Press conference, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

F1 engines should be 50% hybrid by 2025 – Wolff

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1’s next engine format, due to arrive in 2025, should have a more powerful hybrid component according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

F1 dropped plans to revise the current the current engine formula in 2021, meaning the current power units are likely to remain in service for another four years. Asked by RaceFans what he would like to see from F1’s next power unit regulations, Wolff said the sport must follow the road car industry’s trend towards electrification.

“I think that we are in the middle of a transition of technology at least on the road car side,” said Wolff. “And as much as we most of us are a fan of the loud, traditional engines, it’s not where the technology goes and the perception on sustainability goes.

“So I believe we’ve done the right thing in keeping the regulations almost stable for the next term because it would have cost a tremendous amount of development to come up with a new formula. And also it is not quite clear where this next generation of power unit actually should be.

“Listening to our chairman of Daimler we expect 50% of our fleet to be either hybrid or electric by 2030. So I think if this is the direction technology goes, we could as well have an engine which will have a higher hybrid component: renewable energies or electricity.

“Today it’s around 20%, maybe that ratio’s going to go to 50%. As long as it’s an exciting engine, sound is something we need to address and at least talk about it. But I believe the hybrid component is going to increase after 2025.”

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Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said he “believes the same thing as Toto” and would like to see F1 keep its hybrid engines.

Yesterday Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said he would prefer to see F1 go back to normally aspirated V12 engines. But Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes F1 must “stay current with technology.”

“I don’t know what the technology will be in ’25,” he said. “Toto and Tanabe-san know much better what is happening there.

“We all like a loud, screaming V10 or V12 but in these times it’s just not acceptable any more. I would like that Formula 1 stays current in technology with what is happening and the engine manufacturers know what it needs to be: It needs to be sustainable, adding more electric element as Toto said.

“I go with them but for me the point is we need to stay up with technology in F1 and not go back to what I like when I was young.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 18 comments on “F1 engines should be 50% hybrid by 2025 – Wolff”

    1. N/A are done people Manufacturers control the sport. Forcing N/A engines will ensure only Ferrari remain, unless they pack their bags too. As in the top level of all sports FAN opinion means absolutely nothing.

    2. Exactly right, F1 must stay ahead of road car tech. The gutless soulless v8s were an abomination. V12s were made extinct first by turbos and then by v10s, they are dinosaurs. The original plan for 2013 is what should be next engine formula, except with higher hybrid output as Toto mentioned.

      The manufacturers are BT FAR the biggest contributers to F1 and have every right to dictate the PU regs, but the PU lease costs must be capped and it should be easy for customers to switch manufacturers, as it is now with standard mounting points and crank heights. The PUs are one of the best things going in F1, the tires and the dirty aero are the real problems on track and liberty stealing half the revenue being the biggest off track problem.

      1. “Liberty stealing half the revenue”? They have invested around 6,5 billion dollar in this sport, a figure that probably exceeds most PU manufacturers contribution, and therefor have every right to dictate the revenue distribution.

      2. F1 was a lot better before Bernie sold it’s soul to the car manufacturers.
        Natural aspirated V10’s are by far the greatest engines this series has used: so much lighter than this PU crap making the cars look like boats and drive like saloons.
        Who cares about being green and road relevant and what not: it’s entertainment, not a product placement show for car manufacturers.
        Liberty, having invested around 6,5 billion US$ in this sport has every right to dictate the revenue distribution as they please.

        1. The v10s were so thirsty that the FIA had to drop the minimum weight by 50kg and allow refueling which was horrible for the on track product. The 2014 cars were lighter on the start grid then the 2013 cars and had 100hp+ more. The v10s are dead dinosaurs.

          If you think f1 would be better without Merc, Ferrari, Honda, Renault and Alfa you are clueless.

      3. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        7th June 2019, 19:47

        The V10 and especially the V8 eras are far superior to V6. F1 is not just about innovation but also Racing.

        1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou People were complaining about the racing & domination just as much in the V10/V8 era as they are in the V6 era.

