APRIL 3, 2017

Verstappen hails new direction for 2021 engines

Max Verstappen has backed F1's move to simpler engine technology for 2021 and beyond.

Max Verstappen has backed F1's move to simpler engine technology for 2021 and beyond.

Last Friday, the manufacturers already on the grid met with the FIA in Paris to discuss a new engine formula for the sport beyond 2020.

But the FIA confirmed that "manufacturers and independent suppliers not currently involved in F1" also took part in the meeting.

We have already reported that one interested observer was Lamborghini chief Stefano Domenicali, representing the Volkswagen brands.

But La Gazzetta dello Sport said Harald Wester, representing Alfa Romeo, was also present.

Alfa is owned by Fiat Chrysler, whose chief Sergio Marchionne also runs Ferrari.

"First, we need to be involved in Formula E because electrification via hybridisation is going to be part of our future," he told the FIA magazine Auto.

"The second is to see Alfa Romeo back racing in F1 again someday, because I believe very strongly it's a place the brand should be."

And La Repubblica newspaper reports that Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche's former research and development chief, was also at the Paris meeting.

FIA president Jean Todt said he was "pleased" with the outcome, with parties agreeing that F1's 2021 engines should be simpler, less expensive, louder and more durable.

It would have been music to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen's ears, as he has criticised the sport's current 'power units', according to De Telegraaf newspaper.

"The engines are so complicated that other manufacturers don't dare to come in," he said.

"Look how hard Honda is having it -- a brand that was so dominant in the 80s and 90s," Verstappen added.

"I understand that we cannot escape hybrid technology and so on, but it must always be possible for manufacturers to come in, for less money as well. It would benefit not only formula one but the entire auto industry."