US Grand Prix
Analysis: Why is Aston Martin taking title sponsorship of Red Bull Racing F1 team?
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Sep 2017   |  11:08 am GMT  |  230 comments

Today Red Bull Racing has confirmed the rumours circulating in the Singapore GP paddock, that from 2018 onwards it will be known as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

The dynamics of this are based around title sponsorship, rather than engine manufacturing or branding and the team’s chassis are not going to be known as Aston Martins.

In that sense this is a very similar deal to the one Red Bull had with another luxury car maker, Infiniti, during its dominant years from 2011-13.

That deal ended when Renault started its own F1 team and Red Bull lost its status as the works engined outfit.

One key difference is that most people who follow F1 will already know what Aston Martin is, whereas with Infiniti there were many who still didn’t know what the product was after several years of being prominent on Sebastian Vettel’s championship winning cars.

The comparisons with the Infiniti partnership are even more valid, when you consider that Christian Horner has done both deals with the same man; Andy Palmer was CEO of Infiniti and is today CEO of Aston Martin.
“We are enjoying the global brand awareness that a revitalised Formula One provides, ” noted Palmer. Title partnership is the next logical step for our Innovation Partnership with Red Bull Racing.”

The story that Aston Martin wants to tell here is one of innovation and technology. The company will embed engineers in the Red Bull campus in Milton Keynes, which is only half an hour’s drive from the Aston Martin base and the partnership will also work on more projects like the Aston Martin Valkyrie supercar, a limited run of 15 cars at $2.6 million apiece that was snapped up by buyers. The car is made to measure around its owner’s size.

The Valkyrie is Aston’s 1,000 horsepower V12-powered rival to the Mercedes-AMG Project One, which was announced recently and which shows a new trend for limited edition F1 inspired supercars, priced in the millions of dollars, which sell to the super rich.

The halo effect of pairing Aston’s engineers and designers with Adrian Newey and his staff is clearly a compelling proposition for the Aston Martin management and it’s giving some sheen to the road car brand in the eyes of buyers.

The two companies claim that a combined 110 new jobs will be created to work on new supercar projects together at a new Advanced Performance Centre in Milton Keynes.

There’s only one problem : the engine
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 team has a serious problem to deal with in the short term, which is to find a competitive engine. It will lose its supply of Renault units from the end of 2018 and although it is testing out the works Honda engines in the Toro Rosso next season (above), few hold out much hope that this will be the silver bullet that ends Red Bull’s weakness in this area.

All the noises from sources with knowledge of the Honda F1 project suggest that the fixes necessary to change the management culture and make that engine competitive are not in place and there is little sign of that changing. Another difficult year is in prospect for 2018 and it would take a massive leap of faith – or the ability for Red Bull and its proxies (like Mario Illien) to directly intervene in the programme in the next 12 months – to make it a viable bet for the main Red Bull team in 2019.

The discussions around future F1 engine technology continue, driven by Ross Brawn and his team, but the latest noises are that the manufacturers seem to be pushing for the continuation of the MGU-H component of the hybrid system, which is the costly and complex element.

Pamler has stopped short of getting involved on the engine building side, as Aston is tiny in comparison with Mercedes and even Ferrari, but did note rather optimistically, “The power unit discussions (in Formula One) are of interest to us, but only if the circumstances are right.

“We are not about to enter an engine war with no restrictions in cost or dynamometer hours but we believe that if the FIA can create the right environment we would be interested in getting involved.”

The power unit has always been the weak point of the Red Bull Racing proposition and between now and 2020 (ie three seasons) that will continue to be the case. It is of concern to the team’s star drivers, Daniel Riccardo and Max Verstappen, both of whom urgently want to win.

From 2021 onwards, there should be some form of independent engine maker, like Cosworth, able to supply competitive engines at competitive prices. It is one of the key pillars of the F1 plan Ross Brawn is trying to develop with the FIA rule makers and manufacturers.

As for Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz, he is frustrated by this hybrid Power Unit era of F1, by its cost and what he considers its divisiveness and lack of entertainment value. His investment in Red Bull Racing has had to increase with the loss of prize money and the Infiniti money (from 2014 onwards); estimates put it at a net spend to Red Bull of around $40m a year now, compared to $10m in 2013.

So you can see why there was pressure from the top to bring in a title sponsor to get that net spend down.

If he ends up with an uncompetitive Honda engine in 2019 and the new rules from 2021 don’t move the engine formula in what he considers the right direction, one can imagine him thinking of packing in F1. He has threatened it in the past, but if his key indicators are all in the wrong direction maybe this time he would quit.

Against that is the growth of the F1 business under Liberty Media. If there is more coming back in revenues, costs are brought under control so the net spend is minimised and the Red Bull brand is reaching more and younger audiences, then the decision to leave becomes harder.

What do you think? Leave your comments about the Red Bull partnership with Aston Martin the section below

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James apparently one of the theories of Honda going in with STR is that Honda may want eventually buy Dietrich out and make STR into Honda racing possibly as early as 2019. Is that true?


Not a bad idea, instead of paying 100 mill to a team like McLaren. Might even get back some prize money and sponsorship money.


Wouldn't at all surprise me, STR has been for sale for a while buy nobody has bought it - if Honda magically produced an amazing engine and brought their F1 reputation back up then I could see them forming a proper Honda team again.


OOh just think if they used maclaren as a test bed just to get feet wet at maclarens expense.........


Well at least the drivers wouldn't bag the engine over the radio!
It's good to be the boss


I don't understand how Aston Martin sponsorship gels with any current engine manufacturers other than Mercedes (since Mercedes supply some of the engines and electronics to Aston Martin for their road cars) and weirdly Renault as they seem willing to have their name rebranded as a Tag Heuer.

I don't know if another engine manufacturer would be willing to either associate/muddle its brand with Aston's or vice versa (does Aston really want to be associate with Honda for instance?) I would also imagine most engine manufacturers would want their name on the car somewhere.

Not a dig at James but I was hoping for a bit more in depth analysis on the above and information on the Tag Heuer relationship in 2018 compared to other sources.

I suspect Aston won't be joining as an engine manufacturer as they don't have the money even for a reduced cost formula. So Is this just a better deal than the Tag Heuer one? Is it a short term mutually beneficial marketing exercise that is planned to end when Red Bull figure out their next engine supplier (unless that supplier is Mercedes)? Is this an attempt to make themselves attractive to Mercedes for an engine supply deal?


"(unless that supplier is Mercedes)? Is this an attempt to make themselves attractive to Mercedes for an engine supply deal?"

I doubt it unfortunately. Mercedes and Ferrari have found themselves in a gloriously un-competitive situation where it is all but impossible to win on merit without one of their motors in the back.

Why would they want to allow for a fair fight with other teams?

Hopefully Liberty will have the balls to create a level playing field in the sense of engines and revenue distribution particularly.

But there are several years of mediocrity ahead of us before that point.


Ford Cosworth ring a bell? Perhaps Aston Martin Cosworth or Aston Martin Judd possibly.


If anything I'd almost see the potential of an opposite situation... with Honda looking to pull out next year, and Aston Martin buying out Honda's F1 investment. Then leveraging Illien to fix it. Eventually expanding this new AM racing engine program to re-enter LMP1 with a proper hybrid unit.


RXtreme8 I don't see Honda pulling out at the end of next season.


AM don't have the funds for that. The number is years they have been profitable can be counted on 1 hand. Good sales figures, but spare cash to do what you think, I doubt.


How could we have not thought of this?

Aston Martin Valkyrie vs. Project One

Which one is faster?

Which one wins a heads up 10 lap race at Spa?


Which one has a floor?


The faster one is usually made last. I bet it will be Aston. Then Koenesegggunbergelll will be faster still.


I was under the impression that nobody was interested in pointless ten lap races, that quarter mile times were the only performance measure of interest?! Btw, how did the Viper ACR get on at the ring? Did the V10 monster trounce the puny hybrids as you predicted?


No. It was a private effort with a manual shifting car. They hit challenges and an accident. They felt time was left on the track and their resources were limited.


Forget Spa, head instead to Jenson Button's West Country, and the fantastic fast sweepers of the Castle Combe circuit (just up the road from Frome), or the amazing Anglesey circuit in Wales, the superb 2.2 mile circuit on the holy island of Mona which is cross between Brands Hatch and Estoril. As is typical in Wales, the scenery is amazing with the brooking hulk of Mount Snowdon in the background with the clear but gnarly waters of the Celtic Sea framing the circuit backdrop.

I can't believe the BTCC, which is supposed to be the "British" Touring Car championship doesn't visit the Celtic south-western horn of the UK- they have 2 of the best circuits in the UK, if not Europe.


The Aston comes with tyre warming blankets as standard and the steering wheel is detachable. Unfortunately from next year it will also be fitted with a halo.


Has anyone clued in that this Aston with V12 and KERS and over 1100HP and $2.6M a piece, even if you could only use it one time at a Grand Prix and then discard it completely, means 110m annual team car budget for 2 cars, 21 GPs? I bet you unit cost goes down if all teams use it and production increases.

And of course you don't have to discard it at all, if anything, you replace some stuff. Compare that to the 300m budget to run 2 cars with only 4 900HP or so engines per car and tell me this is necessary or adds value or most importantly, that it makes the driver competition better.


If Red Bull were to pull out I am sure another brand or manufacturer would step in. The infrastructure and personnel at that team is so strong, it would be a very attractive proposition - assuming they could retain most of the key talent of course.


Red Bull have only themselves to blame where they are on the engine side. Been hashed to death before, they should have treated Renault with respect in public , and kept the acrimonious stuff private.

Aston as a sponsor is welcome, and I hope they can do an engine in the new regulations, but very much doubt it with their financial clout.

If the manufacturers want to retain a MGU-H then standardise them along with the turbos, MGH-K, and all electronics. Tender a non own external supplier for them for first three years, and during that period allow manufacturers to develop new systems for trial on a standard control engine - most efficient system wins next tender that has a capped cost.

Will F1 technology trickle down to road cars on the engine side? I really don’t care as long as the racing is good. Regulations will force manufacturers to be better anyway without F1. Give us our racing back please Liberty, standardise most of the hidden parts for cost reasons, reign in the aero, make them loud and angry, and let the drivers make a bigger difference.


Strongly disagree PaulD.
Redbull are not to blame for Renaults performance. Evidenced by Renault not being able to improve performance, even under their own banner.
The acrimonious stuff was done behind closed doors for a long while before it went public, in the same way it was with McLaren and Honda. If your product is s**t, it's NOT the customers fault!
As for the notion that no other manufacturers would want to deal with RB, for fear of being verbaled in public -the only 2 manufacturers are Ferrari and MB, and there is only one reason they have not signed up with RB...fear of competition. Any other reason is just disingenuous on their part.


@LKFE: I don't think PaulD is saying that Red Bull are to blame for Renault's performance. He's saying that Red Bull are to blame for being dumped by Renault and having to switch to an even worse engine supplier.


@ LKFE...Your post echoes my sentiments 100%.


If Red Bull could wind the clock back and do it all again - do you think they would do things differently ?


@ C63 No. Why should they?


Am I supposed to be replying to this - perhaps you'd be kind enough to clarify?


C, From a results perspective, it's hard to say. But the "continue to do nothing approach" wasn't an option. They had offered technical help and taken other measures in the background -at some stage enough had to be enough.
If RB has continued the white glove treatment toward Renault, i still think Renault would have made the same decision RE 2019, as i think they were always going to want to focus on the works outfit.

In some ways both parties can't have their cake and eat it....Renault wanted more recognition when RB were winning their championships, but weren't prepared to put the investment in as a full works/chassis manufacturer...and now RB, as a non-manufacturer team can't dictate terms to their engine supplier.


If Renault could wind the clock back and do it all again - do you think they'd do it differently?

This story that "no one wants to work with RB because blah blah blah" is such nonsense, especially in the context of McLaren just signing with Renault.

If Renault were so butt-hurt by the "slagging" they received from RB, why the hell would they sign with McLaren? What the [mod] do you think Alonso is going to say on the radio next year if he has Verstappen like reliability, or is double digits slower on the straights than Merc and Ferrari powered cars??

Compared to what McLaren has done to Honda in terms of "public embarrassment", RB went extra light on Renault.

Truth of the matter though, in both cases, Renault and Honda have no one to blame but themselves. Not enough effort, too much pride, not being clever enough (ie not finding enough loopholes), whatever the case may be, both companies have simply not been good enough. And ultimately, the one's who have payed the biggest price for the failure of these two companies is us, the fans, who get to watch excellent drivers like Alonso, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Button, and Van Doorne take up the role of backmarkers and grid fillers.


You say it's nonsense, yet the reality is is just that . Even if it's not true, Red Bull handed their opposition a perfect excuse with all the public slagging. As for Alonso - does anyone listen to his moaning anymore? For me it's just background noise - he's been doing it for so long I don't even 'hear' it any more.


I can understand his radio rants must be annoying to Honda but they have failed miserably. His driving the last 3 years though has been very good. No one can complain about that.


His driving the last 3 years though has been very good

That's certainly what Alonso tells everyone....


That is what is so odd about Alonso. Pundits, commentators, and fans can see his performances for McLaren, where he has got performances out that car that few other drivers would have done. And yet if they were asked in private or sometimes even in public about the possibility of him driving for them, they would universally no. So bloody good, and yet so destructive when in a team environment. This is enigma of Fernando Alonso.


Couldn't agree more



Remember that only guys making MGU-H MGU-K and all electronics that fit F1 purpose are the 4 manufacturers. No one new will make it to neutralize things. Meaning, if you chose one for all, you still give that one an advantage as they can engineer advantages or software for their unit that will only work for them on this hardware.

There can be no chance left, and for that reason this hybrid stuff has to go! Back to manually deployed KERS - where the driver deploys the energy store, not software/automation. And where a non-varlaible capture happens under all braking application. Very basic, simple, light, 8 seconds only or whatever it was. No more this fully automatic engine mode crap.


yep race lap records are not always the overal fastest lap. that being said sebee. without refuelling, it's a bit of a challenge to find that window of fresh tyres and low fuel with a well rubbered in track to attempt those lap records. you know that, the fia know that and the pundits have been instructed to focus on the overall fastest laps rather than race lap records. so they are following those instructions and doing exceptionally.


what have you been watching for the past 4 seasons? hybrid cars don't half go around those circuits! smashing lap record after lap record. they have already been around those circuits. what do you mean by 'have to go'?


Thanks aveli, for reminding us that people really don't know what a lap records is and whatever it is that F1 is allowing on Saturdays is confusing people on facts.

As a reminder: Lap records are set on Sundays, during the race.


Red Bull have only themselves to blame where they are on the engine side. Been hashed to death before, they should have treated Renault with respect in public , and kept the acrimonious stuff private.

would this have made the engines any faster? same thing with mclaren they did the same thing for three years until now when they lost patience with honda and have gone sideways. There's no recipe for a fix here. Being polite doesn't solve anything.


I'm going to ask you - how has RBR been to blame?

They were a WDC winning team and then Renault deliver this PU to them. What has the Renault PU achieved, outside of that RBR achieved?

RBR are also the Renault team to win any races in PU era. You don't see Renault getting it done, and I'm going to be honest with you - I don't think Renault will win after RBR aren't using their engines. Without someone like Briatore at the helm to push the edge, I don't think they can. Even now, they have to jump over Mercedes and Ferrari to get a chance.

Every success Renault has seen has been because RBR pushes rules to the edge of legality, maybe beyond. Renault won't risk that. Therefore they won't win. Good PU won't be enough.


manufacturers seem to be pushing for the continuation of the MGU-H component of the hybrid system, which is the costly and complex element.

This is interesting, because one of the key features of this PU system is automation of what are normally driver inputs like acceleration, braking, braking bias, regeneration, etc. Meaning manufacturers are taking control of the inputs away from driver, something I bet most fans don't know is even happening. I actually wonder if that's more important to manufactures in F1 at this point than the hybrid marketing agenda. Or maybe it's just a sweet bonus to have that control of the car and not put you program's outcome in one guy's hands out there, in addition to marketing greenness.

If manufacturers are still pushing for this, I bet you some of them are saying they will offer the system as a sellable component others can incorporate on their engine. The problem of course is that only the manufacturer will be able to optimize their system and once again we'll have this gap between haves and have nots or manufacturers and customers. I hope F1 don't fall for that one the way they fell for lower costs of PUs....thanks to fewer engines and as a result more of these penalties.

This 2021 engine negotiation must eliminate self interest, conflict of interest and locking in advantages. We need a more competitive grid. Waiting 3 years for it is already too long. Do what's best for F1 and fans Ross, not manufacturers. They won't like it, but it's all too much in their grip now.


Here is a thought or maybe what to me seems like an obvious question. Why are Ferrari and Mercedes allowed by the FIA, whose championship they compete in, to refuse to supply any team? The root of so many of f1's lack of competition problems stems from this fact. I would have thought this is the most obvious terms the FIA should insist on. If you supply power units within our championship, you must, not can, but must, supply anyone in the championship. If the maximum number of teams each supplier can supply has been reached, a drawing of lots in public could be done. As a sop to the supplier, 1 year notice, to allow for an increase in capacity should be given. Surely that would work wouldn't it? Seems like common sense to me, but, Bernie was here before so .............................


"manufacturers seem to be pushing for the continuation of the MGU-H" ... well they would say that wouldn't they. It's called a barrier to entry.

Just another reason why the current manufacturers should have absolutely no input into the regulations. Look where that process has got us now... doing it again and expecting a different result is insanity - AE.

Talk to the manufacturers that aren't in F1 and ask them why not... that's the starting point for new regs.


Weren't Renault the engine manufacturer most in favour of this hybrid technology?

And I can see us in 2021 when new engine rules come into force having a similar debate once again as one manufacturer simply does a better job.


Self driving cars are just a matter of time. So who cares if F1 is relevant to passenger cars as long as it's high tech compared to any other racing.

The only thing like that in F1 is energy recovery from the turbo and that will only go into super cars.

If everyone wants to keep the v6s just standardise as many components possible or better yet get rid of batteries and increase fuel flow and rpms. Make the sidewalls of the tires thinner by using bigger rims. In other words make them lighter and look cooler. The rear wing looks cool now. The shark fin is probably OK. Those antennas behind them look terrible. The size but not the width of the tires look bad and have too much unsprung weight.


