Should engines be equalised? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2010

Red Bull continue to claim they are at a disadvantage because their Renault engine produces less power than the Mercedes or Ferrari V8s.

The championship leaders want F1’s engine development ‘freeze’ restrictions lifting so that engine power can be equalised between the teams.

Should they be allowed to?

Pro

Christian Horner of Red Bull has claimed the Renault engines his team use are 20-30bhp down on the likes of Mercedes.

Mark Webber put the case for engine equalisation at the end of the post-race press conference in Hungary:

The reason our car is quite good on these sort of tracks?? we?ve been looking for engine parity for the last few years.

We know we don?t have the most powerful engine. When we go to a track where there are not many straights, the car is good because we?ve had to try incredibly hard to get the car performing in this type of situation, so we would love parity with the engine.

Other teams sometimes want everything, but we need parity on the engine and then it would be a fair game. That?s all we want, again, is similar horsepower to other teams and this is another example, when you go to different venues like here, we see who has a nice car. It?s not a one way street with this stuff you know.
Mark Webber

Red Bull tried to acquire a supply of Mercedes engines this year but McLaren and Brawn (now the Mercedes works team) blocked the deal.

Con

Red Bull’s case for ‘equalising’ engine performance is based solely around how much power their engine produces.

But there are other aspects which determine how good an engine is: physical factors like weight, centre of gravity and size but also how power is delivered and how much fuel it uses.

If engine power is going to be equalised, surely all these factors should be too? In which case, why not switch to a single specification engine?

Renault’s engine is believed to have the best fuel economy, which would allow teams using it to carry less fuel. So perhaps the trade-off for having a power deficit (likely to be less than estimate) is not so bad.

Webber’s comments were probably made with an eye on the next two rounds on the calendar at Spa and Monza, where engine performance is very important.

I say

The engine equalisation argument is a bit of a red herring. The real debate over engines is how they will change under the new rules due to be introduced in 2013.

It’s more important to solve that long-term problem. And that’s where the F1 teams should focus their energies – instead of equalising engines which are only going to be in service for two more years anyway.

You say

Should F1 engines have their power outputs equalised? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should F1 engines have their power outputs equalised?

  • Yes (18%)
  • No (77%)
  • No opinion (5%)

Total Voters: 2,919

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Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images