Horner, Wolff at odds over F1 engines plans from 2025

As discussions start on what direction a new generation of power units go in, involving VW Group members Porsche and Audi, the provisional plan is to stick to the existing hybrid concept.

But the engines will run on fully sustainable fuel and the electric power boost on offer will be made bigger.

However, Red Bull has questioned whether that is the right route, with Horner suggesting a regular high-revving engine powered by sustainable fuel would be both good for the environment and popular with fans.

Speaking at the British Grand Prix, Horner said: “I think that the combustion engine does have a future, so why not introduce high revving engines that sound fantastic, and that are doing it in an environmentally friendly manner?

“I think that the biofuel and sustainable fuels enable you to do that.”

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Horner says that there are doubts about all-electric power units being the right way forward, and thinks an F1 that delivers screaming engines reminiscent of the V10 era that ended in 2005 would be a massive hit.

“Electrification, I know, politically it’s being pushed, but actually is it the right route for 25 and 30 years’ time?” Horner added.

“I think F1 could play a key role with the fuels and with the fuel partners that we have on sustainability and zero emissions, with a high performance, high revving emotive engine.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we went that route? I’m sure every grand prix would be packed.”

But Horner’s idea of a shift away from the current plans does not have universal support from other manufacturers.

Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff believes that the current generation of fans would not actually be in favour of loud engines.

“I would disagree with Christian because it’s what we think, but we are not the most relevant generation any more,” he said.

“When you ask an 18-year-old or 22-year-old, what relevance noise has, most of these guys consume it via different screens where noise has little or no relevance.

“I personally like it too, and I’d like to have a 12-cylinder that screams down the road. But, as a matter of fact, we are a sport and we are a business.

“I think we would lose complete relevance with our partners, sponsors, and major stakeholders, if we weren’t looking at the environment and the impact that we make.

“I think it would be totally misaligned of where the world is moving, and probably turn every single business partner away from F1 if we stick with internal combustion engines that scream, even though we may like them.”

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