Sep.16 (GMM) Jean Todt says he hopes Volkswagen is contemplating a move into Formula 1.
Late last month, and although VW brands Audi and Porsche are in Formula E, Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess said F1 with “synthetic fuels” would be “a much more exciting and fun tech-competition than Formula E”.
FIA president Todt told Auto Motor und Sport that Formula 1’s plans to introduce ‘e-fuels’ in 2023 would even pave the way for better engine regulations.
“If we succeed in using e-fuels from 2023, we will also be flexible in our choice of engine architecture,” he said. “Then you can also think about a less complex engine, as long as it remains efficient.”
The Frenchman admitted that he had seen Diess’ recent comments about a potential future in that sort of Formula 1 for Volkswagen.
“I heard about it, but not from Mr Diess personally,” said Todt. “That’s why I want to be careful with my own comments. I don’t know whether he really said it in that way.
“If he did, I can only say to him: Welcome to Formula 1.”
Todt has been criticised by some for campaigning to slash costs in Formula 1, and there are those who still think axing the loud V8 engines of the past was a major mistake.
“Over time, our cars and the world around us changed completely,” he said.
“You can like today’s engines or not. But we would not have survived without hybridisation.”
Todt also insists that F1’s astronomical costs had to be attacked.
“I’ve just been to Indianapolis and I saw good motorsport,” he said. “Some teams there get by on $8 million.”
And so, Todt says unlimited testing, a tyre war, and an unfettered technological race in F1 would “kill the sport” if they returned.
He also defended the decision to charge any new teams to Formula 1 a whopping $200 million fee, to be evenly distributed among the existing ten teams.
“I would rather have twelve teams than ten,” he said. “But for the moment this fee is a kind of guarantee that an applicant is also serious.
“Once the new system with the budget cap has been consolidated, we can talk about whether we want to top up the club.”
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!