          Let’s not forget that they changed the regulations a few times towards the end of the V10 era to stop Ferrari’s dominance & had to introduce gimmicks like DRS & high degredation tyres in the V8 era.

          This V6 Turbo hybrid’s are far more interesting than the boring, torque-less V8’s & more powerful than the V10’s.

          1. PeterG, in fact, it is quite amusing to go back to that era and to read what exactly people were saying in the early to mid 2000s. There are more than a few posters here who might find it a bit awkward if some of their comments from back then were brought up now, given the rank hypocrisy it would show in their attitude between how much they complained about the action on track then and how much they praise that era now.

            You can see how so many of the complaints sound so similar to today – how the introduction of the V10 engine formula had ruined the “proper engines” of the turbo era (later shifting to complaints that the V10’s had been phased out by “silly” V8s), bitter diatribes about how the sport was being ruined by the dominance of the three richest teams – Ferrari, Williams and McLaren back then – complaints that the manufacturers were becoming too dominant within the sport, how the racing was rubbish because the cars could not follow each other due to excessive aero, that the cars were too easy to drive because of the increase in downforce and driver aids and so many other complaints that will sound extremely familiar to a lot of people today.

            To pick a few examples of comments made during that era, you’ll find races that were described as “a borefest” or “a parade…hardly worth watching anymore”, people complaining that “once you know the order on Saturday, you know who’ll win the race” or how so many of the races were being won by the driver who started on pole and then drove off into the distance. Change a couple of names here and there, and there are times when you could copy and paste some of the comments made during those V8 and V10 era races into a thread today and they would pass for having been written today, so similar are most of the complaints.

            Rarely had the old diction of “the more things change, the more they stay the same” proven to be true in the attitude of many of the fans. The fans did not heap the sort of praise on the sport now that they claim they did, but derided it in much the same way they do now – they might look back on that era more fondly now, but only because they’ve forgotten about the bits they didn’t like back then.

    3. It would be good if these PU manufacturers can cooperate and work out a broad electrification roadmap for road cars firstly. E.g. similar to how EVs are standardizing on 48V (instead of the 12V we’ve had in cars for ages). They can focus on compatibility between battery packs for road cars, charging points, etc. Likewise, an amount of focus on the technology in the powertrain.

      Then they can map that towards what they want to explore and push the limits of, in F1, and use that to frame the regs. Using the example from above, decide that 2025’s F1 cars will use 48V systems. And that in turn will guide the design of regen brakes.

      So, as an argument, battery technology, energy density and charging speed are likely to be the key areas of focus. Let FOM and FIA make that an area of focus for suppliers. Get 3-4 suppliers lined up to provide battery packs, and allow teams to use packs from these suppliers. Don’t lock teams in to suppliers either, let them switch between races.

      That’ll help these suppliers engage in a battery arms race, and I see that as a win, not just for the motorsport communit, but the motoring community as well.

      And while we’re at it, as pre-race entertainment, can FOM arrange for a few hot laps from cars from the turn of the century, going all out? 5-10 laps, driven by the current drivers. I love technology, I am geeked out by it, I understand the direction we need to go, but I also just melt hearing the howl of those V12s and V10s. Heck, even the V8s.

    4. Electroball76
      7th June 2019, 18:55

      Surely the engines are already 100% hybrid?

      1. Heh, nice catch :-)

    5. Small v12 hybrid system with 600HP coming from batteries. BOOM!! Problem solved.

      1. A turbo I4 would make more power while using less fuel. What racer doesn’t want more power and less weight?

        1. Turbo I4 is a lot heavier.

          1. No it is not

    6. V12s and synthetic oil. That way F1 can lead the way in carbon-neutral turning-petrol-into-glorious-noise.

    7. And how is this going to happen on a 175m cost cap?

    8. Can’t have something everybody wants. Can only have something the big manufacturers want. F1 is all about putting road car tech into f1 cars.

    Comments are closed.