6 Sep 2017

Red Bull wants to ease F1 engine rules

1:30 pm on 6 September 2017

Red Bull has called for Formula One drivers to be allowed more engines per season to reduce the rash of starting grid penalties that reached farcical levels at the weekend.

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Photo: photosport

Mercedes's championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who took a record 69th pole position at the Italian Grand Prix, was the only driver at Monza on Sunday to start from where he had actually qualified.

Behind him, nine of the 20 drivers took penalties for engine and gearbox changes.

Drivers are allowed four power units, divided into six component parts, per season before penalties are incurred. Next year's allocation will be reduced to three while the calendar expands from 20 to 21 rounds.

"For me that should be number one on the agenda for the next strategy meeting," Red Bull principal Christian Horner told reporters.

"I tried to get it changed at an earlier meeting in the year but there was no support for it. I would hope that would now perhaps be different with teams incurring and staring down the barrel of further penalties between now and the end of the year."

F1 start Russia 2015

Formula 1 start in Russia Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The engine restrictions were introduced as a cost-saving measure, and to reinforce the sport's energy-efficient credentials, but Horner said that objective was not being achieved.

"It's not saving the cost because the engines are going on a world tour anyway, they're being used and you're just incurring penalties as a result. Perhaps we need to get back to a more equitable balance," he said.

"Maybe five engines is the right number rather than four going to three."

Some, including Formula One's managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn, have suggested changing the penalty system.

"I hate the fact that we're having to affect the racing because of the technical issues," Brawn said ahead of Monza.

But others operating on tight budgets, such as Force India, are against easing the restrictions.

"In the old days, before we had a set number of engines per driver, you could use one engine per race and that cost a lot of money," said Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer.