Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren rattle the sabres: “Time for Liberty to act on F1”
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Mar 2018   |  8:33 am GMT  |  256 comments

After the strong words about F1’s owners Liberty Media from Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne on Tuesday, Toto Wolff of Mercedes and McLaren’s Zak Brown have also waded in, throwing their support behind Ferrari’s view.

Their position is that F1 has a certain DNA, a certain technical level and if Liberty intends to dumb it down – in order to close up the field – then they aren’t interested in participating. At least that’s how Marchionne expresses it. The other two say that they support his position and Brown pressed Liberty to act soon to reveal the plans for 2021 onwards, as time is running short and the engine in particular is a critical thing to get right.

“I agree completely with Sergio and his way of seeing the situation,” said Wolff. “Even if it was expressed in ‘Marchionne style’! ”

The Ferrari boss spelled it out clearly on Monday,”We are interested in saving the DNA of this sport, which cannot be diluted for commercial reasons or for the show,” he said. “If you can no longer distinguish one competitor from another on a technical level then I’m not interested. If you can’t tell a Ferrari from a Mercedes, then I’m not interested.

“Liberty should let us work; if they no longer give us the chance to compete then we will be leaving.”

These three powerful teams stand together then; on the other side is Red Bull, which would have much to gain from the others leaving F1 and which has always supported the entertainment route. The other key factor is that they don’t produce engines, something which has put them at a clear disadvantage to Ferrari and Mercedes since the advent of hybrid turbos in 2014.

Clock ticking on engines
Everyone is waiting for plans. Time is running short for many things, but especially for the engine that F1 will use from 2021 onwards. The timeline calls for the plans to be revealed in April and then to be developed into a set of regulations for 2021, so the engine builders can get to work. Lead times are very long with engines.

Ross Brawn

The faultline is that Liberty’s team, with Ross Brawn at the helm technically, want to simplify the engine, to go the ‘entertainment’ route, while maintaining the hybrid turbo technology which gives road relevance as the automotive world moves towards miniaturisation and electrification *.

One key stumbling block is the MGU-H, the motor generator unit in the hybrid system which harvests heat energy from the turbo. Mercedes and Ferrari want to keep this.

Liberty want to get rid of it, so do Red Bull and the smaller teams on the grounds of cost, while Porsche is believed to have the removal of the MGU-H as a condition of coming into the sport in 2021.

Other teams say that they have no clarity on what is going on in this process. There was an outline relased in October, which Marchionne reacted strongly to and since then it’s been quiet as the leading manufacturers discuss with Liberty and the FIA.

Chase Carey Jean Todt

These two entities need to be aligned and progress needs to be made, was the message from Brown in a media session yesterday, attended by this website. He wants Liberty and the FIA to act positively and get the process started. It promises to be a season of intense political activity behind the scenes.

These decisions on the DNA of F1 after 2020 are absolutely critical. I’m of the view that, as the 2020s will be the decade of the rise of autonomous vehicles, the very soul of motorsport needs to be examined to make sure the product is appealing to publics around the world that will increasingly give up on driving.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the sport – millions still love horse racing and marvel at equestrian skills over a century after the car replaced the horse and carriages – but it does mean that the world’s most skilled and courageous drivers pilot cars that people want to watch.

That is mission critical.

* The FIA held the first meeting of its Environment and Sustainability Commission in Geneva today and the topic of motorsport technology playing a part in ‘smart cities’, as they call it in the future was discussed.

Alejandro Agag, the CEO of Formula E Holdings said, “Technology is at the core of smart policies, smart services and smart cities. Transferring expertise from Sport to broader Mobility problems can enhance urban transportation at the global scale”.

All photos: LAT Images

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Bring back 1997 spec 3L V12 engines and points system. Problem solved.


Ban the MGU-H. Let Ferrari say it is banned because it is ‘too good, too fast’ – the same for M-B. Severely restrict the influence of aerodynamics while keeping wings – F1 is somewhere in the far reaches of technology as applied to surface transportation aero and it does not apply anywhere else. Want tech advances? Allow energy recvoery through all four wheels, but limit power application to the rear wheels. A big part of F1 is the driver! Let’s SEE the difficulty of handling these projectiles, let there be significantly more noise (less than a small rock concert right now), and let people see the tremendous energy being marshalled!