Sebee, driver throttle inputs are no more automated than they were in the V8 era, and less so than with V10s. Brake bias is still controlled by the driver, as is braking.


How was throttle automated in V10 era? I remember drivers dialing down on their steering wheel the RPM red line and I definitely remember Schumi reaching on the right to change his brake bias as he went through the lap.

I also remeber drivers manually deploy KERS with V8s, something that's completely automated in PUs.

So what do you mean exactly?


Dude (TimW), seriously, we all heard Honda chief guy confirm at Spa that the system depends on cues for track location of car like braking sequence to deploy ERS automatically at certain sections, or activate regeneration, which can and does impact brake bias. Engine modes deploy these features differently and tell drivers when to shift with lights which aren't at all a fixed gauge of engine RPM. Drivers don't decide shift points anymore.

I'm not saying this is the first time it has happened but it's worse it has ever been. For you to argue that it shouldn't be an issue because this same problem existed before is so flawed I don't even know how someone with your level of intelligence can argue such a thing. It's beneath you as an argument point. You can do better. And so can Formula 1.


Sebee, Afraid to say TimW was right, in the glorious, rose tinted days of the V10s there was not a fixed input/output correlation between the throttle pedal and throttle, which got to the point of "simulating" traction control when it was banned, this along with other hidden features led to first the legalisation of full auto boxes and traction control and ultimately the McLaren control spec ECM which can be read by the FIA with no hidden code.


Sebee, even if all your claims are true, so what? When you are sitting on your sofa (or treadmill) watching two cars racing, why would any of that stuff matter?


Why have some rules banning technology from taking away the drivers input. Eg ABS, launch control, traction control, pit to driver radio messages etc. But then allow AI to decide when to deploy KERS?

There's got to be a middle ground between what we have today and the Senna era of a gear lever on the side of the cockpit and That highlights the skill of the driver. If you want RoboRace watch FE.


Because I want to watch the drivers competing, not software programmers.


Sebee. That's exactly what you are seeing! Are you seriously trying to tell me that when you see two drivers going at it, the first thing that crosses your mind is "if only their shift lights were a fixed gauge of engine rpm"?! None of that matters, the drivers have a throttle pedal, a steering wheel and a brake pedal, all under their control, just as they have always done.


No TimW.

You see, we watch Formula 1 because we want to see driver excellence. We want men who are able to do extraordinary things with cars. More and more the skills needed to do extraordinary things is going away, and the result is that it doesn't take extraordinary drivers to drive Formula 1 cars at all. Pick a line, shift when the lights tell you, press the throttle, the system will do the rest.

That means Formula 1 becomes easy.

Now I totally understand that we could have another discussion about the fact that all these driver aids that make regular guy get into a Project One and get all of the performance in the car out of it should not be withheld from Formula 1 drivers. But then again, what are we watching? If the challenge is not made difficult somehow, what's exciting about Formula 1? What's special about these drivers we're watching? Aren't they supposed to be able to do magical things with a steering wheel?

And that's what it comes down to really - Formula 1 has to be a challenge, first and foremost featuring driver skill, not automation. Yeah, you could do it automatically, or even without a human, but that's not what we want. They have those pedals, but those pedals do special things now, certainly both the throttle, the brake, and who knows...perhaps even the steering does something.

If you think this ERS isn't deployed in a traction control like manner, think again. If you think the braking isn't regenerating in a ABS like manner as well, think again. Sure, it may not be a fully ABS system, but it has ABS like capabilities without doubt. This is why MotoGP is highlighted here frequently as more exciting. The machine there is an extension of the human, and significant human skill matters immensely. In Formula 1, the necessary human skill is being eroded continuously. And for what? In the name of technology?


Sebee, you just described the V10 era. Michael used to turn in, wait until he passed the apex and then floor the throttle. This would send a request to the ecu for 100% power which the ecu would then deliver, until it sensed any wheelspin at which point it would reduce the amount of throttle before repeating the whole process again and again many times a second until traction was achieved. If Lewis or Seb tried that trick now, they would be traveling backwards off the circuit at a great rate of knots. You keep banging on about ers, so what? Its 160 bhp out of over a thousand! Every single one of the 800+ horses the engine produces, the drivers control themselves. Ers regeneration happens on the back axle only, who stops the front wheels locking? That's right, the driver. You have decided F1 cars need no special skills, you have decided it is easy now, but you are wrong. Nobody who has driven these cars thinks they are easy to drive, those lap times and cornering speeds are not easy to achieve. You may have decided you don't like F1 anymore Sebee, and that's fine, but you dont get to make stuff up to try and convince everyone else that they are wrong to still enjoy it. Your constant, never ending negativity on this subject is boring in the extreme, but you are entitled to bang on untill doomsday if you want, but when you start inventing facts to prove your point, that is not ok.


We want to watch two DRIVERS racing!!!!!

If you want to watch two cars racing, go talk to de Grassi about that Robo Race thingy.


Twitch, see my reply to Sebee, two drivers racing is exactly what you are seeing. If you are determined to believe every half truth, rumour and flat out lie that gets propagated on this site that tells you these cars are so terrible, then we are right back to the "what the hell are you doing here" question. The driver is in control, he hits the gas, huge power is delivered to the rear wheels unfiltered, he turns the wheel and presses the brake in exactly the same way that they always have before, they are driving those beasts, despite what some unendingly negative people would have you believe.


What rumour or half lie?

Honda's own chief confirmed that things are deployed automatically, and drivers confuse the system by not being robotic in their inputs.

Next thing you know, drivers like Alonso, Kimi, Lewis, Rosberg don't know what the car is doing. They are pressing the gas and the car is doing something unintended, which confuses the drivers. You want a better illustration of drivers not driving? Imagine not doing what the drivers ask of them.


Sebee, like when Michael used to ask the car for permission to get full throttle?


Meaning manufacturers are taking control of the inputs away from driver, something I bet most fans don't know is even happening.

Mark hughes had a pretty interesting article on why raikkonnen speed slowed down. from 02-06 you could not find anyone faster than him...F1 went from tweak everything to a control formula and now even more so from these wacky engines. Well in any case this is the world we live in...F1 has gone down a wrong path. many fans know doesn't seem like it will remain as popular as before...maybe verstappen might bring in a schumaceresque growth. But I don't see 2000s when I started watching had drivers going through the long forest in heavy rain in hockenheim at incredible speeds. This era just doesn't have that and now next year with halo coming in I don't even see the point in it. They should just start calling F1 as roborace or whatever. When the likes of Alonso, Raikkonen retire we won't have any connection to that era. Anyway F1 has been neutered to a significant level.


Mark hughes had a pretty interesting article on why raikkonnen speed slowed down. from 02-06 you could not find anyone faster than him...F1 went from tweak everything to a control formula

And the Michelin tyres which for whatever reason suited him so well. From the day they left the sport Raikkonen lost an edge that he never truly found again on bridgestones or pirellis.


I would like to read this. Anyone have link?

I often feel Formula 1 is dead tarun. It's just a marketing dog and pony show which uses the name.

Then I think about all it could be and...I still have hope. But I tell ya, it's hard to keep that hope alive. 3 more years of this crap, and then...well, don't hold your breath. In the end, money talks and hope can take walk. They will run a survey, and we'll feel we were listened to. They will do what they want to do.

By 2021 with electric cars stealing our imaginations, will people even care? Pu...pu...pu....may be the final whimper we hear.


Ross the Boss is going to do what's best for Ross and his team, like he's always done. After being responsible for how many world championships (11?), has his eyes on a bigger prize now 😉


Wanted: cheap,1000hp, reliable light weight, very (very) fuel efficient and readily available hybrid engine. How hard can it be?


Hybids suck. Either all electric or an ICE is what people will by. Hybrid cars are a stop gap.


Jdr, hybrid sales are increasing every year, a huge growth sector cannot be ignored by any industry.


hybrids are a developmental dead end. this engine formula is killing f1.


That is the question. Keep ice and a version of kers but get rid of the heat recovery . That is the most expensive and complex part of this formula.


Nobody would want that unless you add 'competitive' to your list.


It's right in the back of this Aston Martin Valkyrie. 🙂


Is anybody else bored of redbull whinging about engines.
Between 10 - 13 they weren't whinging.
After the public skating of Renault are they suprised no one wants to give them an engine.
Hopefully a Porsche or audi will buy them out . Get rid of horner and his whinging


Mercedes are a class act and have done a better job than everyone else.


Why are you still whinging?


Was anyone whinging about engines between 10-13?

Why does McLaren get a free pass over engines? Kvyat and Sainz weren't exactly complementary of their year old Ferrari PU last year.

Redbull have every right to complain about the engine situation, as do all the rest of us. It's a joke!


Twitch, they whinged that they cost too much, didn't sound as good as the V10s and that they weren't powerful enough. Some people always whinge....


Tim, I was referring to teams whinging, not fans. Was any team trashing their engine supplier during 10-13?

The original statement was "Redbull wasn't whinging from 10-13." Ya, point is no team was whinging about engines in that era.

Now, from RB to McLaren to Sauber, not many teams in the paddock are happy with their engine situation, hence why I think it's unfair to be harsh on RB for slagging their supplier when clearly they're not the only ones doing it.

Oh, but you wanted to talk about that the fans were doing between 10-13...because that was the context of the original statement or something.

You're right Tim, Bananas ARE indeed yellow. What were we talking about again?


Twitch, I seem to remember some animosity between Red Bull and Renault, even in the championship winning years. The teams did moan about costs, prompting Bernie to waste everyone's time by bringing in Cosworth as an independent engine supplier.


Tim, name an era where teams didn't moan about costs.....

Moaning about costs, and publicly stating that you were sold a product that failed to perform as promised are two completely different issues. The fact that you would try to mix the two shows that you're grasping at straws, and arguing for the sake of it.

In the PU era, many teams, all of the customer teams, at some point, have complained about the cost of the engines. Do you honestly think Sauber took delivery of their 2015 Ferrari PUs with massive smiles on their faces?

When people refer to the public saga between RB and Renault, they are referring to RBs public statements claiming that the PERFORMANCE (not the price) of the Renault PU was unacceptable.

I kind of posed the question to C63 above, but I'll ask you in different words.

Why is RB the bad guy for the way they "publicly slagged and embarrassed" Renault, when McLaren are correct for saying enough is enough and parting ways with Honda??

How are Alonso's radio comments less of a public slagging than anything Horner or RB personal said in the media regarding Renault?

I don't see you, C63, or any of the crowd shouting this "RB did Renault dirty / getting what they deserve" cry saying the same thing about McLaren.

"McLaren and Alonso publicly slagged and embarrassed Honda, I hope they get a crap engine next year!!" Where are those cries, Tim (not saying you personally want that to happen, but in the name of consistency and balance, I'm not seeing RB and McLaren being treated the same way).

This whole PU era, the constant rhetoric we have been fed is that "McLaren have a great chassis and aero package, they just need a proper donkey in the back" - and I'm not saying I doubt that, Hungary and Singapore indicate theirs probably truth to that. But then wtf is Redbull? A crap chassis and aero package with a good engine, and an attitude problem??? Of course not, we both know it's a fantastic chassis and aero package, with a underpowered, unreliable PU.

So again, what's the difference between the RB Renault saga, and the McLaren Honda saga. And why are RB the bad guys, while McLaren are not??

And just to be clear, I don't think RB or McLaren are the bad guys - they signed a contract for a product that failed to live up to agreed upon performance targets. Renault and Honda have only themselves to blame for any public embarrassments.

Don't forget, after the 2015 season, Renault came forward, I believe it was Abitbol who spoke, and confirmed that Renault themselves felt they weren't doing a good enough job - that they had started from be wrong point, had failed to take the correct steps to remedy the wrong design decisions, and that they were not allocating enough resources to their F1 program to challenge Merc and Ferrari. Renault said that!!! So, Renault say in 2015 that Renault isn't good enough....from RB's perspective, very little changed in 2016, and same in 2017. So other than empty promises, what has Renault delivered?

Now Renault, via the peanut gallery, want to re-raise this notion that RB was so aweful in their treatment of Renault that Renault can no longer do business with them (after Renault themselves confirm everything RB say). Really? C'mon Tim, you're better than that. Renault have their sights set on Podiums next year, maybe more the year after that. If they want podiums, they need to go through RB, and that scares the pants off them. I'll refer to the Senna's quote regarding Prost signing for Williams again. Renault are scared to fight RB on even terms, same as Merc and Ferrari, so they want to use boardroom tactics to strap lead shoes (aka a Honda engine lol) on RB.

I say this in jest, but I find it amusing that perhaps the 2 biggest pro Brit / pro Hamilton (save maybe for Gazboy) guys on this board are quite quick to hate on RB (remember Lewis crying that it was unfair cause Seb had the better car?), yet defend the behaviour of McLaren - or at the very least, don't speak ill of McLaren the way you do of RB.


Twitch, another long rant, a shame it's directed at the wrong person. I have criticised Fernando for slating the team, just as I criticised the Red Bull management for publicly criticising Renault. Ultimately both incidents of public criticism achieved nothing positive, Honda continued to make woeful engines, Renault continued to fail to match Ferrari and Mercedes, and now both teams have had to make alternative arrangements.
Did the teams complain about engine costs? Yes they did, not 'money bags Red Bull" of course, but the smaller teams did, prompting Bernie to bring in Cosworth as an independent cut price engine supplier. Are the PUs too expensive? Yes, never said they weren't, but is it a huge difference to a V8 supply cost? Not really, don't believe everything you read on here, and don't forget the costs are reducing every year.



3 engines for season for 2018 is a go?

And you thought penalties and racing to a damage limiting delta was an issue now. Wait till 2018.

Lewis, we need you to slow reduce the gap to P2 in case there is a safety car. (Is that a good message for the TV feed Toto?)


Yeah and only 2 of a couple components like the batteries. Totally insane IMO. Also plenty to suggest more of the same for 2021.

These grid penalties are the one thing that is most hated I think for most fans and it's going to get worse?

I don't even get the politics of this as I see it helping no one.


But @jdr you're forgetting all the money that is being saved!
You only have to pay €10 mill for each engine for each car, guaranteed to last 1/3 of the races... unless of course it doesn't, in which case you have to pay another 10 mill and another etc etc.
See! The savings are enormous!


Grid penaltys are actually a good way to mix things Up in races! People used to ask for reverse grids and now they have them and complain....


Jose, saying grid penalties gave us the mixed grids that some desired is the same as saying DRS gave us the increase in overtaking we were looking for.

Both are bass-ackwards, bandaide approaches to fixing a problem.


...La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that "In 2018, only two MGU-K, batteries and ECUs may be used" per driver without penalty for the entire 21-race calendar.


Sebee, I've got a better idea for 2018 why not only one engine? that would be great no! and the MGU-K, batteries and all that crap, what about none that way you cannot get a penalty for replacing what's not there. Pure genius on my part why didn't I think of it earlier. I'm going to call Ross so he can put my plan in action.
Not really sure about the one engine rule I suppose........
All a bit sad really.


If the RB net spend figures are correct, its a bargain. $40m for the kind of exposure F1 gets you is peanuts. I would be surprised if those figures are right.


Me too.

That $40m is probably from DM's pocket. There is likely a nice expense line at Red Bull drinks company for sponsorship as well. Of course those funds were going to be spent on marketing somewhere, so he's just allocating it to this particular marketing effort.

But because a lot of the so called investment is Formula 1 is companies spending marketing budgets there. So you can see how they get a say in moulding Formula 1 regulations to fit their marketing goals.


This new engine formula is becoming ever more critical to F1's immediate future. It's also unfortunately the litmus test for Ross Brawn's new technical team to present new rules to the F1 Strategy Group for approval. Mercedes obviously have no interest in changing the formula even if the key speakers say otherwise. They've invested too much in it and they lose the most in terms of performance. Ferrari's decision is at the whim of Marchionne while Renault and Honda will look for any change possible.

It's also clear that Liberty want Formula 1 to be primarily entertainment and secondly about technology/road relevance. This is the first stumbling block to achieving that. Fans want louder enginges, Liberty wants an engine that attracts manufacturers but isn't too complex or expensive while customer teams want cheaper engines and manufacturers are split as said above.

I hope we do get the new formula as it can't be any worse than the current one. We have had total domination while the engine is too complex and expensive while being too quiet and has led to the recent problem of engine penalties. Change could also attract new engine manufacturers like AM as Honda's return has clearly scared away potential suppliers


Even Mercedes shouldn't want to kill the sport.


too late.. they already have



But do you think they will care what happens to F1 after their era of domination ends 2020 and they pull out and do Formula E only?


As james has said, the current manu's are pushing for MHU-H retention and that may well be the tipping point as to whether we see more open racing or a continuation of the status quo.What this says just re inforces my opinion that the Manu's are in control of F1. They do not want to see any independent competition as that open s a can of 'competitive worms' that just may upset their cosy arrangements. I would particularly like to see Aston Martin involved as an engine supplier even a fully fledged team owner/joint venture partner with Red Bull. AM have great form and build great cars and they would be a definite plus for F1. Likewise Alfa Romeo. However before any of this comes to fruition we need to see the engine simplifications set in stone other wise i very doubt it we will see the 'revolution' that most fans would welcome.


Alfa is owned by Fiat which also owns Ferrari.


@ jdr....Ferrari is a publically listed company and is not owned by Fiat.


It used to be but no more


Yeah I'm going to retract part of that. Fiat in 1969 owned 50% of Ferrari later to become 90%. In 2014 they announced the intent to sell controlling shares. As of 2016 they owned 10% which is still a pretty decent investment I think. Fiat does own controlling shares in Chrysler.

IPOs are usually a way to make even more money especially for a brand like that.

It seems like all these big companies are in some way in bed with each other in some way or another.

Never by stock in any company that cost more than 13 times earnings and even then it's gambling. Land will always be worth something as they make more people but probably less land when you add the amount created by volcanoes and subtract beach front property caused by global warming.

Anyhow you are right and I am wrong on that specific point but I'm willing to bet an Alfa Romeo F1 car If there is one would probably have a Ferrari engine in the future.

I would like to see a Ford branded engine in the future. Anything would be better than keeping hybrid engines around just to satisfy Mercedes. It seems hybrids are a dead end with full electrics gain more range and the ICE becoming ever more efficient with the infrastructure already being there.

