Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn believes he has the perfect remedy to massively reduce engine-linked grid penalties in the future.
The 2017 season was once again riddled with grid drops, with a total of 750 penalties linked to engine element changes handed out to the field so far.
McLaren-Honda was the recipient of over half of the grid drops, while drivers powered by a Renault engine also suffered numerous demotions.
From 2021, Brawn is banking on a less sophisticated power unit incorporating cheaper elements such as the turbo or MGU-K – and stripped of the troublesome MGU-H – as a means of cutting down on penalties by a huge amount.
“What I think we should try to achieve with the new engine is componentry that is economic to change whenever you want,” Brawn told Autosport.
“If we go towards a different design of turbocharger, a homologated turbo, and it costs $2-3,000, why would you bother to even worry about limiting the number you use?
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“But when your turbocharger is as expensive and complicated as it is now, then that’s why we have the limitations.
“The engine is an incredible demonstration of engineering competence, but it is not a great racing engine.”
Brawn’s approach to defining F1’s future power unit platform distances itself somewhat from the old argument which contends that the sport should be a proving ground for cutting edge technology.
F1’s sporting boss highlighted the World Endurance Championship’s recent loss of manufacturers as a justification for favoring entertainment over technology.
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“Sportscar racing has its fan following but even in the environment where the fans were not the biggest thing, it faltered and it failed.
“In this environment, where the fans should be the biggest thing, we can’t afford to have that sort of failure where we get so extreme we lose contact with the fans, because only a very few people can afford the technology and excel in the technology.
“We are four seasons into this technology and we are still getting so many grid penalties.
“All credit to Mercedes. They have done a fantastic job. But no-one else can catch up. That is the reality.”
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