A large part of F1 DNA ( I hate this cliche) is being surgically removed. Massaive audiences on TV with team sponsors happy with lots of exposure. Going going and soon to be gone to be replaced by an unproven model. Good luck to them!


Why do people think F1 needs Ferrari so bad? It simply doesn’t. Yes there will be a downfall in viewing figures if such a thing were to happen. It would be forgotten about soon after with names like Porsche and BMW, maybe even Toyota coming back in. It grinds on me how much Ferrari (and even Mercedes it seems) think the world won’t continue without them. I very much take Joe Sawards view on this


I had an idea; it is out there, but hey, why not. Two Championships: Spec car Drivers title (say F2 cars with more power) – race on Sunday morning. Constructors championship in the afternoon ($150 million annual budget), minimal rules – engineers can go crazy (within safety parameters of course).

You can find out who is truly the best driver, budgets are within reason, engineers can show off their skills, F1 DNA is preserved, viewers get more racing, circuit owners are happy, more TV time to sell, upsides everywhere.

What do you guys think?


I like this idea, but couldn’t this be achieved (in the short term anyway) by fully integrating the presentation of F2 with F1 worldwide? F2 is already run on F1 weekends, but it doesn’t seem to get wide spread TV coverage. At least not in North America. I would love to see these races as part of the normal F1 coverage we get here. And maybe for a couple of the F2 races (Silverstone and Spa maybe, you throw the F1 drivers into the F2 car for a couple of extra DC points). This integration seems more advanced in Europe, but surely that would help the growth of the sport in North America. If Liberty continue down the path of OTT delivery, then that seems to be an easy win.

As for the new regulations, Liberty should keep the technical aspects of the engine the same, and freeze them for a decade. Then share the revenue of the sport more equitably between the teams (no more legacy payments) and the rest should sort itself out. Nothing ever good comes of trying to change the technical regulations for the “entertainment” of the sport. All that matters is that over time, the teams become more similar in lap time. How they get there is up to them. I like the budget cap idea too, but I don’t see how that can be effectively policed.

Richard Mortimer


Interesting idea – something pretty close to what I have been suggesting for a few years:

F1 always seems to address the wrong problems: restricted testing and only 3 PUs per year! When, the big problem is this ‘aero’ formula with it’s escalation war!

Ferrari (and the others) are protecting their ‘gap’ to the rest of the field. The only ones who aren’t, interestingly, are Red Bull (who are not frightened of anyone)! Quite why McLaren are weighing in here is anyone’s guess? Maybe Renault asked them to / put pressure on them to do so?

What we need with engines is ‘parity.’ So, the leading engine is ‘frozen.’ It can’t be modified. Then, development tokens need to be appointed to give parity. So, Ferrari would get less than Renault, and Honda would get the most. This would also encourage new manufacturers to come in.

I think you are right about making the engine rules much freer. You can regulate with the ‘parity’ system, fuel tank size and weight. I would also ban turbos as they kill the ‘racing’ noise, but allow superchargers. The reason for that is, superchargers keep the ‘noise,’ and are fuel-hungry, so there would be useful development going on with that technology.

Also, your idea of a split-grid is pretty similar! Let’s compare notes?

So, 2 formulas A & B. The idea being they can race together:

A has no budget limit but very restricted aero.

B has a $100M budget cap (where Force India are) but with more open ‘aero.’

Again, a parity system would be needed to keep the cars competitive with one another. This can be done in a number of ways, including the tank size and weight already mentioned.

A teams to run 3 cars with one being a ‘rookie’ whose car will not count to constructors points.

So, if 4 teams now have 3 cars, we have a grid of 24. But also, with the budget cap coming in, maybe some new teams would come in as well. 2 things need to happen on top: 1. Contract engine (Cosworth or something) that all teams can use if they want. Parity sought in the same way. 2. Open out the qualifying regs for F1 entry. Seem very prohibitive right now.