All electric cars would really be cool if there was induction wiring under the main highways because little range would be needed then by making heavy batteries. The side benefit at least in the US would be buried power lines less likely to be affected by power line.

However it goes I don't see petrol burning engines going away anytime soon.


If new engine regs allow, it would be cool to see Aston take the next step and build engines for RBR, adding another manufacturer to the mix. I sometimes wonder what is really better for F1; complex and massively expensive engineering masterpieces that only a few understand, or powerful screaming engines in light nimble cars that are spectacular to watch and hear?


F1 can only thrive if there are **also** independent engine manufacturers in play.

Why can't it be done? And why always everyone is looking at Cosworth? Is the engine supply side so marginalized?

The only model to think of is give the independents more testing / engine development time. Now the manufacturers will oppose to that, unless they have to gain from it.... how?

Maybe let the independent engine developers buy resources from the manufacturers...?

Complex to get this right.


I think Daniel and Max had better start looking to go to a new team.Another year of an engine supplier who are only going to worry about there own team and 2019 no engine supplier in sight not good.


Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda powered by Audi Sport Formula 1 team...catchy title


I don’t see Aston Martin building an F1 engine. RBR should be very encouraging and helpful to Honda and keep any criticism out of the media.


RB's criticisms would make Honda want to crawl back to McLaren with a 150 mil Offer.


How come the Aston Martin Valkyrie looks more exciting than an F1 car?
Answer; It was not designed by a committee of FIA rule makers.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so the saying goes.

Comparing the Valkyrie with a formula 1 car is a stretch, more exciting maybe from a sound point of view, the rest is a strange contraption with extreme aero shape, not even close to a LaFerrari, Huayra, McLaren F1or even a Ford GT.
Single-seater, formula cars carry a different beauty, exciting through their speed first and foremost. They only need a better sounding engine to please the cheap thrills squad.


And if I recall, Newey's design statement on this hyper-car was to be faster than an F1 car.


How come the Aston Martin Valkyrie looks more exciting than Project ONE? Answer, it was not designed by a committee of F1 engineers.


Valkyrie also didn't have a PU forced upon it. That's why it is 600lbs lighter and has an 11,000 RPM NA V12 which alone will deliver the power of the full Project One PU. Not only that, it will be fully sustained power, not one that's limited for 33 seconds or what ever it is going to be in the Project One with all those extra electric motors - we don't know. They won't say.

This Aston Martin Valkyrie makes the Project One look...a little disappointing. I guess you know how I feel about things now.

However, we'll let Road and Track have the final word on this contest..."if you want a radio in your F1-inspired hypercar, you'll need to buy a Mercedes-AMG Project One."


I really do worry about Red Bull.

They've brought so much to the sport, so to potentially see them fade away just because they can't get a competitive power unit would be terrible.

Even if they find themselves in 2019 with a Honda donkey and a Sainz-Gasly pairing, I hope they brave it out for two years and come back strong in 2021. Or maybe Honda could do us all a favour and get their act together before then. But really, a Mercedes-Ferrari duopoly seems the most likely prospect until the new engine regulations take effect.

Interesting times await us...


Complaining, whining, criticising, bellyaching, lamenting, moaning, regretting, weeping, critical, malcontent, Resentful, accusing, protesting, grumbling etc.
So I guess you are right they have brought a lot to the sport.


@ Wilee...Your 'melange' of adjectives more than adequately describe the content of your post, Well done.....


"boring times ahead of us'. If the new owners cannot break the chain of control held by the manufacturers it's going to be 'same old same old' into the future.


I really do worry about F1.


What a tangled web. Aston Martin sponsoring a pop company, who use Renault engines, with a clock company's badge stuck on them, until 2019, when they will probably switch to Honda power, until they supply their own badged engines that might be made by Cosworth. Meanwhile, they manufacture cars with Mercedes engines.

Did I get that right?

I believe the real benefit will come from sharing staff between road and racing cars, which should confuse the heck out of FOM/FIA should spending limits be forced onto F1 teams.


I assume it is mostly a PR excersise with little real money involved since Aston Martin are as poor as church mice and they need new investment to expand. Io all intents and purposes I suspect Red Bull are sponsoring them!!


Thank you for illustrating how twisted it all can be, and all the name of marketing. What people won't do to sell you something.

Perhaps you can find the funny in a sugar water maker actually handing Mercedes and Ferrari their tails for 4 years straight and being the 3rd best team out there now even with a PU that stands no chance in actual manufacturer's own car?

Finally, consider that Mercedes have done all this PU stuff in an effort to dethrone a sugar water maker from the top of the mountain that is Formula 1 Championship. 2014 Mercedes beat the #2 team, RBR, and same in 2016. Still! Even with the domination of the PU, Mercedes has won mostly against the sugar water maker. Dietrich Mateschitz is a marketing genius if you think about it. Kinda takes away from the Mercedes glory, doesn't it? 🙂


@Sebee - can you make a comment without mentioning Mercedes and PUs?


Rodger. No.


To some extent - the extent of winning most of tbe races in fact - Mercedes and their juggernaut PU are the elephant in the room. This topic is is related to future power units so I think the elephant is fair game in discussion.


@Warley - in that case discuss the future of RB and AM, not Mercedes.


The same Mercedes that own 5% of Aston Martin? They are part of AMs future ironically as Aston Martin are, it seems, not very good and making engines!


This one mentions neither.


neither what?


Neither neither, of course. Twice.


What takes from the Mercedes glory is not just RBR, but the fact this year Ferrari has also shown it's only the PU keeping Mercedes ahead.


Unbelieveable! The insanity of the hybrid engine continues to be pushed by the manufacturers. Let them spend their money on road car development if they wish but to allow them to force hybrid on F-1 will continue the decline in competition as few competitive engines are available. The manufacturers are a disruptive force in racing and rules are needed to encourage independent RACERS and let the manufacturers leave if they don't want to compete on a level basis.


I sympathise with your view, but unless the cost of f1 is reduced to peanuts, f1 will need the manufacturers for the foreseeable future. Therein lies the trauma of the bernie years. In turning f1 into a business, playing one against the other, the costs have just spiralled out of control to the point where let's be honest only manufacturers can afford to supply these power units or indeed any power unit formula the fia comes up with.


@Bill - Are you suggesting some blokes in a shed start making F1 engines?

The Luddite Brothers perhaps?


As Rodger mention it above, this would provide them some extra "leg room" in the eventuality of the enforced budget cap, allowing them to use unrestricted technical resources from outside the F1 team for its benefit.


Remember Senna's quote about competing in a "sportif" manner, about Prost wanting to have a running race against opponents wearing lead shoes?

That's what we've got right now, a committee of Prosts who all want to use boardroom/backroom tactics to strap lead shoes on their competitors - because they're too chicken to take part in fair competition on an even playing field.

I hope the ghost of Senna smacks the [mod] out of all these PU suppliers.


For those who may have missed it:

(Mod team, any tricks to make the video itself appear, instead of just the link?)


The engine under the cover is a Honda but the bodywork livery screams Aston Martin. Does anyone else see a conflict here?


It is both! George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty Four (the book) called this 'doublethink'!


No problem there as everyone signed a contract knowing what they are getting into.


How does it work on a corporate level (not racing level) for Aston Martin. Daimler AG owns 5% of Aston Martin and supply Mercedes engines and Mercedes electrical systems to Aston Martin.
Now Aston Martin have signed a sponsorship deal, run Renault (soon to be Honda) engines, and are competing against the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.
The mind is boggled


...I wonder what Ron thinks about McLaren losing Honda works engines? Could someone please find him and sit down for a candid interview, see if he can speak his mind and provide some answers without Ron-speak?

Here is something funny I found when searching Ron Dennis in the news just now.

"We have a veto over who potentially Renault could supply," Horner revealed to Sky F1 at Monza

I guess this is a little joke about the Honda veto when RBR wanted the Honda supply. Of course RBR went one step further and thanked Ron Dennis at the time for exercising the veto, and saving RBR from Honda before the engine is fully baked.


Ron without Ron-speak wouldn’t be Ron now would it?


Would we understand him?


I imagine that Ron's departure may have involeved a non-disclosure agreement and he was very complimentary when he left but we can live in hope!


I was thinking same thing. 2 year NDA probably.


Well Martin Whitmarsh has never spilled the beans on what REALY happened so we may have to be patient if the terms Ron imposed on Whitmarsh applied to himself!


Is that Ron "we will win races in 2015" Dennis?? now pen pushing at the MOD in Whitehall?


The same Ron Dennis recently seen leaving Whitehall in a bowler hat and carrying a rolled up umbrella! I wonder what Sir Humphrey makes of Ron Speak!


LOL that's hilarious!


The current hybrid formula, as I have argued before, mismatches endurance racing elements to a sprint racing formula. For the manufacturers (and the FIA) to nod approvingly at the "efficiency" of F1 engines is all well and good, but the average car buyer, let alone the average racing fan, does NOT care about "thermal efficiency." They care about range - miles per gallon, miles per tank: how far can they go between refills? A 190 mile race doesn't really showcase that. F1 certainly doesn't talk about the engines in these terms.

