Formula 1’s stakeholders will struggle to agree on new engine regulations for 2021 and beyond, according to Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul.
Discussions about a new formula have already began, with an initial meeting taking place at the end of last month.
However, while Abiteboul says that there is a consensus on what’s wrong with the current regulations, agreeing in detail on a solution that is acceptable to all parties – including fans – will be less straightforward.
“That’s typically an area where solutions will not be easily found, because of the complexity of the technology, because of the complexity of the question,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
“You need to satisfy car makers who are financing the sport in the current model. Maybe a different model could be found where car makers are not so important for the business model of the sport, but it’s not [currently] the case.
“You need also to satisfy the fans, you need to satisfy the customer teams, so that question is not an easy one to resolve.
“I think there can be some consensus found on the diagnosis – what’s good, and what’s bad with the current formula.
“I think a solution will be more difficult to find, but not just because of political reasons, or because of competitive advantage, although there will always be a little bit of that with people that are currently at the top who will try to protect the advantage that they built, and that’s fair enough.
“Apart from that I think what will be a struggle for the group will be to find the right answer to a diagnosis which I think is well shared between the teams, the FIA and Liberty.”
Key outcomes of the initial meeting included an agreement that a hybrid element should remain part of the new formula, and that there should be a focus on engine noise.
“Electrification is never going to go away, that’s for sure, so we need electrification, we need hybrid,” Abiteboul added. “We need possibly more in the mix between ICE and hybrid, but, having said that, we cannot do that to the detriment of the show.
“We need noise, we need F1 to be blasting for the fans, and we don’t deliver that at the moment.”
Renault has long been adamant that there should be a focus on costs, and the company has been pushing for a budget cap.
“Without going into technical details, and again all the analysis is shared by everyone, it’s also too expensive for the car makers, it’s too expensive for the customers,” Abiteboul said.
“So a budget cap will help, all of that we agree.
“But where do we go next? That will be the challenge, but it’s a challenge that is a common challenge. So with a common challenge I’m hopeful that with all the brains that we have in this paddock, we’ll be able to find solutions.”