Also, I think 1 year old cars should be run too (such a waste building new cars every year)! These can be pegged to the midfield.

So, with 20+ cars (maybe 30+) you now run 2 grids: Top 20 cars go into F1 qualifying. Bottom cars from 21 down race on Saturday and the top 6 finishers go onto the Sunday grid!


F1 to me is about the the best technology and the best drivers. If it was just about the racing, we’d all watch a one-make formula.

The strong dependence on aero from the front wing is what has ruined the racing by making following impossible.

Standardising a simpler front wing would go a long way to reducing road-irrelevant costs. So would fixing the bodywork for the whole season.

Richard Mortimer


I have been very much encouraged about the (general) agreement about the state of F1 and what needs to be done on this thread.

Please can I make a suggestion?

Let’s put ‘our’ plan together and get agreement to that. We are the fans. Liberty / Ross Brawn would be very foolish not to listen to us.

Maybe if enough of us backed one plan, it would get somewhere?

Obviously, there are a lot of ideas (below), but, surely, we can pull those into some general principles?




FWONA, one of my easiest shorts.


I think they should do what the BTCC does- allow teams to have their own engine, but those that don’t can have a standardised engine-

For example in BTCC, Team Dynamics Honda use a Neil Brown tuned engine, whereas the smaller teams use the TOCA Standard Swindon tuned engine.

Do that for MGU-H- Allow teams to develop their own to a defined regulation but allow the other teams to use a standardised one if they wish.


Let these 3 teams go, I say.

I’ve been watching F1 since ’85, and for a large portion of that Ferrari hasn’t been that competitive, save the Brawn years….their arrogance can go somewhere else, I’ll take Porsche.

Mercedes? Pfft, F1 survived without you for years.

MacLaren? Sure 5 years ago I would have been sorry to see you go…but you’re a shell of yourself, and not the team of old…if you leaving means Williams will be more competitive by levelling…then I’ll take that.

Richard Mortimer

Also, McLaren race team is probably a very sellable proposition. So, it could become another team or be bought as ‘McLaren Racing.’


This is not horse racing. Horse prancing maybe.

How about bull racing. Here is my free advice for Red Bull. Leaping bull graphic moved ahead and lowered. Make the bull’s horns 3-dimensional on the halo.

Since the drivers helmet is no longer visible, reproduce it on the air box with a convex screen on the front as the face shield. The brave driver is riding the charging bull !

Ad placement for the hyped-up Red Bull drinker.


Not sure if serious, but I like it. Besides, anything goes in f1 nowadays so why not?


After reading this article and some of the comments, I started to wonder why I am interested in F1 at all. It can’t be because a car is running 300 kmph, tbh I can’t see the difference when it would run at 280 kmph. It can’t be the show around it all, cause I really don’t care about that. It can’t be the interviews of the drivers cause there comments are political cooked and therefore worthless, (except when there is some real emotion boiling and then the whole world says OMG he should temper his voice/opinion). It’s not because Ferrari or Merc is participating. It’s certainly not cause of the technology being used. So, why ?? Well cause of the gladiators ofc. The drivers and there weapons, (aka cars). The fights on the track, the tactics being used. That’s why I follow F1 !! So for me the DNA of F1 is not Fer or Merc or RB, for me it are those memorable moments on the track, fights, losses and victories. In short the emotion if your chosen one will prevail to become the next WC or at least win some battles. And if he fails, well Ill be devastated and hope for the best in 2 weeks time. So, if Liberty can bring more excitement to the track, they have my vote !


The debate here is whether competitive sport is entertaining in its own right or whether Grand Prix racing is now purely an entertainment show. I sit in the first category, which means I want to see the world’s most talented lunatics drive round the black top as fast as can be safely achieved. This means purety, transparency, continuity and prowess; a definition of the pinnacle of motorsport. It is, therefore, impossible and unwise to turn the clock back to older technology, less safe practices, or a less inclusive audience. To be more fair towards the rights holder, race promoters, teams, drivers and fans, an enhanced equitable approach is required towards genuine racing. Grow the sport and the entertainment will be augmented. Grow the entertainment and the revenues will follow. Grow the revenues and the sport will be enhanced. And so on…

Richard Mortimer


Well said! Sergio M does not seem to know what is the DNA of F1.

After all, some of the best battles and best racing were in the 1970s, when the cars were really a pro-type F3000!

The DNA of F1 is not very advanced engine tech! Maybe that is the WEC (and the place where these current engines should end-up)!

As you say, it is gladitorial battles and the like. OK, so the Rosberg / Hamilton battle was good (but we needed more drivers getting in the mix there)!

The Prost / Senna battle was on a gladitorial scale! Great when you have the 2 best drivers in the best car! Which is why I would like to see the ‘factory’ teams having to run 3 cars with the 3rd not getting makes WC points.

But also, there needs to be much more ‘other’ interest, such as: The little guy doing some giant slaying; etc.

I loved seeing Chris Amon plant the Ensign on grid 3 for the 1976 Swedish GP. Or, I was rooting for Hill to win the 1997 Hungarian GP in the Arrows, and for Fisichella to do the same at Spa in 2009!

Sergio M has one thing right, the history of the sport is important. Witness the huge interest in the Goodwood F of S, and the old cars that get to run up the hill!


3rd car would have made the last couple of seasons a little more interesting within the top teams….an option for them perhaps. If the 3rd car was not eligible for points then used as a rookie seat on a rotational basis at the teams discretion to measure them against some of the more established pilots…

Richard Mortimer


Brilliant idea! Running rookies and rotating them. Also, I think Kubica would be in that category as not having raced in a few years.

Raikonnen would have qualified when he returned to F1 too!


Wait, what???

Räikkonen took 3rd in WDC the very season he returned, even driving an inferior car!


But the Mgu-H is one of the coolest parts about the current hybrid engine … not only can they spoil the turbo with it but they can recover energy as well!!!!

I’ll stop watching F1 if the cars aren’t technological marvels. Really hope Liberty doesn’t mess this up!

Richard Mortimer

Floodo 1

You should become the WEC’s most devoted fan!

I want screaming engines and overtaking! I want things all mixed up and to see the best drivers winning. So, Alonso should not be struggling for 3 years without a win!

If F1 were more competitive, different drivers would win. There would be fairytale wins every now and again. Look at 1977 or even the start of 2012!


Did you consider the F1 cars prior to the PU era as technological marvels?

Did you enjoy races like Suzuka 2005, Canada 2011, Brazil 2008 2012?


Spending an obscene amount of money to add a dynamo with whole lot of complexity and 150 kg of extra weight to a small single seater just to save a few cents of fuel is not a technological marvel.


@ Floodo….Just consider for a moment, what if they removed it but didn’t tell you and the lap times were all relative to each other/car? Would you still be an F1 fan?


Kenneth……what if on the other hand it turned out that they had in fact switched to the current PU system a decade ago but didn’t tell you, and had been simulating the noise of V10’s until four years ago and you didn’t notice? Would you still hate the current PU? 🙂

Learning about and admiring the execution of the high tech is a big part of why I personally follow F1 and I think these cars are pretty cool.
And for the record…..I’m not really bothered by the halo, it is just a progression of more and more protection for the driver that has been going on since I started watching in 60’s (good lord, that’s a long time ago)


@ PatM…Good point however the reverse alternative that you have proposed is not quite comparable. You are talking about a completely different set of parameters vis a vis power units. I’m not doing that. The removal of the MGU-H would hardly be recognisable, IMO, by the average racefan. Your example would be simply by the sounds as there are no viable aural enhancements available to emulate the banshee wail of a V10 that i know of. That would be a dead giveaway. Don’t be mislead…I am all for engineering technology that creates, examines and extends the extremes. The caveat being only if it improves the experience. These PU’s do nothing of the sort. If anything they have degraded the experience due to their complexity which has excluded so many from being able to enter the series competitively. There can be no return to the old ways and that’s not bad. What must happen is that the ‘exclusivity of manufacturing’ needs to be expanded with other builders able to participate equally. If by taking the MGU-H out of the equation is the answer then it needs to be done ASAP. Mercedes/Ferrari may still be top of the pile but at least it paves the way for new entrants and heightened levels competition.


