quote:McLaren open to building its own engine for 2021 Formula 1 rules
McLaren says it would consider building its own Formula 1 engine when new regulations come into play in 2021 - but only if costs come down dramatically.
While McLaren is hoping to finalise a switch from Honda to Renault engines for the next few years, it knows that other opportunities could open up in the longer term.
Speaking at the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren executive director Zak Brown said that the engine landscape could be poised for a dramatic change after the current formula comes to an end.
"We're interested to see what the new engine formula is in 2021 - and whether we consider doing our own engine, or whether other people would come in under new rules," said Brown.
"So right now we've got to focus on the next three years and, as soon as we get that figured out, then yeah, of course we've got to look.
"I think the landscape in Formula 1 is going to change in a very positive way from '21 onwards, with budget caps, revenue redistribution, and new engine rules.
"So it's a little hard to take any decisions on '21 with so many things that will change."
Brown said McLaren would need to know well in advance what the new rules were before it could be tempted to go down the engine route.
"For us to do our own engine, that's not something we've done before - so that would require a good lead time and some good capital expenditure," he explained.
"We'd consider doing it. We just need to have an understanding of the platform, what are the rules, and what is it going to cost?
"We certainly wouldn't be in a position to spend the hundreds of millions that it takes now to develop engines, so they're going to have to change the engine formula for it to be something that economically would be viable for us."
Brown thinks that ultimately the best way forward for F1 would be to attract an independent supplier that could guarantee a competitive engine.
"We'd be very much in favour of there being an independent, competitive engine, not just an engine that makes up the numbers," he said.
"The manufacturers are great, I fully embrace them.
"But it would be healthy for the sport, like it's been in the past, to have an independent engine that teams can use should they choose, and it be a competitive engine. That's key.
"The last time around Cosworth was in, and at the end they weren't competitive.
"So it doesn't work to just have an independent engine if it's not something that you can win races with."
Wat gaat het nieuwe motorconcept worden en wat zou het (volgens jou) moeten worden? Ik vermoed dat dit voor velen nogal verschild.quote:Porsche considering return to F1 as engine supplier from 2021
Porsche is seriously considering returning to Formula 1 as an engine supplier under the proposed 2021 regulations, says its finance chief.
Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche's executive board and member of the board for finances and IT, met with Ross Brawn and other F1 chiefs at the Italian Grand Prix.
Porsche will end its LMP1 programme at the end of 2017, having decided it does not get sufficient return for investment equivalent to an F1 budget.
It has committed to entering Formula E with a works-backed team from the 2019-20 season, but it has also sent representatives to the series of recent meetings about the 2021 F1 engine regulations.
It has been encouraged by F1's moves towards cheaper and simpler technology.
"F1 could be one of the right places," Meschke told Autosport.
"As you know Formula E is very important for us now, and F1 is always a good topic to think about.
"And I think we are in quite good discussions regarding the new engine."
Although it has not been on the F1 grid since its disastrous relationship with the Footwork team in 1991, Porsche has retained a commercial involvement with the F1 organisation by paying for its Supercup one-make series to feature on the grand prix support programme.
Asked if the current plans for a twin-turbo V6 with reduced technology could attract Porsche to F1, Meschke said: "Absolutely. We have to cut costs in F1, and it's a good way to reach this target."
He added that "discussions are around being a supplier", so forming a works team was not on the agenda.
Among the potential partners are Williams, which enjoyed a technical relationship with Porsche before selling its Hybrid Power division, and Red Bull, which has extensive connections with Porsche's parent company the Volkswagen Group.
McLaren has a strong history with Porsche through the TAG turbo collaboration of 1983-87, but they are now competitors in the road car market.
F1's commercial chief Sean Bratches said the championship's new owner Liberty Media would be delighted to have Porsche on board in 2021.
"Ultimately we're trying to create a platform and environment where more engine manufacturers and brands and teams come into this sport and make it a compelling business proposition to do so," Bratches told Autosport.
"The inclusion of Porsche, which is a heritage racing brand in our sport, would be highly valued."