Yet we have also seen the collapse of the MGU-H hybrid class in what should be its natural habitat, the WEC. And we have yet to see, supercars and hypercars aside, anything remotely resembling these complex and costly hybrids in a road car. And no wonder; putting aside the hype over driverless cars (or even all-electric cars, a solution that retains all the disadvantages that it had more than a century ago), hybrid systems as implemented in F1 and the WEC are overkill for the ordinary road car. Like pneumatic valvetrains, they are an expense and complexity that no rational company could afford to put into mass production passenger cars. Yet F1, and the FIA and manufacturers, persist (and as James tells us here, the manufacturers continue to insist upon) with something that despite their claims to the contrary, utterly lacks road relevance. It bears repeating: Car manufacturers will choose the least expensive nuts and bolts for their products, because it reduces costs. The latest econobox will NEVER have, nor need, anything remotely resembling an F1/WEC spec turbo MGU-H power train.

That F1 depends utterly on the presence of the manufacturers remains the enduring irony, given the history of the British garagistes and their successors.

Of course, the increased role of Aston-Martin could (in a conspiracy theory way) signal that someone has inside knowledge that new rules are imminent and will come into force sooner than anticipated... One can hope.


I hope that new rules are imminent. I find it strange how some rules can be changed so easily like qualifying last year yet others need lead time of years. As we know contracts mean nothing so I don't get why wait so many years only to allow Mercedes to continue to rack up championships while we watch in hope in the future. Fans seem to be strung along with these hopes of changes coming similar to donkey with a carrot. I think they should just take the loses and move forward as soon as possible.
I think Red Bull maybe hedging their bets with Honda and Aston Martin to then Have them both buyout each team and leave F1. Mateschitz is not likely a great fan of where F1is going based on what I have read was his draw to F1. The quit threats can now be more real as they have something in place. I also don't see them brining up any new younger drivers up the ladder in the lower category maybe someone can correct me? So long term picture it does seem like they are positioning themselves to be in a strong position if they decide to stay or if they decide to go.
Road relevance should be similar to all other sports where Nike Adidas etc. make shoes for Soccer, Basketball, Running etc... yet don't influence rules or try to dominate by having rules that favor their technology. Nike for example spent millions trying to break a sub 2 hour marathon and developed a shoe to help in the achievement of this goal. The technology and information gained then trickled down to their consumer and future products. F1 should be a similar test bed for the manufactures without influencing the core of the sports rules.


Absolutely Rudy! You frikken nailed it.

The whole ting about the formula now is deception, confusion, misdirection.

They used to use 150Kg of fuel, now they use 100Kg. Well, no one fuels up in Kg do they, and they probably won't both doing the conversion, researching and finding out that it's not at all a 1 to 1 conversion. The probably won't do the math what it all means per 100km. Why not? because if the did the would find something in the range of 45L/100Km for the PU, as that is the language and units consumer understands and they wouldn't be impressed to learn that all this awesomeness in Formula 1 is still just 45L/100Km, burning oil not included.
Do they present it to us in these terms we can understand? Of course not, because it would undermine the message. They'd have to follow that up...with...45L/100Km is really good for a race car. You don't say.

The thermal efficiency stuff never specifies methodology of testing or how it applies on the road, or it is at all road applicable as a lot of the efficiency comes from extreme F1 braking forces found only in F1.

Also, we only know about the efficiency while the Grand Prix is taking place, but what about all the other time? I've compared these PUs to a man fasting, after he gorged on 10 meals the day before. You look at him for those 2 Grand Prix hours, and you are amazed at how little he needs, because you can't see what he ate the day before.

I really think that only Ferrari should be allowed to own a team and make engines, for historic reasons. And they should be forced to provide those same identical engines to other teams, no difference. In fact the should submit the engines to the FIA and the FIA should distribute them as they wish, randomly. Software differentiation should be removed so that all this automation, engine modes, etc. is not playing a role. No other team should be allowed to own a team and make engines they sell. You make engines only. You sell them to a few teams and you support your pool of teams. That's the end of it. Even that has ability to temper with the results, or one manufacturer being more successful than the other, hence FIA distribution of engines and software controls - strict ones. No manufacturer should decline supply, should provide it to all who ask for it, and support them equally, with no preferential treatment.


Hmm, not sure I agree with this. Firstly, some of the basic KERS elements that were in F1 10 years ago (e.g. regenerative braking) have started to translate into today's road-going cars. I think it's in pretty much all of Toyota's hybrids and it's also a part of Tesla's designs. It's just taken time for the tech to become affordable and mass-producible, as well as tying in with the design cycles of new cars. Even though in F1 terms KERS/MGU-K is yesterday's news, for road-going cars it's still one of the new innovations which is increasing their mpg.

For the MGU-H-based tech, I think we'll definitely see some aspects of this in the newer econoboxes, probably within 15 years. Don't forget that there is a limit to how much purely kinetic energy can be extracted from a litre of petrol and even road-going cars are close to maximising this. Where big gains can be made, and where F1 tech is miles ahead of the road cars, is through harnessing some of the 'wasted' energy from the combustion process (i.e. heat) and turning it into kinetic energy. Mercedes' new engine has recently broken the 50% efficiency barrier, whereas road cars are running around 30%. The volume manufacturers are already looking for a way of tapping into those gains because extracting more energy from a litre of petrol will directly translate to more miles per gallon. You're right in that we'll never see an F1-spec MGU-H powertrain in a Fiesta, but that doesn't mean Ford can't take some elements of the current heat recovery system and apply it to their EcoBoost engine to increase the efficiency. Most people won't care about how it works, but if it's sold to them as "more efficiency = higher mpg" then they will buy the cars.


Hybrids were on the road for nearly 2 decades before F1 went there. Decade and a half before F1 had V8/KERS.

Regeneration of kinetic energy was in place from the very beginning in hybrid cars, so F1 invented nothing there.

Heat regeneration is just a fan being spun by gases. It's not magic. It captures the kinetic energy of exhaust. Because the gas in F1 is moving fast it may make sense. On the road the cost of it alone doesn't. Also slower moving gases mean there is way less energy to capture.

Why complicate an already complex hybrid engine with more junk when you can simply increase the battery that is already there slightly and plug this hybrid in for more electric range?

Heat recovery won't work on the road just like the F1 efficiency claims won't work on the roads. Main reason is HOW the F1 PU car is driven in a Grand Prix with extreme multiple G braking, and speed of exhaust gases due to high RPMs. Cars on public roads will move to 100% electric before anyone thinks of heat recovery and added cost of it on a road legal car.


@ Sebee...In 1967 the American brand AMC introduced regenerative braking to a model of their cars...called a believe an 'Amitron [?]


Didn't know that! I did know about the stunning AMX/3.


The broader truth: Turbochargers are ill-suited for road cars. The lag and heat loadings are better suited to racing conditions. Crank or belt drive positive displacement superchargers are far more flexible on the street, as they boost power immediately off-idle.

For that matter, four-valve cylinder heads are a racing conceit, useful in high rpm applications as a means to boost volumetric (breathing, as opposed to thermal) efficiency. A two-valve hemispherical head is better from a thermal efficiency perspective. Allied to a positive displacement supercharger, that setup would be far more road relevant than what we have now.


Sebee, thr Prius was launched in 97, F1 used Kers in 2009. 12 years is not "nearly two decades".


12 years is not "nearly two decades"

Doesn't make Sebee's point any less valid, though, does it?


JC, Oh I'm sure Sebee has a point somewhere. I was just highlighting his usual method of exagerating and manipulating figures to try and prove his point, whatever that might be....


Kers was not a hybrid design. PU is. And it came 2 decades after Prius hit market, yes?


Sebee. A Kers equipped Formula one car from 2009 has a petrol engine and an electric motor, therefore it is a hybrid. This is why they used to have the word "hybrid" written on the side.


Great. Was that more than a decade after your could buy a Prius?


Sebee has it right. And truth be told, one would be hard pressed to find ANY F1 technology, EVER, that trickled down to road cars. From racing cars, broadly? Sure. The rear view mirror first turned up on Ray Haroun's Marmon Wasp at the inaugural Indy 500. But most other things that folks think of nowadays as "F1 tech" were either developed on road cars or in other racing disciplines before reaching F1, not the other way around. Truly, the major contribution of F1, even to racing, has been the use of carbon fiber chassis. Carbon fiber has made it to mass market road cars by way of body styling and aero kits, not by F1-style chassis. Like the MGU-H (and pneumatic valve actuation), a mid-engined carbon fiber chassis has essentially zero relevance except on a race track or a bragging rights hypercar.

Notional "road-relevance" makes F1 an easier sell to corporate boards and shareholders; gives them a fig leaf to cover what fundamentally amounts to a marketing and corporate ego massaging exercise. Nothing wrong with going racing for those reasons. But to claim "road relevance" for an F1 program is oxymoronic. Ironically, historically, Honda has been most vocal about using F1 as a training ground for its road car engineers. That approach has only earned them scorn in recent years.


Rudy. The Alfa Romeo 4C has s carbon fibre chassis, so do many other road cars. Look it up.


@ Rudy extremely well crafted and intelligent response. I fully agree with your comments.


Can you imagine if Soccer was as dependant on Adidas as F1 is on its manufacturers.

