Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Todt: F1 can't ignore current manufacturers in new engine rules

Abu Dhabi GP 2017

FIA president Jean Todt believes it would be "unfair" on Formula 1's current manufacturers if future rules overlook what they want and pander too much to potential new entrants.

Proposals for tweaks to the engine rules for 2021 have caused some controversy, with Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari all speaking out against ideas they fear will lead to a dramatic increase in costs.

Equally, rulemakers know that if they do not alter the current engine regulations there is little hope of independents such as Ilmor and Cosworth being able to join F1.

There remain hopes that both interest groups can be pleased, but Todt is clear that it would be a mistake to ignore the investment that current manufacturers have made in the turbo hybrid era in favour of companies that may not be able to afford to enter F1 anyway.

"What I feel would be unfair would be to undervalue the existing engine suppliers involved, and listen to those who may think they will come," explained Todt.

"For me, it is important in light of the existing situation to see what will be the best evolution of the engine for the future, but by respecting the investments of those who have made the investments so far."

Jean Todt

Todt was a key supporter of the move to the turbo hybrid engines, but acknowledges that the power units have not delivered in all areas.

His belief that improvements are needed over sound, costs and complexity that make an evolution of the engine rules essential for 2021.

"If you ask me what I feel about the engine, it has been one interesting exercise," he said.

"I think it is too complicated. I think it is too expensive.

"But it is probably a very good first step to go to a next generation of engine, which will be one evolution from what we have now.

"I am against starting on a completely new development of engine but I think we should take what we have understood with this engine and allow the actual manufacturers who have been investing heavily to be able to enjoy what they have been investing for the next generation of engine, and also encourage newcomers to come."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed