Plans to use the more powerful but less reliable C-spec power unit as the basis for its 2019 campaign are dropped, as Cyril Abiteboul reveals that instead the French manufacturer plans an all-new unit.
“It is a new engine,” he said, according to Motorsport.com. “One of the reasons for it, and why the Spec-C is not delivering more in terms of performance, is because we are not held back by the structural limitations of the engine.
“Given the ambition in terms of power improvement for next year, pretty much all of the engine will be new,” he continued. “Not only on ERS side, because there is little power and little performance to extract there, but the rest of the ICE will be new.
“That is why we need to be a little bit careful,” he admitted, “and that is why we need to be extremely drastic and have lots of discipline on planning and milestones to make sure that we are not putting ourselves in a difficult position at the start of the season.
“We are well advanced on the dyno,” he revealed. “We have covered lots of mileage on the dyno. We had two parts which were a problem this year, the turbocharger and the MGU-K. With the MGU-K, we are running, we have not had any problems so far and we haven’t seen any, either on the dyno or on the track. The last spec of turbos seem okay too, but they are not on all cars because of the situation where parts introduced mean a penalty.
“That is what is silly with the current regulations,” he added, “even if you have a better part you cannot afford to introduce it because of all the penalties and all the sporting consequences. That is crazy. You are spending money to improve your parts, you approve it on dyno, it is available it is built, it is there at the track, and you cannot put it on the car. That is crazy. There is really something wrong here. But anyway, that is why those two issues are addressed.”
The Frenchman, who just days ago warned that F1 may lose a manufacturer if spending gets out of control – pointing to the need to keep pace with Honda which has thrown vast sums of money at its various issues in the last eighteen months – says that there is no sign yet that the current engine formula cannot be further exploited.
“In my opinion what is paying the most in F1 is stability, stability of the objective, of the vision, of the organisation, of the priorities,” he said. “But at the same time, being brave enough to look at what is not good enough or what is not working. That is exactly what I have the responsibility of doing with the rest of the management team. And one thing that strikes me is that we see absolutely no flattening to the engine development curve, and that is amazing.”