Can you imagine if FIFA (not exactly straight as an arrow, but that's a different story lol) allowed Adidas to make the rules of soccer, and make them such that the survival of soccer was dependant on Adidas' participation.

Imagine that if adidas refused to make boots and balls and shirts, there would be no World Cup. If adidas decided they wanted to make square balls, because bey have moon relavance, then we'd have to learn to watch footy with a square ball.

F1 is not a sport. It's a tech convention, and it's a marketing excersise. A travelling circus.


Can you imagine going to a football fan's internet forum, and finding it full of people who don't like football?


James or others can you explain this?

"the latest noises are that the manufacturers seem to be pushing for the continuation of the MGU-H component of the hybrid system, which is the costly and complex element."

The direction of travel for road cars seems to be hybrid (ICU+MGU-K/or all electric) MGU-H seems nowhere for road cars and prohibitively expensive for racing. Why do they want to keep them I can't see the advantage?


IMO for the same reason they pushed for it in the beginning
They know exactly how hard is to get the correct specifications of the MGU-H, and of the complex ignition/flame front guidance for the efficiency to be achieved. That knowledge assures they will continue to win and be on top of the F1 media coverage.
Why should they agree to lose that ?


Aston Martin Redbull....

I must say, as an Englishman, that just sounds sooooo sexy😄


Really? You have a hidden side.....



Oooh yes Kenneth😊. Just saying the name " Aston Martin " gives me goose bumps👍


I find it more somewhat hilarious. ;o)
As newer generation Aston Martins sold are equipped with a Mercedes AMG engine and electronics!


I dont care😊

My name is Ric....Danny Ric... and I like it shaken, not stirred 😄.


"Keeping the British end up, Sir!” ;o)

And I gave you a +1 for that reply James.



What a jolly good chap you are cyber😄


Very interesting.
With Mercedes as the engine supplier for Aston, are we not in fact looking at Mercedes longer-term plans for F1, teaming up with RB?
I predict a Mercedes factory-named team withdraw by the end of 2020 at the latest.
Without some kind of relationship between RB and Mercedes, the deal doesn't really make any sense?!
Aston won't be making engines for F1; but are they going to get AER or a like engine-tech company to develop something?
Developing these new F1 engines is like developing a new jet engine, it takes a long time and costs a large, large amount of investment.



I also doubt Mercedes will remain in F1 after 2020.


too smart


..the cupboard will be bare!


The power balance is all wrong. The manufacturers weild too much power, if you are a customer team you have absolutely no chance of beating a works outfit. Rules need to be put in place that if you are a supplier, all teams must have the same spec engine otherwise you just have teams on the grid to make up the numbers.


MattW, those rules exist, they are covered under the homologation regs. A rather inconvenient fact that the Merc bashers do not like talking about....


@ matt W...beware the ever present C63 will be your case quick smart if you point that out.


So long as power unit suppliers have their own works teams, they will supply the same power units but they will know it more than any customers they supply. The manufacturers will always be able to get more out the power units.


and what about the team discussed here. RB beats Renault by long margin. Also MCL has very real chance beating Renault next season. Why do you all care so much of the PU? It is what it is and the racing this season has been good. Ferrari has improved, Renault has improved so couple of seasons more and they all are quite equal. 2021 will create another turning point and chances are someone will dominate again. Then the complaint will be whatever is the reason for dominance. When RB was winning complaints were on aerodynamics. "Please bring engine relevant F1 back" . It was done and now the opposite, please take away the PU ruled F1. So rather keep the existing PU rules with minor tweaks and let others catch up. Merc will not rule massively forever which can be seen already this season. They will win consistently on any regulation as long as they pump more money into development than anybody else. Stable rules provide closer racing. That is the rule of thumb.


MattW. The rule you wish for already exists. The engines have to be homologated, and each example of that engine has to match the inspected unit. Upgraded units might not teach thr customers at the same time as the works teams, but usually they are all running the exact same spec engine.


There is no way a power unit supplier with a works team is going to supply the same power unit to customers. The essential elements will be the same, but they know more about getting the absolute maximum out of every part of it. Customer teams will always be left with conservative settings.


Bobbon. They have to.


I agree. If you purchase something. Ie a Mercedes engine. You should be free to run it how you seem fit. If it blows after 2 races you should pay to repair it. But let them have all the modes available all the time.


So the manufacturers want to keep the MGU-H? All of them, or just the ones who've got a good MGU-H solution currently? If they like it so much, Brawn should set the new engine spec to mandate that the MGU-H is a standard customer part that can be fitted to any engine, and at a nominal price. So Mercedes can keep their MGU-H, they just need to make sure it fits all the other engines and the cost is minimal. Would be good practice for them in designing and making a cheap MGU-H that can go into all of their road cars too. Problem solved.


Do I recall correctly that Mercedes took a small share-holding in Aston Martin as part of their tie-up with AMG? Maybe Aston buy out Red Bull and become Mercedes' B team?


Of course Aston have an engine development deal in place for road cars with Mercedes AMG so perhaps something might be done there with Aston Martin on the cam covers and two interlocking development paths.


McLaren Porsche in 2021?.
Red bull Mercedes?
What about cosworth?


Because small scale manufacturer Aston martin have chosen the smart choice of getting an engine brought in probably due to their ancient v12 not passing modern emissions doesn't follow that somehow now Mercedes will now supply Red bull engines.

Mind you by being cast adrift by Renault they may end up with one purely by accident in a shortest straw draw between ferrari/honda/Mercedes


Well with the way Red Bull reacted to Renault when the new engines didn't for fill their expectations.
The Aston Martin Martin's will be Shake'n'Stirred alot if Red Bull don't perform well when Honda supplies the engines...
00 oh no 007 🔫


I don't think you're right when you said that not many people knew what Infiniti's product was after several years of appearing on RB car.
If I remember correctly Infiniti was the first ever F1 sponsor surpassed 1 billion $ of TV advertising equivalency value back in 2013. I'm sure that kind of exposure led to quite lot of people being aware what Infiniti is and what do they produce.
Also, I'm sure that was the reason why did they sign the same kind of sponsorship with the same guy...again.


Especially in America it's a big brand there.


Agreed, I didn't quite get the point of that. Sure not everyone knows what Infinity is or what they make, but those same people also don't know what Petronas, or Martini, or Chandon, or BWT, or KaSperSky, or any of that crap is. People who live under rocks tend to not be familiar with brands in general.

....actually when you think about it, Redbull is he only major sponsor that is recognizable outside F1 circles. Are there Petronas gas stations all over Malaysia? Can you buy pink BWT water bottles in Germany? I only know what Martini is because of Lancia, and I think I had it once, it was aight. I can't for the life of me think of who aside from Marlboro sponsor Ferrari...other than that KaSperSky thing, whatever that is...their logo is wierd to me, the way the two S's are styled.. BWT I know is water only because a talking head on Sky told me...could be toilet paper for all I know.

You want brands that everyone recognizes, put Budweiser, 7/11, Coke, McDonalds...that kind of crap....those brands sell themselves though I guess.

On the topic of sponsorship....does anyone find it beyond hilarious that F1, which promotes road safety and safe driving, is primarily sponsored by alcohol brands - Heineken, Martini, Chandon, etc. Williams can't put a driver in their other seat unless he is of a socially acceptable age to slang hard liquor. And to counteract the astronomical levels of irony, FOM puts massive "DONT DRINK AND DRIVE" signs all around the track.....cause, we all know how much people like to obey a good sign, especially after a Heiny or 3, or 6, or hic 12.....


Personally i'm tired of Red Bull and what they bring to F1.. the incessant whining about Renault from Horner and Marko more or less finished me off. I'd like to see another brand come in, and Marko in particular be shown the door.


Yeah, but you are always praising Alonso when he whines about Honda.

I'm sure if you pay for a service and you don't get it you will be quiet and just hope and pray you eventually get it.
Back in '14 you forget that without RBR's help Renault could not get the engine to turn a lap.


@ Rockie...In fact at that first test they couldn't get it to start!!!!


It's obvious that the current engine manufacturers would want to continue with the ludicrously complicated and expensive MGU-H element - it will enable them to maintain their current monopolies and put off any independent engine builder from trying to complete.

FOM and the FIA need to stand up and be counted and ensure that the new engine regs provide a pathway to cheaper engines and ones that are far more reliable as well.


I seriously doubt that the four "monopolists" would be worried about anything any "independents" could accomplish. The time of 2 guys in a backyard garage beating the world has come and gone, if it ever was in the first place.


@ Wolfy...If the formula was opened up with an equivalency allowance then we'd see innovation that could take it to these ridiculous PU's. What do you think Bernie's threat consisted of? He was prepared to look at that if the Manus didn't drop their prices. Guess what happened...they all agreed to drop their prices...from exorbitant to 'mildly exorbitant'. The manus were scared that they would be outperformed by twin turbo V6's/V8's with a simple KERS mechanism at a fraction of the price. This is the story as presented. Was it true? Who knows but they did agree to reduce prices.

Tornillo Amarillo

What if it is MANDATORY to engine manufacturers to supply a 4th team if request it?

I know Mercedes doesn't want to supply McLaren, I know Renault doesn't want to supply Red Bull, but they are not obliged to do that with these rules.

