The 2018 F1 3-engine limit has certainly not won any fans. In fact, Honda’s former Formula 1 project leader Yusuke Hasegawa called it “unreasonable”. Red Bull chief Christian Horner agrees and has said it is “barking mad” to be cutting back on power unit usage. Especially since manufacturers having struggled to get through this year with four engines.
But not all teams are in the same boat. Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne took a more aggressive stance towards the idea. Meanwhile, FIA president Jean Todt admitted that he too was unhappy especially considering the numerous grid penalties in 2017. However, he added that there was no other choice. That is unless all teams agree to a change.
Hasegawa said, “It’s very tough. It’s not just for us. Renault had difficulties. I don’t think it’s reasonable. From a technical point of view, it’s difficult. If we save the engine performance, it’s easy to achieve. If we use 2000rpm lower, of course we can finish, but there’s no point.”
He also spoke about how the regulations affect Mercedes and Ferrari. The Japanese project head said: “As a consequence, yes. We have discussed many times. With three engines, it means we only have two chances to introduce a new [upgraded] engine. We need to introduce a good engine at the start, but if we don’t, we only have two chances to introduce a new engine. Reducing cost is important, so I support cost reduction.”
Manufacturers now have their work cut out trying to make engines last seven races this year. They have to juggle pushing for performance and ensuring reliability due to this F1 3-engine limit. Hasegawa continued, “At this moment, we need to concentrate on reliability, to get an engine to do seven races. But we need to improve performance too. It’s good we have a baseline. We need to confirm the current engine is OK. As soon as we confirm that, we’ll do the next step.”