Two F1 manufacturers and two team bosses feel hybrid unit is the solution for the future and that the parts will only increase after 2025.
The discussion around the power units has been ongoing ever since the new V6 Hybrid machine were put in use from 2014 to go in line with the changing automotive world. While many reckon that electric is the future but F1 for now is banking on hybrid solution.
Keeping the competition aside, the manufacturers spoke about transition phase in the automotive world which means, they cannot go back into technology but only move forward where if not full electric but hybrid will be step forward.
In fact, Mercedes Toto Wolff gave away some numbers to support his statement as he feels the hybrid parts will increase after 2025, once the current cycle of the V6 is completed. The idea was for changes in 2021 but they pushed it further with no new players.
“I think that we are in the middle of a transition of technology, at least on the road car side, and as much as we, most of us, are fans of the loud, traditional engines, it not where the technology goes and where the perception on sustainability goes,” said Wolff.
“So, I believe we’ve done the right thing in keeping the regulations almost stable for the next term – because it would have caused a tremendous amount of development to come up with the new formula.
“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 per cent 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 that will have a higher hybrid component, renewable energies or electricity.
“Currently, it maybe around 20 per cent, maybe that ratios going to go to 50 per cent. As long as it’s an exciting engine – the sound is something that we need to address or at least talk about it – but I believe the hybrid component is going to increase after 2025.”
Another manufacturer, Honda’s Toyoharu Tanabe, in support of Wolff, said: “We think the a kind-of transition phase now and then we just finish discussion over the 2021 PU regulation and then we keep current concept until 2024/25.
“Then, one of the reasons, we couldn’t find any next step, green, sustainable and then high efficiency PU confirmation now. So, it means we need to discuss again and start again, what should be the pinnacle of F1 race PU technology.
“I believe the same thing as Toto. We keep a hybrid and then what we can do is improve the current principle of the current F1 PU.” Other manufacturers like Ferrari and Renault also mentioned about keeping the same hybrid regulations before.
Meanwhile, privateer teams like Haas and Toro Rosso voiced their approval for the current technology as they feel, going back in time is not the solution. In fact, Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost put up a counter-question too.
“I think currently we have a power unit which is on a very, very high technical level and, unfortunately, this has not been communicated in a way the power unit deserved,” he said. “We have a small engine, two energy recovery systems and all these components together is the technology for the future.
“It is because with this engine also in a normal street car, maybe you can do 100km with one litre, two litres of fuel, and then you come home with a filled battery. They all are talking about the electric cars, and I’m just asking where from do they get the energy? It’s not like in Formula E when 20 cars are outside on the track and behind there are 50 diesel aggregates spending their energy.
“This is nothing serious in my opinion – but the great manufacturers go to the Formula E or have built electric cars. I’m just asking where they get the energy from? I think we have, in F1, the technology for the future.
“As Toto said, maybe the hybrid part, electric part will increase to 40 per cent or even more. That’s fine, but from the technology itself, for me, this is the solution for the future.” In addition, Haas’ Guenther Steiner said: “I think we need to stay current with technology.
“I don’ t know that the technology will be in 2025. We all like a loud, screaming V10 or V12 but that is not, in this time, it is just not acceptable any more. So, I think I would like that F1 stays current in technology with what is happening.
“The engine manufacturers know what it needs to be: it needs to be sustainable, adding more electrical element, as Toto said, so, I go with them. For me, the point is, we need to stay up with technology in F1 and not go back to what I like, because I was young then.”