I would like to see them simulate those light agile cars that we were enjoying pre PU.


Even more so because the cars would sound better.


Wonder what the Renault position is, bearing in mind their failure rate last year and that breakdowns mean Alonso is sitting on 7 laps today with Sainz sitting on 4 laps…

Could they do with a simplification tweak to the PUs?

This potentially excellent midfield battle could be over by lap 10 in the races.


I hope Ross Brawn mans up and makes the right decisions. You can’t be bullied by a few teams. I don’t even care anymore if Ferrari quit. They have entitlement issues and I’d rather have Porsche and good racing than the status quo. I also couldn’t care less if 2/3rds of the drivers were sacked and or replaced too. To me, 2012 still remains the last true entertaining season. Prior to that, the only seasons with dull racing were 2010, 2005 and the woeful 2002 season.


I agree. I love Ferrari, their racing history, their roadcars, everything. But I would be happy to see them go if it means F1 getting back to what it needs to be.


The statement about “DNA of F1” is being overused and reminds me of how the USA uses 2nd amendment every time sensible gun laws are being proposed. Liberty need to put their food down because if they bow to Ferrari and Merc on this then there is no recovery for F1 in the future. The sport needs to adapt to the market and the fans needs and currently that isn’t being done. The few friends I have that watch F1 are dwindling because 1. paywalls 2. no change in the top three. 3. mostly predictable once pole is gotten 4. drivers can’t really race or overtake due to track and tires and fuel savings.


There has always been tyre issues and fuel saving in F1. It’s the incessant moaning and negativity that kills F1 for me personally. All forms of motor racing are pretty stupid and pointless if you dissect it ad finitum ad nauseum. “Ooh I don’t like the sound” and “Oh, the halo, that’s it, I’m off” constant whining and whingeing about every little thing. That’s really what kills the passion & the interest. Just shuddup already and go racing…


constant whining and whingeing about every little thing

Plus 1 Baron, I agree.


The 2nd amendment is a real and tangible thing, written down in black and white on parchment. It means what it says, and not open to much interpretation if one is an honest constitutional scholar. That is very much unlike the “DNA of F1”, which is completely intangible and different for everybody, i.e. it’s just opinion.


2nd amendment not open to interpretation? Haha, wait there, I’ll go and load my musket.


2nd Amendment was adopted before the advent of assault weapons. The original intent has been so bastardized by the nutballs of the far right, that it’s taken on a life of its own.

Thankfully, some states are getting a clue, banning these weapons, and those bans have been upheld in the courts.

Thankfully, many corporate entities in the States are changing their practices, and no longer allowing teenagers to walk out of their stores with an assault rifle and some ammo.

‘s’about time!


@ KRB…I’m currently debating this issue with many of my US pals. The problem is that currently there are an estimated 320 million firearms in the hands of the public!!! Selective weapons bans for the future are meaningless in the greater scheme of things. The only way to change the status quo is for the American public to change their mental approach to the distrust of other Americans. Will it happen….no. However I have one novel approach that ,over time, could be successful [if that’s possible ] and that’s just to cease manufacturing ammunition. Eventually the weapons would be rendered useless.


kenneth, that’s the Chris Rock solution! 😀

The problem in America is a culture of “get even, at any cost or escalation”. So even if you could destroy every gun and every bullet tomorrow, there would still be cases of some disturbed youth knifing a bunch of their fellow students to death, etc. Only good thing there is that they wouldn’t be likely to kill as many people – before being taken down – as they can now.

Also, as you alluded to, this knee-jerk reaction towards deterrence measures (“arm the teachers!”), instead of a general pacification, is so ingrained in American culture (“Don’t tread on me!” & the Wild West), that any significant gun control in America is DOA from the outset.


