(Motorsport-Total.com) – Formula 1 is actually supposed to run with the current generation of engines by the end of 2025: 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrid units. But with the announced exit of Honda at the end of the coming season, Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul believes that a change in the engine rules could occur earlier than planned.
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“I would like to say very clearly that we are not satisfied with the situation at Honda,” Abiteboul told Motorsport-Total.com. “We have to call it what it is, it’s not a positive development for Formula 1.”
“We want a Formula 1 with car manufacturers, with OEMs, with engine suppliers. And having only three engine manufacturers is not a positive development. We have to draw some clear conclusions from this situation, and I do asked the umbrella organization to look into it more closely. “
Formula 1 must make it easier for manufacturers to get started
From Abiteboul’s point of view, Honda’s withdrawal is a clear sign that the current rules are not as successful as they should be and that the change should be brought forward from 2026 to encourage other manufacturers to get involved. Formula 1 sports director Ross Brawn recently admitted that this is unlikely to happen until new rules come into force.
“The engine situation is simply intolerable,” says Abiteboul. “Mainly from an economic point of view, but also from a technological point of view. And I’m not sure if we can afford this point of view. (…) I would expect this development to give some serious consideration in relation to the planning of the next generation of engines triggers. “
With the current rules, the sport is not attractive for new manufacturers given the resources required, the Renault team boss warns: “The ticket is so high in terms of costs, but also in terms of technology. Even if you spend an awful lot, it will be take a while to get there. “
Abiteboul: “We have to work harder on it”
More thought must be given to the ecological and economic sustainability of the engine. A lot has already been done in this regard, “but it is not enough,” said Abiteboul. “We have to work harder on it. Just as we have done a lot on the chassis side in the last few months, we have to do it on the engine side as well, if we don’t want Formula 1 to suffer further.”
According to Abiteboul, the fact that Honda justified its withdrawal from the premier class by wanting to focus on sustainability and climate neutrality in the future does not cast a good light on Formula 1. It missed an important opportunity.
“It’s just one more piece of evidence that we haven’t been able to bring together the right message and the right marketing for these engine regulations,” the Frenchman analyzes. “There is nothing more advanced in the world when it comes to the powertrain of a car. There is nothing that even comes close to this level of efficiency for light vehicles.”
Renault team boss complains of collective marketing failures
The Renault team boss believes that the manufacturers themselves have failed to better promote their technology. “It’s a bit sad that we didn’t do any collective work, not just Honda, all of us. Formula 1 missed an opportunity to take advantage of an advantage we have,” he says.
“We’ve invested a fortune in the platform, in the technology, probably billions. That’s just the basics of marketing. We have to let the world know what we’re doing, not just do it and complain about it.”
As Abiteboul notes: “Every now and then when the drivers talk about the engines they complain and it’s very unfortunate that we have very little opportunity to talk about how amazing the engines are. At the same time, I know that it’s difficult, and maybe we have to ask ourselves whether we even need to have this state of the art in engines.