Kaltenborn against allowing older-spec F1 engines

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has urged Formula 1 chiefs not to open up the sport's engine rules to allow year-old power units to become a proper option.

As part of discussions in the F1 Strategy Group aimed at reducing costs, one idea that has been pushed for is giving teams the choice of running older specification engines at a reduced price.

However, Kaltenborn fears that such a move could open the way to a two-tier category, and be the first step towards much-feared customer cars.

"I don't think you should have an option like this,” she explained. "We are trying to get people together and not trying to create an environment where you are ending up with A and B cars.

"Of course if a team is struggling a lot they will have to go this route; as you don't want say 'I'd prefer to shut down than go down this route'. If a team has to do this for a year, why not?

"But in distorting the competition and creating a competition within the competition, it is not ideal.

"I think it could set a precedent now for other things to come in, because if you start on one thing: a B-version or lower graded things, then it could end up in other areas. And that could lead to customer cars at the end of the day.”

Despite support in the Strategy Group, any changes to the rulebook for 2016 will require unanimous support in the F1 Commission. This means Sauber alone can block the rule from happening.

Cost limit welcomed

Kaltenborn suggests that one rule change she would like to see pushed through is a cost cap on customer engine prices.

The FIA has been keen for some time for this to happen, but it is hard to see the plan getting the unanimous approval it needs in the F1 Commission once financial implications on Mercedes and Ferrari are considered.

"We have been saying this for a long time that we have reached a point with these engines that we should never have got to,” she said.

"All the while before that we have been trying to reduce the costs, and then it just hyped them up again. So something like this is definitely in the right direction.

"I am an optimistic person, but this has to go through the commission as well and we have had certain surprises there. It is encouraging what is happening, but it is yet to be seen if it will be implemented or not.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Sauber
Article type Breaking news