Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the new 2017 Formula 1 engine regulations are “underwhelming” and “very weak.”
Following months of negotiations, an agreement was reached on F1 engine cost, supply, performance convergence and noise. From next season, the cost of an engine supply will be reduced by 1 million euros [$1.1m] compared to this year’s prices, and that figure will drop by a further 3 million euros [$3.4m] from 2018, while manufacturers have agreed on an obligation to supply, to ensure no team is left without an engine.
With regards performance convergence, moves like the removal of development tokens have been made in a bid to close the gap between manufacturers, while there will also be a device installed to boost engine noise.
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said his team “reserves our position” when asked to comment on the regulations but Horner was happy to respond.
“I think what Bob was trying to say is it is a little underwhelming,” he said. “It’s a very soft agreement between the manufacturers and FIA. It tickles the price, deals a little bit with convergence… the obligation to supply doesn’t really apply. It’s a very weak agreement.
“Unfortunately, it’s a shame more couldn’t be done but I suppose if you look on the bright side, it’s better than nothing.”
In response, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff had a differing view and said: “I just want to digest what I have heard.
“We have achieved a major price reduction over two years, we have opened up the development scope for others to catch up. We have designed an obligation to supply so no team runs out of an engine contract.
“We have found a mechanism for how performance convergence can be triggered. There are lots of good things, lots of months of hard work, it’s a good step forward.”
Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul said it was “a relief” that a consensus had been found.
“It’s an agreement so we are pleased,” he said. “Stability is important.
“We have agreed price reduction for customers and there is also a clear target to converge, which we all believe it’s important for Formula 1. We have clear targets.
“It’s good, it’s a relief and we can makes plans for future as we know now.”