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Wolff: F1 engine manufacturers unimpressed by 2021 plans

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff claims that none of the sport’s current manufacturers were impressed by the plans unveiled for changes to the engine regulations for the 2021 season, warning of “immense costs”.

Following a long-running push to move away from the current specification of V6 turbo hybrid power units used in F1, the sport’s bosses announced earlier this week their initial plans for the new formula that would come into force for the 2021 season.

Plans include the removal of the MGU-H – one of the two hybrid systems currently on the car – and standardized parts in a bid to reduce costs and improve the noise produced by the power units.

The hope for many is that the new rules will attract both an independent engine manufacturer to F1, as well as other global OEMs, with Porsche being known to have an entry under consideration.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mercedes chief Wolff aired his skepticism over the 2021 plans, believing there would be high costs for those producing the new engine, as seen in 2014 when the current V6 hybrids were introduced.

“It portrays it in a way of this is how we’re going forward, and none of the current OEMs were particularly impressed,” Wolff said.

“Developing a new engine concept will trigger immense costs, just for the sake of having a new concept.

“The new concept needs to tackle the deficit that has been outlined – development costs and noise level – and all that needs to be linked with a global view of F1.

“We haven’t seen any of that.”

Plans for 2021 are expected to be refined and debated over the next 12 months, with a fresh set of engine regulations due to be finalized by the end of 2018.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”