Having conceded there is little chance of the engine freeze being lifted, Christian Horner says he would welcome simpler, cheaper engines in the future.
This season, Formula 1’s first under the new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines, has proven to be problematic for Red Bull and their engine supplier Renault.
Not only has the French engine manufacturer struggled with reliability but their unit has also fallen short in terms of performance compared to the front-running Mercedes.
And although little is expected to change ahead of next year’s Championship given the freeze on development, Horner says he would welcome a complete overhaul of the regulations in the future.
The Red Bull team boss feels the current engines are too complicated and too expensive.
“If you roll back the clock for when this engine was thought about, you go back to Max (Mosley’s) rule, we’re talking about a four cylinder engine and it was quite different. Those regulations were given to engineers, engineers then discussed them and there was a compromise sought because a four cylinder was felt to be wrong for Formula One.
“The four cylinder at the time was supposed to bring in more manufacturers into Formula One and the compromise was to go to a V6. And then, unfortunately when a bunch of engine engineers are left on their own to come up with a set of regulations, they’ve come up with something tremendously complicated and tremendously expensive.
“The engines that we have today are incredible bits of machinery, incredible bits of engineering but the cost to the collective manufacturers has probably been close to a billion euros in developing these engines, and then the burden of costs has been passed on, unfortunately, to the customer teams.
“Unfortunately, I think we have to recognise what’s been done from an engineering point of view and now look to simplify things, potentially retaining the V6 philosophy, perhaps going to a twin turbo that would address the sound issues that we’ve had this year and maybe even a standard energy recovery system would dramatically reduce the costs, dramatically reduce development and therefore the supply price to the customer teams also.
“So I think that’s something that the strategy group need to discuss and look at.”