What if you just extend to a 4th team from 2021, mandatory.
So example McLaren again with a Merc PU and Red Bull maybe with Ferrari, it's OK for me!
It would be fun for the fans, nothing standard there, but direct competition between manufacturers, and entertaining races with more teams fighting for podiums.

Problem solved.

If you rule you have to rule to keep the authority and power. So instead of negotiating now, change the freaking rule now and then negotiate later from a strong position.
I don't want Red Bull begging for a PU.... it's ridiculous!
I don't want McLaren at the back of the grid and then being happy for having an underpowered PU when they have maybe a world-champion chassis!
IMHO so the authority has to act.
I would like F1 keeps the edge in technology and innovation, not just simple-standard PU.

Tornillo Amarillo

It is of concern to the team’s star drivers, Daniel Riccardo and Max Verstappen

Yes, goodbye RIC, you are a good fit for Mercedes. Sorry, Bottas...

Goodbye Max, I think you are heading to Ferrari?

Hello Sainz, beg Renault buy your contract in 2019.

Hello Kvyiat, you are promoted again to Red Bull!! What a career in F1!


On big difference. The last time I checked Renault owned a lot of shares of Nissan/Infinity.

I hope Aston Martin gets in the game in 2021.


The power unit issues for RBR have a solution. Toyota and Porsche are both in a position to convert their WEC programs into F1 engine suppliers.


Why do think they are getting out of the WEC? Could it be that the engines are too expensive and full of irrelevant technology.


Great news for the sport having Aston Martin associated with any team in any way.
Getting the brand more exposure could mean more cars produced which could allow for aggressive expansion and a higher turnover which could mean engine development. That all sounds good to me, and if red bull were to eventually morf into a Christian horner, Adrian Newey owned and ran team branded as Aston Martin then that would be terrific too.
Let's face it the only way Mercedes or Ferrari can beat a Newey creation is by prolonging the current engine formula and therefore it should come as no surprise whatsoever that suddenly there is talk of keeping the MGU-H.
The next regs will of course be a compromise with ultimately a level of component standardisation which in turn will lower the costs.
Compromise......Bernie just threw up.


Renault deserved criticism (and worse) in 2015
While Ferrari improved power, reliability and driveability, all Renault did was increase unreliability
Would Liberty Media fund an engine manufacturer? Preferably one with no production car base.


With regards to the Red Bull cost would it not be better for Red Bull to use Honda in 2019 as surely the engines would be free thus greatly reducing Red Bulls spend??

Obviously this ignores the possibility the engine would still not be competitive therefore a further loss of prize money.


F1 doesnt need a fresh start on the engine. Its not what limits the current competitiveness across all teams, its the rigid stupid rules. Taking the 100kg fuel for example, the fuel saving/efficiency and the competitiveness/variables in a race can be easily achieved by allowing the teams to decide how much fuel they carry at the start and when to re fuel during the race. This creates better game plans and im sure will bring more audience and attention to media.
Another example is how the driver is instructed. Despite various new rules the team radio is still artificially coaching drivers how to drive. I believe radio should be limited to safety reasons only rather than affirming positions/engine modes/whether to speed up or slow down the pack in order to limit others race plan (ie intructions to lewis in the last bit of singapore).
F1 is competitive and attractive itself. The engine isnt the main restrains but the inflexible rules. The parliament in my country, New Zealand, makes new laws faster than the FIA rules in a bet to adapt to the ever changing world. So come on FIA, be mature and realistic.


I don't see refueling ever coming back, it is simply too dangerous for this current FIA to stomach.
There were quite a few fuel fires during the refueling days. What is the justification that necessitates taking this risk. It is safer to play with the tyres to produce the variance needed in the strategy to enhance the show.


If the FIA changed (increased or decreased) the 105 kgs of fuel for GP regulation by enough to make a difference to the racing that would change the engine usage so much that none of the current engines would be workable. Increasing the fuel flow limit from 100 kgs /hour by enough to make difference to the sound would seem a more logical path. At the moment the flow restriction limits the engines to around 10,000 rpm, which is both dull (not enough frequency) and too quiet (not enough noise).


@ gary...have just watched the first track testing of multiple cars at Sebring with the new design plus aero kits. Those Indy cars look like real racecars for the 21st century. Not only do they look good but they sound excellent with both Chev and Honda power units! I would recommend any fans to take a look....really good stuff.


"All the noises from sources with knowledge of the Honda F1 project suggest that the fixes necessary to change the management culture and make that engine competitive are not in place and there is little sign of that changing"

--> An honest question: how many years of embarrassing performance and humiliating losses will it take to convince Honda that those changes are necessary?


"His (Mateschitz's) investment in Red Bull Racing has had to increase with the loss of...the Infiniti money"

--> The Infiniti money only went away because Red Bull so publicly slagged and then cancelled its Renault engine contract. RBR really shot themselves in the foot there. Lost the Infiniti money; losing the Renault engine. Reap what you sow?

The failed handshake agreement with Niki for Mercedes engines is proving to be quite costly. Then again, when you're worth a few billion, you can do whatever the heck you want!


It's all getting a bit (more) silly : a manufacturer having their name mentioned as part of the "team name" even though that manufacturer provides neither chassis nor powerplant. I could accept it with Infiniti due to the Renault tie-in but AM is really pushing the boundaries of credulity.
And we have manufacturers helping each other to improve their powerplants.
And we have manufacturers having and wanting ownership interests in supposedly competing teams.
And we have multiple drivers contracted to a given team/manufacturer and then sent out to drive for supposedly competing teams.
And we have the owners of the sport needing (and helping?) a private entrant to take-on a dud engine from Honda so that they (Honda) don’t find themselves without a team and therefore (rather embarrassingly for all) out of the sport.
Why don’t they all just sit down and agree that RBR will win a few championships in a row, then Merc will win a few, then Renault, then Honda.
Everyone will be happy and us viewers will be none the wiser.


you couldn't make it up!


Common business sense do not apply in f1. And not for us fan to understand either. If it brings closer racing and better show, why not?


I see this morning that FIA F1 technical chief Marcin Budkowski has resigned. He's been put on gardening leave as well.

I wonder if this means that the shoe has dropped on the new regs. Could Budkowski have lost a power struggle over the direction engine regulations will take, deciding that he doesn't want to remain with the FIA on that path? Was he known to be promoting extension of the current formula, or agitating for change?


@ Rudy...Yes, i read that as well and i wondered just why he left in such a hurry? Something is wrong here and we'll probably never know the details. At that level, only a couple of things trigger a speedy exit such as but not limited to, Bad medical diagnosis, Finger in the till or Professional compromise. I'm specifically not saying that any of those things have occurred, just speculating.


Or is it that now he's seen too secret info from every team on the grid, and has knowledge of the direction the regs are going in....he might just want to shop his services around the paddock. He's in a position to sign a "set for life" contract, if he's not already.


Twitch, your imagination really knows no bounds does it? No wonder you are so upset with all the political machinations in the sport, you invented half of it!


The Infiniti partnership was a pretty successful one in terms of brand awareness, they certainly got far more 'brand activation' for their buck than their fairly anonymous partnership with Renault presently - Red Bull are simply better at marketing I suppose - so hopefully Aston Martin can benefit as well.

I just don't quite understand how the numbers can stack up for a low-volume manufacturer which has only just returned to profit.

Projects like Valkyrie make a heck of a lot of sense as loss-leaders (which it surely is based on such a short production run), so that adds something to the feeling that there is a genuine technical partnership rather than a simple marketing exercise.

I hope I'm wrong, not least of all for Milton Keynes as they are both valuable employers to the area.


"Global Brand Awareness" ? "Revitalized " ?? Don't make me laugh!
This is all marketing-speak and simply reflects that Palmer's good buddy has again conned him into spending yet more of shareholders money on a "fun thing."
There's no other explanation. Aston will now inevitably be associated with the losers at Honda.To most of the world "Honda" is simply a bottom of the line, cheap, Japanese car with no glitz glamour or pizazz.
There's no upside.


You'd be surprised that's probably a minority opinion. Maybe in the 70s and 80s, but not in this generation.

The civic is one of the most loved, coveted, and prized cars of the last 30 years. Search for yourself what a mint condition '97 Type R goes for these days. Same with Integra Type Rs.

The NSX, even to this day, is considered one of the best sports cars ever made. Not the most powerful, it's handling was sublime, and according to people who drive them today, give one of the best driving experiences you can get.

I don't know where you live, but here in Canada, from Vancouver to Montreal, go through any suburb or Starbucks parking lot, you'll easily find as many Acuras as you do any other luxury brand. Without upsetting or offending anyone, go to somewhere like Richmond in Vancouver, there's Acuras on every corner.

And how many Indy 500s have they won recently? Like I said, I don't know where you're from, maybe in your closed of little corner of the world, Honda has no glitz, glamour, and pizzas, but in the rest of the world, they're kind of a big deal now.

Also, what does glitz, glamour, and pizzas have to do with cars, racing or street?


@ Twitch6.....Infiniti/Luxury brands. Acuras? That's stretching best middle of the road, if anything. The NSX was a great car but overpriced. Excellent handling and a supreme sound when wound up. I once drove one for a 27K circuit through a winding, twisty national Park. Great fun and it was very very fast.


Thin end of the wedge to get mercedes power for rbr and keep honda for torro as point of difference and maybe honda team in time?!!

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