Is it realistic for the MGU-H to be a regulated standard part, supplied to all engine builders?

This stand off is key to the image of the sport; they’ve got to get it right. I hope they’re brave, no one wants to see the sports new owners being back-danced by the pretenders, even if they are Merc & Ferrari.

Stand and deliver Liberty…


One more point. Absolutely noone watches horse racing unless they’ve put a bet on. 😉

Richard Mortimer

Ha too right!

The problem is, there are several dynamics working together here. However, the first question is ‘what is the DNA of F1?’ and how is that related to the DNA of racing?

I started watching F1 in 1976. I drove karts competitively over 11 years from 1980, including a paid drive in my final year. Plus, I have an engineering degree. That is not to brag, but just to say, I do know what I am talking about.

Here is my view:

1. The DNA of F1 is that it is a drivers championship. That is the most important thing. For example: who talks about the top ten teams? It does happen, but, how often are the top 10 drivers listed? It’s always happening.

2. The next thing is: F1 is a sport with a rich history. Ferrari, in fact, is using that fact as their main weapon!

3. Also: F1 is about racing cars! They should be fast (which they are) and loud (which they are not currently).

So, here is what I want to see:

1. The best drivers winning. That usually happens as the best drivers get the best drives. But, it’s been a tragedy to see Alonso the last few years. I watched an interview with Senna from 1992 yesterday. He was talking about Mansell’s leaving F1 and what he would be doing next year. He said there was no point risking your neck for 5th place or something like that. He was there to win!

2. But also, I want to see competitive racing. It was better last year. But, the gap between Red Bull and Force India was too much. Williams and now FI have done really well since 2014, but neither has won a race! I don’t like that.

Look at 1974 (before my time) or 1977! In 1974 7 different drivers won races from 5 different teams! Plus, the title went down to the wire!

In 1977 it was 8 different drivers from 6 different teams, including first time wins for Wolf (Scheckter), Laffite in the Ligier and Jones in the Shadow!

Or, what about 2012, with 7 different drivers winning the first 7 races in 5 different cars! Then, you have Raikkonen winning in the Lotus in Abu Dhabi!

The most boring years were the Schumacher / Ferrari years! And, I was not the only one, the public switched off in their droves.

I think for Ferrari and the others to say “the DNA of F1 is the tech” is complete rubbish. It’s part of the picture, but not the DNA.

Look at those 2 years from the 70’s: those cars were pretty crude! For one thing, the Cosworth DFV was a stressed member, so most makes only built half a car! 4 of those winning teams used the DFV!

In 1977 it was 4 teams of the 6. Ferrari and the Matra powered Ligier adding interest.

I don’t like these current engines at all! To be scared of Formula E is to miss the point.

I was at Silverstone for the GP in 1977. That was the debut of the Renault turbo. It whistled past! So, you had this grid of screaming DFVs, Ferrari and Alfa F12s, and the Matra V12. Then, this strange thing coming around with them!

Also, this aero formula is completely ridiculous. It’s an escalation war that low budget teams cannot possibly win.

On top of that: I don’t think a budget cap is going to work. There is too much disparity between the teams for that. Set it at £100M and the reduction my Ferrari and Mercedes is too much. Set it at £150M and still some teams are at a disadvantage.

No, I think what is needed is a much more open (technical) formula on the engine side, with restricted aero (which will automatically reduce the amount small teams have to spend and bring them into line).

So, here is my solution: A split formula A and B –

A is unrestricted budget but very restricted aero (standard front-wing and close loop-holes behind front wheels). Plus, no slots. You control the formula by fuel tank size and weight. Those are changed year to year to bring all into line. But, the engines are opened-up.

However, you run a proper ‘frozen / token’ system. The previous frozen system did not work as all engines were frozen, so any gap was maintained. The token system did not work either, as they all got the same number of tokens.

No, it has to be aiming for parity. So, the best engine (right now the Mercedes) is frozen. They can’t update at all. Then, tokens are given depending how far behind they are. Honda would get the most. That will work!

