Wolff rejects 'irresponsible' engine cost war talk

Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:23am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

OXFORD England (Reuters) - Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff has played down Red Bull's threat of an engine development spending war in 2016 by saying the major car manufacturers agree on the need to keep costs down.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Austrian made clear that Mercedes and Red Bull's engine suppliers Renault were closely aligned in their strategy for the V6 turbo hybrid power unit and in regular dialogue.

He added that any return of the old V8 engine was a non-starter and manufacturers like Mercedes would leave the sport if it were to happen.

"Nobody can really be in favor of an all-out engine war in 2016. No serious company would allow that to happen," said Wolff.

"And none of the current engine suppliers can allow that to happen because costs would be escalating totally out of control. It's irresponsible."

Red Bull principal Christian Horner told reporters in Brazil last weekend, after manufacturers failed to agree any changes to the 2015 regulations, that the sport could be forced into a spending war as a result.

Red Bull and Ferrari want the rules to be relaxed to allow them more development time to catch up with Mercedes, who have the dominant engine.

Mercedes have offered a compromise solution, that has been rejected by their rivals, and the result has been deadlock with any changes for 2015 requiring unanimous agreement.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One Executive Director (Business) Toto Wolff smiles during a news conference after the second practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone