Too expensive, an F1 engine? Prost doesn't agree...

Renault's Alain Prost on the Alonso conundrum

Four-time world champion Alain Prost, who also once owned his own F1 team, doesn't agree that current power units are too expensive.

Formula 1 will embark on a new future in 2021, with a complete overhaul of the sport's engine regulations.

Among the criteria guiding sporting manager Ross Brawn's vision of tomorrow's engine is a quest for cost reduction in order to attract independent engine manufacturers to F1.

Looking back at his days as the team owner of Prost Grand Prix between 1997 and 2001, the Frenchman says the price of power has actually come down significantly from almost two decades ago.

"My engines cost $28 million back in 2001, and they would have cost $31 million in 2002 had the team survived," Prost told Auto Plus.

"Today, we're between $15 and $17 million. Engine manufacturers have therefore brought the costs down, and for highly more complex engines.

Prost believes Liberty Media's current vision of F1's future power unit lacks clarity, and insists Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul is right to say that engine regulation changes should be considered in the larger scheme of things.

"I'll even go one step further," says Prost. "It's fine to simplify the engines, take out the MGU-H and reduce costs.

"But if we're talking about a budget cap, than we need to visit other areas of the technical rules, like aerodynamics. It's not all clear."

As former Cosworth boss Mark Gallagher pointed out to us on Twitter however, the cost of a Mugen engine, as used by Jordan during the period Prost refers to, "was around 1/3rd of what he is quoting for the Peugeot & Acer engines, his deals were not very good at all..."

As Gallagher suggests, perhaps the Prof is just talking Renault's book...

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