B section has a budget cap of £100M (or whatever) but much more ‘open’ aero. Again, fixed patrol tank size and weight. Also, other controls to get ‘parity’ between A and B. I think this should be relevant to the teams in each section.

So, if we assume Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren (and maybe Renault) are A teams, which would Red Bull pick? If A, the top teams in B would be Williams and Force India – peg them around 3rd quickest. So, in the current situation, they would be running with Red Bull.

But, if Red Bull went for B (it would be a bit more interesting). Maybe go for complete ‘parity’ then? So, A and B class would be pegged together!

Certainly, some radical thinking is needed, and fast! And, F1 needs a radical make-over!


At least that sport was not so silly with PC bs that they forbid the girls to wear nice hats!


F1 should just go back to 40 year old Tech AND 40 year old attitudes on women. Imagine that, a 1977 Renault turbo with a hot girl holding a sign in front. Now that’s F1 DNA 😂😂😂😂😂😂


I’m finding it hard to take a position on this – I can agree with both sides of the argument.

1. How much of this ‘DNA’ talk is just protectionism – top teams not wanting to see their workforces halved?

2. If Ferrari at al leaves but PORSCHE at al joins – zero sum?

3. Hard fact – Tifosi aside, most global fans follow drivers more than teams – I Don’t want a spec series but v. high discrepancy between teams cheapens the WDC.



I think F1 is fine as is. The only thing I don’t like is the idea that a customer teams engine can’t be used however they see fit and with the same software as the works team. I’m enjoying this year already with the level of talent in the field and the number of teams with good cars.


I see the same pundits airing their views each time James puts out an article.

How many F1 fans give a tinkers what drives the cars. They only care about a good fast competitve race for their money.

Whilst every is sceaming about the cost of motors another gear, then put some back and reduce the absolutely ridiculous wages that the likes of Hamilton get. Stop wasting money on super caravans built on semi-trailers. There is so much waste on one up man-ship. Run the races in zones to reduce th travel times and costs. F1 talks about reducing fuel usage for maybe 6 hours per weekend. How about all the flying fuel, the multi truck fuel costs. F1 needs to wake up to itself and reduce the self serving costs.


@ James…sorry, but i’m getting a mixed message here. Maybe you could clarify for me. My understanding is that basically Ferrari and Mercedes are arguing for retention of the PU as it currently stands inclusive of the MGU-H, now. Whereas Zac Brown is not saying this at all. What he wants Liberty/FIA to do is hand down decisions…whatever they may be, irrespective of engine configuration. Just make some decisions so that they can get on with planning. I don’t see him aligning himself with the other two in maintenance of the engine status quo? Have i got it right or wrong?


They’re all just arguing for more for them. The reasons are just the excuses.


So two groups of socio and psychopaths from stable family upbringings have joined groups with another group and socio and psychopaths from stable family upbringings to take on another group of socio and psychopaths from stable family upbringings?

Ok guys, please just make the on track racing close. Fight for your cut all you want. Just make the bloody racing close.


Please illucidate: What are we talking about here? Is it thermal transfer or what? Can someone please explain , in layman’s terms, where the issues lie so we can all get involved in the debate. Thanks.


The exhaust gasses spin a turbine in the exhaust system. Some of that energy is used to spin the turbo compressor directly (like a typical turbo system), but some of it is converted to electricity with a small generator/motor and stored in a battery. The energy in the battery is then used to spin the turbo compressor at low revs to eliminate turbo lag.


Can someone please explain

I make no claims of expertise, but I copied this from an article I read. I think it explains in fairly simple terms what happens:

MGU-H(Motor Generator Unit-Heat) -MGU-H is the unit that is connected to the turbocharger. In an F1 car, the MGU-H works like the MGU-K, meaning that it works both ways. It can recover energy from the turbo, store it, and then use it to spin the compressor. If you look at a turbocharger, you’ll find a turbine at one end, and a compressor at the other. The exhaust gases are used to spin the turbine, which spins the compressor. The MGU-H is located in between the two. So when the hot gases spin the turbine, it also produces electricity that is stored in the battery. And when the car accelerates, the electricity is used to spin the compressor, providing immediate power. There’s no turbo lag. Power application is immediate.

