Mercedes sees engine compromise to help VW enter Formula 1

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Formula 1 F1 – Azerbaijani Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – April 28, 2019 Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff REUTERS / Anton Vaganov

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September 12 (Reuters) – Mercedes is ready to compromise on future Formula 1 engine rules to make it easier for the Volkswagen Group to enter sports, said Toto Wolff, motorsport manager and team boss of F1, to journalists at the Italian Grand Prix.

Sport is set to introduce a new engine formula from 2025, and manufacturers are discussing how to make power units simpler, cheaper and more durable.

The Volkswagen Group, whose brands include Porsche and Audi, attended the engine manufacturers’ meetings as an interested party, the last of which was held on Sunday.

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Wolff said Mercedes would be willing to get rid of the Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H) element, with the new rules being postponed until 2026.

Current turbo hybrid V6 powertrains feature two generators, the other being the MGU-K which recovers and delivers kinetic energy from braking. The MGU-H recovers and stores energy from or to the turbocharger.

“The MGU-H is going to be scrapped if we can find the alignment of a lot of other points,” Wolff said.

“I think it’s a compromise. I can’t speak for anyone else but at Mercedes we are ready to … in order to facilitate the entry of the Volkswagen group.

“But there are several other subjects where compromises have to be found,” he added.

“If a compromise cannot be found, we will probably go back to governance and have 2026 regulations that the FIA ​​(governess) and FOM (Formula One Management) are going to come up with.”

Formula 1 said in a statement Sunday’s meeting involved existing and potential powertrain suppliers as well as the FIA ​​and Formula 1.

“The discussion has been positive and progress has been made,” he said. Some details remain to be worked out, however, we expect them to be resolved in the coming weeks. “

The sport hopes to attract more engine manufacturers, with Honda retiring at the end of this season and Red Bull taking over the intellectual property of the Japanese manufacturer.

Red Bull wants to simplify the engines and remove the MGU-H element.

Champions Mercedes currently supply four of the 10 teams and Ferrari three, with Renault supplying engines to their own Alpine brand team. Honda works with Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri.

Red Bull has worked with the Volkswagen group in the past, notably in the World Rally Championship before the German manufacturer’s withdrawal, and there has long been talk of a partnership with Audi or Porsche in Formula 1.

Former Volkswagen Motorsport manager Jost Capito is now the boss of the Mercedes-powered Williams team, which announced last week that Red Bull-backed Alex Albon would race for them next season.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was previously the head of Italian sports car brand Lamborghini, a subsidiary of Audi, while Renault CEO Luca di Meo has joined French brand manufacturer VW Seat after a stint at Audi.

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Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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