Mercedes receptive to relaxed engine rules

By on Friday, September 5, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says that the German manufacturer could be open to the possibility of engine rules being relaxed in a bid to aid rivals close the gap to 2014's leading team.

Mercedes has won nine of the 12 races this season and holds a commanding advantage in both championships.

Renault and Ferrari have recently called for the engine rules to be relaxed, with Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci claiming that such a move would be positive for the sport. Currently there is a freeze on engine development, unless there is an issue related to reliability, safety or cost.

The possibility of relaxing the regulations has been raised in meetings between Formula 1 teams and at Monza on Friday Wolff suggested that Mercedes could support such a move.

"Obviously we have a competitive advantage, it’s pretty clear at the moment but we would take the challenge on," said Wolff.

"I think it’s about defining what we want to do. We are twelve races into a season and we’ve had that advantage. Is it the time at the moment now to change the rules to change something? Maybe. I think the discussions we’ve had so far were pretty open.

"There are various concepts on the table and if we decide to go completely in the opposite direction and to open it up completely, we have four power units per drivers, this will increase the costs quite dramatically, not sure whether we could deliver all the same engines - all the same specification of engines to everybody, logistically it’s not feasible - so the devil lies in the detail but the discussion we are having is very open."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added that engine development should be permitted as teams are allowed to continually work on improving their own chassis.

"Obviously Toto will want to freeze the engine for the next 25 years but we need competition, we need to catch up," he said.

"I think as Marco said Formula One’s all about innovation and competition and I think that innovation and development is going on anyway but there are only certain junctures that you can introduce new technology and upgrades.

"I think with the chassis, you’re allowed to develop every race, if you start off poorly, you can develop your way out of it and I think that with the engine, all we need to consider without hopefully having a significant effect on costs is next year we’ll be allowed a power unit, perhaps more freedom to allow manufacturers to develop in order for that competition to be there to compete at the front."

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