but it has never worked in reality. F1 teams exist to create a dominance on track or off track.

            It would be great engine wise if they just said 100kg of fuel for a race build what you want and whilst doing this Red Bull and all the none manufacturer teams can put money into a customer engine they can share to go up against the manufacturers. The manufacturers would not get any revenue from the others and the customers combined would have an enourmous budget to develop a new engine. As of next year there are 7 none manufacturer teams, if engines are 30 million euros a year thats 210 million euros a year these teams could otherwise put into their own customer engine and Redbull could easily top this up by contributing more than the others. This would create a sporting fare competition and I see no reason why such a thing could not be put forward.

    10. COTD is right, F1 is a oligarchy. Then again its just reflection of our societies. You reverse positions and it will be same. Competition is good as long as we are winning.

      1. F1 is a oligarchy, I agree
        The COTD it is not right however, and here I quote @asanator

        NO it isn’t, it is just ridiculous! Do you really think that Honda and Renault’s problems are budgetary? DO you really think that these two multi billion pound global motor manufacturers are sitting there with their shonky engines, crying into their respective beers, about how if only they had more money all of their problems would be solved?

        Both have just in the last few months TURNED DOWN supplying other teams! How the comment got anywhere close to COTD I’ll never know! Honda PAYS McLaren hundreds of millions EVERY YEAR to use it’s engines.

    11. Regarding COTD. I am a believer that not by restriction, but by freeing up the ways things can go upwards.
      Free the regulations, get rid of the restrictions and teams can come up with different ideas and variety will be back in F1. It is true that teams with more money will come at top again, but the same has happened in all these years of restrictions. If the scope to development is so small, you are actually giving more possibility for the big teams to dominate. While with wider scope, you can have better chances that someone takes the wrong route and the smaller teams can do better. Also, giving more freedom of development can bring back the reliability problems with teams trying to push as hard as they can making for more unpredictability.
      Remember 1998 when McLaren started the season with nearly 3 seconds at hand and Ferrari played catch up for the entire season (16 races)? That was fun to watch, so was 1999 and 2000. But on those days you always could look forward to a race because you knew something new was going to come up, but on these days, if a team starts strong, there is nothing to hope for for the entire season (19 or 20 races).

    12. I am relieved that the vote was against the client engine. A formula with two different sets of engine rules would have been a disaster.

      Parity would have been impossible to achieve, and would always leave the sport open to accusations of politics and manipulation. Can you imagine the lobbying that would have happened, it would have put the FIA in an impossible situation, their decisions on parity would inevitably have alienated one side or the other, or even both at once!

      The new compromise idea for a simpler, cheaper but still hybrid (to some degree) engine for 2018 sounds much better. I have read that there may also be a new rule to ensure supply to a minimum number of teams if required, and that independent engine manufacturers may also be interested in supplying these engines as they would be much cheaper to build, which could provide a balance to the influence of the current manufacturers and a greater choice of engines for teams.

      The most important point though is that all the engines (and teams) would be competing under the same set of engine rules.

      1. The new compromise idea for a simpler, cheaper but still hybrid (to some degree) engine for 2018 sounds much better.

        Much better, yes, but still a step backwards IMHO. F1 should be pushing forward, but going backwards. The current PUs are a marvel of technology, and a simpler system removing the MGU-H from the equation would leave me feeling rather “meh” about the engines.

        The most important point though is that all the engines (and teams) would be competing under the same set of engine rules.

        This I do agree with. Unless they were to create a true 2-tier championship, which I can see some real benefits to, running a second set of rules would be highly unlikely to be successful.

    13. F1 missed it’s chance at a cost cap. That’s what it boils down to. We could have built a culture where the cost is limited. But it got shot down. Mosley was on the money with the cost cap.

      1. I appreciate the idea of a cost cap but it seems to me it only serves to artificially stifle top teams. Budget is not everything look what Toyota did in F1. Then what should the cap be….I want to enter F1 so the cap should be £1000 a year, dragging everyone down to the lowest common denominator is not right for me. McLaren have a huge budget and are 2nd to last. Ferrari have not won a title since 2008.

    14. F1 missed it’s chance at a cost cap.

      FIA/FOM have the perfect opportunity to introduce a cost cap.
      Contract Mecachrome/other to develop a competitive PU according to the current technical regulations.
      Offer this PU to all teams for $12m p.a.

      The only challenge is that FIA/FOM will have to pay the R&D cost (Mecachrome is not stupid) and will lose money if there aren’t many takers.

    15. The sport’s governing body, the FIA, rubber-stamped new legislation that – from 2016 onwards – means no driver under the age of 18 can qualify for a superlicence or, therefore, compete at a Formula One grand prix. How daft does that decision look now?

      One of the big problems in F1 is there are around just 20 seats, with most of them taken by the end of a season, meaning there is a lot of competition for the few remaining seats. The recognised path to F1 is via racing in a series such as GP2 or Formula Renault 3.5, both of which are very expensive to race in, and neither of which Verstappen raced in. The GP2 series champion even gets a Super Licence as part of their prize package, so don’t they deserve to have a seat if one becomes available? There is a lot of competition in these series, and it takes a lot of skill and experience win the series.
      In 2000 the World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion was Lennox Lewis, and in November of that year he fought one David Tua from New Zealand (where I live). Lewis won, and after the fight he said something like “You don’t come into the ring with the World Champion with a right hook and a funny haircut!” That is exactly the same argument in relation to Verstappen: at the start of the season he didn’t have the full range of skills and knowledge that are expected in F1. There were other drivers around who had the range of skill and experience expected. The fact that he now has only justifies his inclusion in 2016.

    16. I’m not glad to this.

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