Formula 1’s 2021 engine regulations were supposed to make everything simpler, bringing more parity to the grid. Now, it seems that manufacturers are starting to push back on the idea of implementing major changes.
While the FIA hoped to have a final set of regulations by the end of last month, last minute changes led to a new suggestion in favor of the current hardware package, which includes the troublesome MGU-H.
So what’s the problem? Apparently, the lack of new entrants committed to Formula 1 in 2021. Despite automakers such as Porsche being involved in discussions regarding shaping the 2021 rules, the Stuttgart-based brand has yet to make any official decisions, just like Aston Martin.
“It’s still very much out for discussion,” stated Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff. “We had a presentation that would have meant a redesign of the engine.”
“All four currently in F1 engaged OEMs would have given their preference, with an understanding that we maybe need a bit more noise, and a discussion around fuel consumption that’s important. But just for the benefit or redesigning an engine without anybody else entering doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“So if somebody would commit to come into F1 in the way that all four of us [Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Honda] have committed ourselves, go through the lows and highs, the expenses and investments that it needs, then let’s discuss engine regulations. But if nobody’s inside, it’s an academic discussion.”
Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner also indicated that a lack of new engine manufacturers in F1 is an issue. Moreover, Honda (which supplies sister team Toro Rosso and will power RBR from next year) is keen to keep the MGU-H, something Red Bull is in favor of, as reported by Autosport.
So, anyone hoping that the F1 landscape would be completely different come 2021 can officially start getting a bit worried. Unless new automakers throw their hats in the ring in an official capacity as engine manufacturers, the FIA may simply vote in favor of the status quo.