Toto Wolff and Christian Horner elaborate on the power unit meeting held during F1 Austrian GP weekend, involving multiple manufacturers.
Looking the power unit changes for 2025 and or 2026, the F1 Austrian GP weekend hosted a meeting involving the superiors of the existing manufacturers in the sport – Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari – along with representative from Volkswagen’s Audi and Porsche.
While Honda is no longer into the F1 side, Red Bull were present for the discussion, with their step in courtesy the new Powertrains set-up. There were not much details out on what was discussed, with the statement only noting about fruitful and positive talks.
However, the age-old discussion of dropping the MGU-H continues on. In addition, the new power unit will have sustainable fuel in use, as well, which comes into the fore even before the proposed big regulations change of 2025/2026.
From Mercedes side, Wolff, was pleased with the initial discussions. The Austrian noted that there is no going back on the V6 hybrid power unit, but it will be far more sustainable with the new type of fuel going in. They also are looking at something which is relevant to the automotive side during that period.
“I think it was good that the big boys sat at the table and discussed their vision going forward and there seems to be good alignment between the engine manufacturers and how the regulations will look in then future,” said Wolff to written media. “The FIA has taken some homework away and between the FIA, Formula 1 and the manufacturers hopefully we will come to results that are good for the sport and represent high technology whilst keeping costs under control.
“The discussion was ‘what are we doing in the future in terms of engine’, because we want to save costs, so we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. But we also want to have an engine that is relevant from 2025 to 2030, and we can’t be old petrol heads with screaming engines when everybody expects us to be going electric.
“So these engines are still going to be fuelled. We are staying with the current V6 format, but the electric component is going to massively increase. Why we are staying with the internal combustion engine is that we believe that the fuel is going to be with us for a long time. In Europe we may have the ambitious targets of having electrical mobility as part of our daily life by 2030.
“And I can see at Mercedes how ambitious the targets are, but in the rest of the world, we will have millions of vehicles that would still run on fuel. For Mercedes cars itself, we believe that we will have several million vehicles in the world that will still run on fuels.
“So what we can contribute with our innovation is to help them to develop sustainable fuels: be it biofuels or be it synthetic fuels. Our cars will run on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2025, and this is how we will contribute to the reduction to the world’s CO2 emissions,” summed up Wolff.
From Red Bull side, Horner termed it as a constructive meeting, but stressed on FIA and F1 to find solution – much like Wolff – to have the power unit relevant enough for a longer period of time. The Brit added on the cost side, but also the ’emotions’ that go with the power unit, especially the noise factor which the V12s for known for.
“I think it was a constructive dialogue,” said Horner. “It’s important we find the right solution, both in cost and product, for the future of F1. So I think all the right stakeholders are involved in that discussion. And it’s important to work collectively for the benefit of the sport. I think you know we see that costs of the current engine are extremely prohibitive, it was not thought of when this engine was conceived.
“I think there’s a fantastic opportunity for what could arguably be the engine for 10 years when it’s introduced to do something a little bit different, and I think it’s to address the emotion, the sounds, I think, yes, of course it has to tick the sustainable boxes. But, you know, I think it still needs to be entertaining – otherwise, we should all go and do Formula E. Hopefully, the collective minds can come up with something attractive for 2025 or what would be more sensible is do the job properly for 2026,” summed up Horner.
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