Toto Wolff speaks out on Formula 1 engines


Making Formula 1 engines sound better must play an “essential” part in discussions to frame new power unit regulations from 2021, says Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
The FIA has already opened talks with car makers about plans for new engine rules after 2020, with the sport committed to running the current turbo hybrid V6s until then.
One of the biggest complaints from fans about the new engines that were introduced in 2014 is that they are not loud enough, and it’s an issue that has even prompted support for a return to V8s in the future.
For Toto Wolff, a move to old engine technology in the future is not something he is keen to see, but he does acknowledge that making F1 cars sound louder is something that that the sport should try to make happen.
“Why do people say ‘rev the engine and go, go go’?” said Wolff. “With everything going hybrid on the road, going efficient, and going autonomous, watching racing cars is still an audio-visual exercise.
“You can see the cars going fast, but the sound is very important. It gives us the perception of power and speed.
“I think maybe with the current generation of engines we have forgotten to take care about this point.
“Having said that, I don’t think it is completely bad. But with 2020, when we do the new engines, quality of sound should be an essential part. It is very important.”
Independent supplier
Wolff thinks that F1’s engine situation is in quite good health, with four manufacturers currently involved in supplying the grid.
However, he acknowledges that it would be positive if an independent supplier could be found to come into F1, although that will need an early commitment to frame the rules for 2021.
“We are having a situation in F1 of having four major car constructors that are supplying engines,” said Toto Wolff.
“You can choose from the best sportscar producer in the world, Ferrari ; the best global road brands, Honda, Renault, and probably the number one premium brand Mercedes – of course!
“That is a situation that didn’t exist in many eras of F1, that we have four possible suppliers, so if we can find a formula that allows an independent engine supplier to enter F1 after 2020 that is good.
“Will an independent engine supplier ever be competitive against OEM structures that have invested billions over the years to be where they are? I am not sure.
“But I think if we create a new formula early enough, it will allow independent engine suppliers to look at the concept, and if they find sponsors or investors then this can be a formula that works.
“I am 110 percent convinced that F1 needs to be a technology formula – that bolting in an eight -cylinder naturally aspirated engine is not the way we should go because F1 would lose its DNA. It needs to be the most powerful, the fastest possible engine and where the best technology goes.”

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