The FIA is under pressure to abandon plans to overhaul Formula 1’s engine rules in 2021 due to a lack of interest from new manufacturers.
RaceFans understands Porsche, which has been officially represented at FIA discussions on the future engine regulations, has given no firm indication whether or not it intends to enter F1. Aston Martin, which previously expressed interest in entering, now believes the proposed regulations will be too costly.
Retaining the current engine formula would involve keeping the MGU-H, which had been earmarked for removal. The sport’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media intended to drop the MGU-H to reduce the complexity and cost of the power units and to increase revs and noise.
In response to a question from RaceFans at Silverstone, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted “it doesn’t look like there’s anybody new coming in.”
“So really I think it’s down to the FIA and Liberty to decide what do they want.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said there was no point committing to a costly redesign of the current power unit if no new manufacturer expressed an interest in entering.
“It’s still very much [up] for discussion. We had a presentation that would have meant a redesign of the engine.
“All four OEMs currently engaged in Formula One have given their preference with an understanding from our side that we maybe needed a bit more noise and not a discussion around fuel consumption, that’s important. But just for the benefit of redesigning an engine, without anybody else entering, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
“If somebody would commit to come into Formula One the way we have committed ourselves, all four of us – go through the lows and highs, the expense of the investment it needs – then let’s discuss engine regulations. But if nobody’s inside, it’s an academic discussion.”
Senior Porsche representatives have been involved in F1’s 2021 engine discussions at a high level. They include the head of Porsche’s motorsport engine development programme Donatus Wichelhaus, who consulted on the manufacturers’ Le Mans and World Endurance Championship-winning LMP1 programme.
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