Newey: F1 risks Mercedes/Ferrari lockdown

Formula 1 risks turning into a sport where only Mercedes and Ferrari will be able to win races if it does not embrace the idea of an independent engine, reckons Adrian Newey.

While F1's manufacturers are currently trying to put together a plan to bring costs down for power units, or risk the independent engine coming in to play, Newey is adamant about which route the sport should go down.

He is particularly worried that F1's current regulations mean only the main works teams have a chance of winning – something he thinks is damaging.

"I think the independent engine is a very good option because it allows private teams to have what should be a competitive engine for a much more reasonable cost," Newey told Motorsport.com.

"If you look back at F1's history, when it is being at its most healthy is when private teams can have access to competitive power units. The Cosworth DFV was the best example of that.

"The cost will be much more reasonable, but I think it is just as important that there is the availability of a competitive power unit."

He added: "At the moment, the customer teams of Mercedes and Ferrari are not offered the same specification as the works teams.

"So we are actually in the situation where only a works Mercedes or possibly a works Ferrari can win races or championships, which to me isn't what F1 should be."

Performance balance

One of the biggest concerns about the potential introduction of an independent engine is the difficulties of achieving a performance balance with the current V6 turbos.

But rather than be worried about that issue, Newey thinks it could actually serve to spice up F1, because it could allow for performance swings on different tracks.

"The whole idea of an independent power unit is it allows small teams to have a fully competitive power unit," he said.

"Producing a power unit which if it's not constrained by the regulations, which is fully competitive, is very easy. So it is then trying to get the balance of power right between the independent engines and the works engine.

"I think what could be exciting about that is the characteristics will be different with the independent engines. That means at some races the independent engine could have an advantage.

"At other races it will be at a disadvantage, but from a general public interest point of view, to me that evens out what you want because it means you get different winners at different races. It is unpredictable."

Interview by Darshan Chokhani

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Ferrari , Mercedes
Article type Breaking news