Bernie Ecclestone sounds unconvinced after F1’s engine manufacturers recently agreed a change of direction for the future.
The F1 supremo had warned that unless significant changes to the controversial current regulations were agreed, he would press ahead with his contentious earlier plans for ‘parallel’ engine rules.
What the manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – reportedly came up with was a plan to standardise certain parts so that their asking price for customers came down to EUR 12 million per year.
But Ecclestone suggested to the BBC that he is still not happy.
“Until we get an engine that can be build at a lot less cost, yes, there will be trouble ahead,” the 85-year-old Briton warned.
According to Red Bull designer Adrian Newey, the obvious solution is for the competitive marques like Mercedes and Ferrari to make important concessions for the good of the sport.
Recalling 1967, when the original Lotus team had exclusive use of the impressive Cosworth engine, Newey said: “Lotus agreed to waive its exclusivity to allow others to use it for the good of the sport.
“Unfortunately, that sort of attitude doesn’t seem to exist anymore,” he told The Hindu newspaper whilst in India to support his son Harrison at a race.
Newey is therefore expecting Red Bull to endure another painful season in 2016.
“Our hope for 2016 is to just maintain that gap (of 2015) but with Ferrari and Mercedes expected to step up, towards the end of the year we might be further behind than we were last year,” he said.
He said that is because F1’s new engine-dominated era is fundamentally different to when Red Bull ruled the sport with its aerodynamic superiority.
“With aero and chassis it is out on view, people can see designs, understand and copy,” said Newey. “But with the engine formula you can’t see your competitor’s engine.
“Ferrari improved from 2014 to 2015 but it cost a lot and needed people (to move) from Mercedes.”