Newey slams ‘very unhealthy’ engine formula

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Adrian Newey labels Formula One’s current technical regulations as “very unhealthy”, saying too much emphasis is placed on the engine.

One of the greatest designers in the history of the sport, Newey and his cars have amassed 10 Constructors’ championships for Williams (1992-1994; 1996/1997), McLaren (1998), and Red Bull (2010-2013).

The 57-year-old has been a vocal opponent of the 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged units, whose introduction in 2014 has led to Mercedes’ dominance while halting Renault-powered Red Bull’s momentum.

“For me, what’s unhealthy about F1 at the moment is that it is engine dominated,” Newey told Abu Dhabi’s The National in a wide-ranging interview. “The chassis regulations are very tight, the engine regulations are very free.

“We are in this position where Mercedes have a very good, very powerful engine.

Ferrari have an engine not quite as good as the Mercedes, but still a good engine.

“Honda and Renault, so far, have been quite a long way behind.”

Newey thinks the problem is further compounded by the fact that Mercedes and Ferrari, who are equipping eight out of the 11 teams enrolled in 2016, are not providing their customers with factory-level power units.

“If you take the engines built by Mercedes or Ferrari, when they supply those engines to their customer teams, the customers don’t get the same engine – not in the software anyway. The software becomes very important now.

“So we are in the position where, at the moment, only a works Mercedes, and possibly a works Ferrari, win championships and races because it is so dominated by the engine.

“I think that is a very unhealthy situation for Formula One, where only one, maybe two teams, can win. Maybe Honda in the future, but not yet.”

Newey, who split his time 50:50 between F1 and other projects last year, took part in Red Bull's public blaming of Renault early in the season, claiming the team's poor performance boiled down to its underpowered engine.

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