Sauber: FIA should focus on cost cuts, not alternative F1 engine

Sauber has made it clear that it is not in favour of plans for an alternative engine in Formula 1 – insisting the FIA's focus should instead be on simply reducing costs for customers.

The FIA announced at the start of this week that, in light of Ferrari's decision to veto plans for a price-limit on engines, it was considering appointing an independent supplier of a cheap power unit.

While Force India has said it supports the idea, Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes it would be a wrong route for F1 to take.

“I personally don't think it is right to have two different engines,” she explained. “I know from our past experience with a manufacturer that they would not want to be in a championship where there are two different types of engines.

“I wonder how you can technically really get any kind of equivalency in here. It is not that easy to say this is the power output and you have to have equivalency.

“If you start playing with the weight of the car, playing with the fuel flow, with refuelling, you have to look at your car from a different perspective. I don't see how this is possible, so I am not in a position to say this is something I will take up or not.”

Costs down

Kaltenborn believes the focus should instead be on finding ways for the current hybrid engines to be delivered in a more economical way to customer teams.

“You have to stop the development,” she said. “Other series do that. Look at DTM.

“It might be right or wrong, but they saw what the discrepancies between one team and the rest were, and they agreed to some kind of rule there that allowed somebody to catch up. So you have to maybe allow that and then stop all of this.

“To continue free development there is no way you can have an engine in there that is affordable, unless there is a rule that customers get an engine at this price, or like we did in the RRA, to say that is the engine price.

“If [as a manufacturer] you develop $400 million or $50 million is your problem – you don't need Sauber to do that. You will do it anyway.

“So that is I guess the only realistic way to say this is the price for a customer and the rest is up to you – do you own business model.”

When asked by that Ferrari had already vetoed that idea, she replied: “Then I don't see any other way.”

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