Hope that helps.


@ C63…Whilst the working parameters of the MHU-H are pretty well known the isolation of this particular component as the ‘catalyst for change’ escapes me. I have for a very long time sought out data that tells me why this piece of kit is so expensive. So expensive that other potential manufacturers have specifically nominated that that component be excluded from fure engine regs. So, if you have anything to add i would very much like to hear about it…like what is the actual cost and why, after five years, it remains so ? If you happen to read this James maybe you could add this to your ‘to do’ bag of things.


Hope this helps Ken.

The expense is really in the development of more power and efficiency from the size turbo they are allowed its rotation speed and materials. In other words it’s the continued development. As an item it’s not that costly.

Yes – variants of the technology are already being used in mainstream Mercedes as well as numerous supercars. Regardless of what many people on here argue, it is highly relevant technology directly responsible for the huge jump being made in the thermal efficiency of the IC engine.

It is here, working and being sold to customers yet luddites on here still think it’s not on cars!

In terms of expense in F1 – the expense is in developing such with the restriction rules on turbo size and rotation speed as well as materials. The ERH allows far greater power than would normally be possible with such cost restrictions. The additional expense is in the refinement of such new technology (although the idea is not old)

Honda specifically returned to F1 because of its inclusion in the PU. They knew they needed to learn quickly to catch up with such as Porsche Audi etc via LMP1.

It is only an issue in terms of an entry barrier to skin flints Aston because they lack the funds. Porsche could quite easily enter but I am pretty sure Audi have other things on their mind than letting the only profitable section without giant fines to go play in F1.

Note also that the energy created (or used) by the ERS h is unrestricted. Hence the more you can get out of it the more power you have unlike the ERSK.


Sorry kenneth, I’m afraid I cannot help – I only know about the general principles involved and as ever, the devil (read cost) will be in the detail. I have a question; how will taking away the MGU-H make the sound better, as the turbo will still be in the exhaust?

On a different note – is there any news on email notifications of replies to comments? On longer threads it becomes very long winded trying to keep up with a conversation.


Yes Andrew, in simple terms its about the technology and knowhow required to optimize the various energy recovery components you have at your disposal in a ‘modern F1 engine’, and especially so MGU-H which harvest the heat energy from the turbo and bring it back to propulsion. MGU-H is connected to the turbocharger. It can recover energy from the turbo, store it, and then use it to spin the compressor. If you look at a turbocharger, you’ll find a turbine at one end, and a compressor at the other. The exhaust gases are used to spin the turbine, which spins the compressor. The MGU-H is located in between the two. So when the hot gases spin the turbine, it also produces electricity that is stored in the battery. And when the car accelerates, the electricity is used to spin the compressor, providing immediate power. There is no turbo lag. Power application is immediate, reason why it is quite important.
And reason why some of the old big engine manufacturing teams that already ‘master that technology area’ wants to keep it, is due to the classic Barrier to Entry business subject:

Craig in Manila

Yeah, the obvious problem is that Ferrari and Mercedes now “own” so much of F1 that, if they pulled-out, it would take a LOT of work to rebuild.

If it was to happen right now (I know it can’t, hypothetical) :

From Merc, out would go :
AMG Merc Team
Engines for Williams
Engines for Force India
Hamilton, Bottas plus any other driver under Merc/Wolff control/influence

From Ferrari :
Scud Ferrari Team
Haas engines and much of the car itself
Alfa Sauber Team (or the engines at least)
Vettel, Kimi, and any other driver under Ferrari’s control/influence

Teams like Williams, Force India, Haas and Alfa Sauber may well decide that it’s best to join a new series alongside their friends at Merc and Ferrari….

And that I reckon would be the end of Liberty F1.
Liberty cannot win this one if it turns into a fight.


Bring it on I say!

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