Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions that manufacturers could be forced out of Formula 1 over engine rules.
Amid a push by Red Bull to change the power units for 2016 – with proposals for twin turbos and standard energy recovery systems having been put forward – there has been speculation that not all the current car makers may stick around.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested that Renault could turn its back if costs are not brought under control, while Mercedes is unlikely to remain if F1 abandons the current hybrid power units. But Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff insists the situation is not as dramatic as has been made out, and says that all the manufacturers involved are F1 are fully behind the current V6 turbo engines.
When asked about statements from Horner saying F1 should not be afraid of Mercedes quitting if the rules are changed, Wolff said: “They are interesting comments, but probably the whole story has been turned around a little bit What we have said is that Formula 1 needs long-term stability and that the constructors in Formula 1, Renault, Honda and Mercedes, decided to enter Formula 1 based on a set of rules. And all of the constructors, including Ferrari, share that vision, share that view. So he [Horner] is probably speaking about his team and not Renault.”
Wolff says that every indication he has from Red Bull’s engine supplier Renault is that the French company is happy with the current engine format, even though it would like freeze restrictions relaxed. He added that discussions with Ferrari earlier this week at the Strategy Group pointed to the Italian manufacturer being equally behind the V6 hybrid engines.
“I think Ferrari is very committed to the current engine format, and it’s clear for all of us that short term we shouldn’t be erratic,” he said. “We shouldn’t take any decisions that will destabilize Formula 1 and destabilise potential new entries such as Honda or others.
“We need to look at the long-term perspective and how we can optimize the sport. There were some very sensible discussions, very refreshing and direct views from Ferrari, and the meeting made all the sense in the world.”