Marko opens old Renault wounds

Red Bull Racing are not just the team to hate in the Formula One paddock for their dominance this season, but it appears their are struggling to find allies as the new regulations for 2026 are being refined.

The FIA have outlined the specifications for the new engine formula due in three seasons time, however its normal during this process for the teams to agree refinements based on their early research and development.




F1 V8 & bio fuels rejected

Red Bull had initially suggested a return to the V8 combustion engines but using 100% sustainable fuels. Having produced one of the most dominant power units during the V6 hybrid era Mercedes were against this arguing for the basic power unit as is now to remain.

Formula One are behind the times given WEC racing which includes the Le Mans 24 hour series have their new generation of power units already in play. And by copying the hybrid plus bio fuels utilised by the sports cars, it could be argued Formula One is championing nothing new.

Under the plans for the new power units the current 1.6-litre, V6 turbocharged internal combustion engine will evolve to include a far more powerful electrical component. The MGU-K (or Kinetic Motor Generator Unit) will almost triple the amount of electrical power produced by the current hybrid components.

More braking energy – that would otherwise be wasted – will be collected and as a result, the aim is for the MGU-K to produce around 350kW in 2026 – a massive increase on the 120kW of energy currently deployed by the MGU-K and MGU-H.



Red Bull slate poor energy efficiency

The power output from the internal combustion engine and the electrical store is targeted to be 50-50%.

However Red Bull’s early analysis believes this ratio is problematic and should be  modified to just 45% electrical and 55% combustion engine.

The reason being they have situations which mean at circuits where there a long straights, the car will run out of electrical power and just be using the combustion engine as a generator to produce more electrical power.

If correct, this is a pointless activity because it decreases the energy efficiency of the combined elements of the power unit.

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Wolff slams Red Bull engine programme

Christian Horner has called for the FIA to tweak the regulations to prevent the drivers changing down through the gears unnecessarily just to create more electrical power.

Toto Wolff rubbished Horner’s concern: “That is an exciting project to aim for,” he said.

“How does the modern Formula 1 car of 2026 look like? How can we make it aerodynamically so efficient and capable that it can compensate for the lack of combustion engine [output]?

“That should all excite us because we will come up with new concepts of Formula 1 cars that will be great.

“I think what frightens him [Horner] more maybe is that his engine programme is not coming along and maybe he wants to kill it that way.”

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New F1 cars like ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ 

Yet the Red Bull boss is concerned the teams are about to create a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ of a car that asks too much of the chassis to compensate for problems Horner believes the planned combustion and electric power ratio will cause.

Horner raised concerns also over the “colossal” battery size and cooling requirements adding weight to the cars, and “the need for active aero and the complexity that will bring” to offset the weight and drag levels.

Toto’s opinion of Horner’s comments is rather simplistic given the teams have to create a power unit and a chassis that will work in harmony. If the cooling demands from such a large energy store are huge, then all kinds of ridiculous bodywork will appear just to divert air for cooling purposes.

When asked about Red Bull’s proposed changes to the new power units, Wolff scoffed at the idea.

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FIA act quickly to engage new manufacturers

“That’s not going to happen. Zero chance. Capital letters. So I don’t know why these things are coming up,” he said.

“We’ve developed those regulations over many years, with all the auto manufacturers being involved.”

At present there are just four F1 power unit manufacturers and when Renault and Red Bull split in 2019, there was the fear none of the others would supply such a competitive team.

So the FIA acted urgently in an attempt to attract new power unit manufacturers to the sport the proposed new regulations were set. Of course Audi are signed up now and Ford also with Red Bull, so they achieved in part their goal.

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Marko says ‘Wolff having love affair’

Wolff was not part of the previous F1 power unit regulations development as he only joined F1in 2012 when they had been enshrined in stone. There was a great deal of discussions and final revisions to the current V6 hybrid specifications and so the Red Bull suggestion is not ‘out of this world.’

At the recent F1 commission held at the Belgium Grand Prix, the issue of the new power units was discusses. But as Dr. Helmut Marko now reveals Red Bull have as yet failed to find any allies for their proposed revision.

The Red Bull advisor joked to Motorsport-total that the Mercedes team boss is having a ‘love affair’ with Ferrari chief Fred Vasseur after both came out against the Red Bull proposals at the meeting.

“Vasseur is continuing his love affair with Toto. Therefore there is little resonance at Ferrari,” mocked Marko.

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Renault: “don’t know what they’re doing”

He was even more critical of the Renault delegates who failed to deliver a fast and reliable power unit for Red Bull in 2014 when the V6 hybrids were introduced.

“At Renault, they don’t know what they’re doing,” Marko claimed.

“We don’t have any allies yet, and that’s not because we can’t get it under control,” he revealed. 

A recent article in AMuS claimed that the Red Bull-Ford collaboration combustion engine was ten horsepower down of their target. It concluded the World Champions are therefore way behind on their development for 2026.

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3 responses to “Marko opens old Renault wounds

  1. Toto, don’t bank on the mighty Mercedes Benz to help you out this time. Take a deep breath and listen to CH.

  2. Pingback: Marko scathing: “They don’t know what they’re doing” - Formula Bull·

  3. Fred and Toto are good guys who get along, and Mercedes have all kinds or corporate links with Renault as well. So poor old Marko and Christian are seriously outgunned! Tissue, anyone? Anyone?

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