Horner hits out at "nuts" 2018 engine rules

Published on 11 Jan 2018 13:25

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has lashed out at Formula 1's engine rules for the 2018 season, claiming that the world championship may be decided on engine penalties. While drivers were allowed use four power units throughout 2017, that figure drops to three for the upcoming season.

Some components of the engine will be cut to just two units for the whole of the year. Throughout 2017, many fans complained about engine penalties, especially when it affected front-running drivers. The McLaren pair of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were the worst affected, picking up nearly 400 grid penalties due to an unreliable Honda unit.

 Horner believes that there will even more penalties during the upcoming season, and says it could play a major role in the fight for the title: "There will be plenty of grid penalties in 2018. What you'd hate to see is a championship decided on grid penalties. Getting to the point with three engines in 21 races, it is nuts really.

"Contrary to whatever Toto [Wolff] says, his non-executive chairman [Niki Lauda] was arguing for four engines earlier in the year because it is a false economy. Those engines go on a world tour, they are here anyway, and for more races, less engines, it as I say a false economy, and it would be horrible to see a championship decided on engine penalties."

Instead of reducing the number of components allowed throughout the year, Horner believes that it should be raised to five. 2018 will see a 21-race calendar and the Brit would prefer to see more engine components allowed, as was the case in 2016.

"You're still burning these engines up on the dyno, but the reality is it doesn't save any money," Horner told Channel 4. "These grid penalties, I don't think anybody particularly likes seeing them to the extent that they're happening at the moment.

"We want to see the guys out on the track. Obviously don't throw caution to the wind with costs, but for me five engines for a 21-race championship would be a more sensible and logical number," he concluded.


Fergal Walsh

Replies (13)
Posts: 140
More durable engine=higher unit price. Simple economics for any product. Specially for F1 PU because engineers have to extract maximum performance. In simple terms that means total engine costs will start to raise at some point when reducing number of allowed engines. It would be really interesting to see approximate costs model for F1 PU to know about when reducing number of PUs starts to increase costs.

But I suspect that 3 engines is still enough units to keep total costs reducing still. If it wasn't expected to reduce the total costs I would suspect someone would be already shouting about it to the press.
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 12:390
Posts: 5888
The problem is that we didnt see a significantly lower total component consumption in 2017 compared to 2016, despite the reduced amount of allowed allocations, and it wouldnt surprise me if the trend continues during 2018.
Posts: 339
I think it will be costing a significant amount more to build-in more reliability without loss of or even increasing performance. F1 already employs World leading materials and manufacturing technology so to push the boundaries further will cost thousands of man hours of research and testing and new capital manufacturing equipment. It’s not hard to spend millions £/€/$’s to develop uniquely engineered components that competition don’t have.
Posts: 339
I’m definitely with Horner on this. Last season only the top two or three were largely unaffected.
DK RenaultFM1 12 Jan 2018 05:060
Posts: 100
I think Haas and Williams did not have any issues as well. Horner just crying out because he knows that Renault not able deliver yet.
Posts: 572
For it to limit cost, which I thought was the reason for the limiting the number of components used, they should be out of the season when the limit is hit, not given place penalties,just out ! How is using eight engines and getting grid penalties limiting costs ?
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 12:43+1
Posts: 5888
Thats sorta my concern about the current regulations too. It just doesnt make sense if costs not only remain the same, but income decrease due to grid penalties and thus potentially lower amount of scored points.
Posts: 625
But the question is: who pays for the failed engines? The supplier or the contractor?
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 12:450
Posts: 5888
A good question, and I've been wondering about that myself. I personally think the contractor is the paying party, but even if they arent, they will be the ones suffering financially from a failing unit due to lost points scoring chances.
Posts: 1
Surely it should be the manufacturers championship points that are targeted instead of grid positions?
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 16:280
Posts: 5888
Its a nice idea, as long as it doesnt harm the drivers. In a sense, I think it should harm the suppliers rather than the teams, but I dont think that'll ever happen.
US mcbhargav 12 Jan 2018 18:140
Posts: 794
After 4 seasons with an Engine formula, its logical to use 4 Engines for the season. If they can't achieve reliability after 4 full seasons, it's not F1 management's or FIA's problem.
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 21:31+1
Posts: 5888
But who does it affect ultimately, aside from the teams? Yup, us. Fewer parts means more engine saving, more engine saving means less legit racing, which in turn doesnt exactly help the show.

        Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Local time
Give your opinion!
Which rookie do you think will impress the most in 2019?

Driver profile
Name BE Stoffel Vandoorne
Active As McLaren Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Mar 26 1992 (26)
Weight 65 kg
Length 1.77m
City Roeselare
42,786 comments on Vandoorne
26 members have this driver as their favourite
Tweets about Stoffel Vandoorne
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Location AE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Website Website
Team profile
Name GB McLaren
Founding date Jan 1 1963
227,030 comments on McLaren
98 members have this team as their favourite
Website http://www.mclaren.com
Location Woking
Tweets about McLaren
Formula 1 Calendar
Previous Grand Prix: 25 November 2018
AE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi