Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says that all Formula 1 teams will face a challenge due to the cost of the 2014 Power Units.
Next season will see the introduction of V6 Power Units, which Tost says will be ’100 per cent’ more expensive.
“I think all teams are faced with a huge challenge – both technically and economically. The 2014 car will mean a totally new Formula One. All technical philosophies of the here and now will be abandoned for something completely new,” he told The Official Formula 1 website.
“To implement that brand new power unit into the car will be an interesting story for the engineers and will mean a completely new strategy. You have a turbo engine, the much stronger ERS system unleashing something around 160 horsepower and then you have the limited fuel injection. To optimally combine these three factors will be the key to success. That is the technical side.”
“The economic side is that 2014 will be much more expensive than 2013. We think that the costs for the power train will be 100 percent more that it is now. You have to swallow that in 2014. 2015 and 2016 will hopefully see a dramatic fall in expenses, but in 2014 you have to dig deep into your pocket. Of course, Formula 1 cannot stay still – we have to be innovative all the time – and the decision to go for turbo engines with an energy recovery system and less fuel need is the future. Sooner or later we had to make this move.”
Aside from the initial financial strain, Tost is concerned that the field spread could widen next season.
“What I worry about is whether we will see as tight a field as we have now and which has produced very interesting races,” he added.
“Now we have regulations that are very tight and so technical excesses are not possible. The second reason is that the top drivers are placed at different teams: you have [Sebastian] Vettel at Red Bull Racing, [Fernando] Alonso at Ferrari, [Lewis] Hamilton at Mercedes, [Jenson] Button at McLaren and [Kimi] Raikkonen at Lotus – five drivers who have won at least one championship at five different teams. In the past we have sometimes seen that the best drivers are at the best two or three teams and that meant that only two teams qualified for the titles. The third factor is the tyres that are the same for everyone – that was also not regularly the case in the past. All these three factors have made the races so exciting.”
“Will that last in 2014? Big question mark. If one manufacturer lands a brilliant idea, then he will show it on the track and then it could happen that one or two teams are up and away. Then it is a question of how fast the other teams can catch up. But if an advantage is so deeply rooted in the power unit that you have first to find it and then study it before you can try to copy it, that can easily take months. 2014 will be massive.”