F1 engine deal is 'weak agreement', says
Send a link to a friend
[May 14, 2016]
By Alan Baldwin
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One's new
power unit agreement from 2017 is better than nothing but still far from
what might have been achieved, according to Red Bull team principal
Christian Horner - Red Bull Racing Team Principle Mandatory Credit:
Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic
While the four major manufacturers welcomed the guarantee of
stable rules, and highlighted efforts to reduce costs and
performance gaps, Horner sounded a discordant note at the Spanish
"It's a very soft agreement between the manufacturers and the FIA,"
he told reporters.
"It tickles the price, deals a little bit with convergence, the
obligation to supply doesn't really apply, so it's a very weak
"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."
The sport announced last month a deal to ensure all teams have
access to an engine supply, with prices cut over three years and a
move to make performance more equal.
The wording of the deal also contains what one team principal dubbed
a "Red Bull Clause" that prevents teams and their engine suppliers
from publicly denigrating each other.
Red Bull, whose engine now carries Tag Heuer branding, are still
supplied by Renault despite a falling out with the French
manufacturer last year.
The former champions tried in vain to find an alternative supplier
before patching up a relationship that appeared to have reached a
Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley, whose team use Mercedes
engines, said he would reserve judgment on the agreement.
Renault, Honda, Mercedes and Ferrari were more positive, however.
[to top of second column]
"We achieved a major price reduction over two years. We have opened
up development scope for others to catch up. We have designed an
obligation to supply so no team runs out of an engine contract,"
said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.
"We have found a mechanism how performance convergence could be
triggered. Lots of good things, many months of hard work in trying
to get everybody on the same page, I think it's a good step
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul added: "No-one can
guarantee performance... but we all know what we have to do. It's
good, it's a relief, because we know what we have to do and we can
make plans for the future."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.