The grumbling in Formula 1 hasn’t quieted down. If anything, it’s gotten louder as we approach the start of the 2018 season.
Honda’s outgoing F1 project leader Yusuke Hasegawa is the latest to sound off on the new rule restricting teams to only three engines for the entire season, calling it very tough on teams. This is a drop from four engines in 2017.
“It’s not just for us. Renault had difficulties. I don’t think it’s reasonable. From a technical point of view, it’s difficult,” Hasegawa told motorsport.com. “If we save the engine performance, it’s easy to achieve. If we use 2000 rpm lower, of course, we can finish, but there’s no point.”
Meaning teams who choose not to push their engines will likely be out of the hunt. Mercedes engine chief engineer Phil Prew says making an engine last is definitely doable, but it’s an either/or proposition in his mind.
“It’s easy to turn down a power unit and find reliability,” Prew said to motorsport.com. “We don’t want that, that’s not going to win us championships.”
FIA president Jean Todt says this was a move to control costs so that smaller teams who can’t afford to keep swapping out engines, like bigger outfits Mercedes and Ferrari can, would still be able to compete and wouldn’t be priced out.
“I don’t feel it is easy to find the right solution,” Todt said. “If you don’t do anything – it will be more expensive to buy the engines.”
With the start of the 2018 season 3 months away, Prew says teams have to accept what the rules are and figure out they’re gone to operate.
“So, we will be busy understanding our current limitations, understanding how we can continue to get more mileage out of the engines, more mileage out of the electrical hybrid systems, so that we can get through next year’s championship with the prescribed number of units, not have any penalties on the track, and deliver the level of performance we all know the engine is capable of,” Prew said.