Freeze Mercedes PU development to allow engine parity – Franz Tost


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Mercedes AMG Petronas W07 Hybrid – Lewis Hamilton leads at the end of lap 1. Sunday 23rd October 2016, F1 USA Grand Prix Race, Austin, Texas – Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Digital Ref :1749LB1D3541

Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost has suggested the FIA should block Mercedes from developing their engine, until the other manufacturers are on a par, and then freeze the lot.

Constraints on the power unit in terms of part weights, dimensions and materials, and on boost pressure are being introduced for the 2017 season, in a bid to close the performance gap, following the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s domination since the V6 turbo hybrid era was introduced in 2014.

The restrictions will continue in 2018, but Tost feels further efforts should be made to level the playing field, as he told Autosport.com, recently.

“I hope that earlier or later there will be a power unit parity because this is not the case currently.

“I hope Renault will catch up, especially because I don’t know what’s going on with Ferrari. We need Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari fighting for the championship at least.

“If the power unit parity is not coming then normally the FIA should come up with a regulation to freeze it. I would freeze the power unit from Mercedes, the others should catch up and then they freeze all of them.

“I would leave the development of the battery free because the battery is something for the future and it is also something important for the manufacturers.”

Power unit prices for customer teams have been reduced by €1m per season this year, but the Austrian believes that a cost cap is crucial if the sport is to become fairer and more competitive. Despite such a suggestion coming up against opposition every time it has been put on the table, Tost feels that the cap would be successful.

“We have to come down with costs. We have discussed this for years now but nothing happens. I would come in with a cost cap.

“People would say it’s not controllable but that’s nonsense. At Toro Rosso we have a history about every screw and we can tell you where it’s coming from and how much it costs.”

There are no guarantee that Mercedes hold over the rest of the grid will continue with this new bout of changes, however Team Boss Toto Wolff has confirmed the Brackley based squad are pushing flat out to achieve their aggressive targets on development of both the engine and the chassis, and who would bet against them achieving them!