F1 customer engine prices set to be lowest ever - Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that customer F1 power unit supply deals are becoming cheaper, and insists that teams shouldn't complain about the prices.
Wolff suggests that prices will drop further after 2021, when a new engine formula will be introduced.
Reducing the level technology, and hence development costs, is one of the main areas of ongoing debate.
"I think by making the future engine regulations less complex the development costs of the manufacturers are going to go down," Wolff told Motorsport.com.
"The engine development costs big money, and the engine departments of all the current suppliers are loss making entities which shouldn't be the case, so we're trying to contain that.
"On the other side we have found an agreement with the FIA to reduce the prices to all engine customers over the next years to levels that are the lowest ever in F1.
"I think if you get this kind of engine at prices like $12-14m, which is what we're trying to achieve, I have no understanding for somebody that claims the engines are too expensive."
Wolff says that engine costs are now a relatively small element of a customer team's budget.
"It's five percent of the big teams' overall costs – five percent. And for the smaller teams it's between 8-10 percent. Is that acceptable for a sport that's called motorsport?
"The very opportunistic and one-sided argument of certain teams to push the engine prices further down, and on the other side to spend £200m plus on chassis development, isn't correct."
Wolff says that Mercedes is looking at the bigger picture, and not seeking to maintain its current technological advantage.
"I think we've proven in the past that we were not just opportunistic, and trying to push through regulations that fit us.
"We were against the current chassis regulations because we felt that it would become too expensive, and ultimately this is exactly what happened. But we understood that it needed a change in order to maybe shake the competitive environment up a little bit, so it was OK.
"The same applies to 2021 engine regulations. I'm very well aware that there are deficits in the current engine concept.
"Maybe we can make it less complex so that fans can really understand how engine recovery really functions.
"Maybe we can take systems off that provide too much of a differentiator between the different concepts.
"And certainly how we perceive the engines in terms of the sound is something that is close to my heart as well, because I think it is an important factor."
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