Red Bull’s Christian Horner believes F1’s engine regulations should favour the entertainment factor and not the technology promoted by manufacturers.
Formula 1 ushered in the era of the hybrid turbo-charged engine in 2014 in to encourage manufactures to enter a sport in phase with modern day engine technology.
But the complexities and cost of today’s power units, as impressive as their levels of efficiency may be, have not led to additional involvement with the exception of Honda.
Red Bull Racing’s team boss believes that when current engine rules run out at the end of 2019, Formula 1’s new owners should push for a power unit environment which favours, first and foremost, entertainment.
“I think the commercial rights holder needs to dictate that because he’s got to sell a product,” Horner said, speaking to ESPN.
“For me F1 should be entertainment first and technology should play a secondary role. So for me, I would prefer to go back to a normally-aspirated, screaming V10 engine with a standard energy recovery system.
“That might not be what Mercedes or Honda would vote for, but would it be more appealing to the fans? I believe it would be.”
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Horner believes fans are lost when it comes to getting to grips with the complexities of today’s engine technology.
“I think the technology we have now is so complex that people don’t understand the complexity, and we don’t do a great job of advertising what these cars are currently achieving either.
“I think the sound is a key factor and a key part of the DNA of Formula One. You only have to listen to the McLaren-Honda V10 they fired up at the grand prix in Japan [last year], they did a couple of demonstration laps and every mechanic in the garage put his tools down to come and look and listen — that’s what Formula One should be. The commercial rights holder has to decide what it wants.”
Horner also insisted that with regard to Red Bull’s involvement as a sponsor and team owner, technology has never been of much appeal to the energy drinks company.
“Formula 1 is the biggest sporting platform outside of the Olympics and World Cup, so it’s a great global platform. For the Red Bull brand, the product needs to be exciting, accessible and aspirational.
F1 needs to tick all those boxes, and for us, unlike a manufacturer, the technology is secondary to the entertainment — we want Formula 1 to be an entertaining show, and in many respects the technology is a necessary evil to be competitive.
“Of course, it can’t be all show and no technology — but it’s about finding that balance. As I say, we’d far prefer to have cars that have a strong emotional impact on the viewer and the spectator by making drivers the heroes.”
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