Honda's future departure from F1 of course highlights the future of sport and the relevance, for an engine manufacturer, to evolve in a hybrid and very expensive environment, while Formula E has for example the wind in its sails with its 100% electric formula.
Should we then be pessimistic about sport? This is not the opinion of Mattia Binotto.
The Italian takes pleasure in pointing out that unlike Mercedes, Honda or Renault, Ferrari has never left the sport, out of loyalty but also out of conviction.
“I certainly think we all agree that it’s not great to lose Honda. Honda is definitely a big name in Formula One. They were a big name, now they are a big name. "
"I think it's a shame that we only have three engine manufacturers, and somehow that's something that needs to be taken care of, to try to attract more group builders. propellants for the future. On the other hand, it's no surprise that engine manufacturers are joining or leaving the sport. It is not the first time. It has always happened – except once, which is our case at Ferrari. "
“We know Formula 1 is in a good period anyway. It will develop. This is very positive, what is happening with the growth of F1 towards sustainability. I think we have big challenges to face so I think we should … it's definitely not big news but we have to stay positive because I think F1 has a big future ahead of it and I thinks it's kind of up to us to try to improve it and – possibly – attract new OEMs. "
However Mattia Binotto still prioritizes cost control, like her counterparts … This is her priority for the 2026 regulation. And to put forward the same idea that Cyril Abiteboul had done a few weeks ago: cap engine budgets after those of teams.
“What can we do to improve ourselves? It is certain that engines are very expensive today. The cost of development is very high and I think compared to what it was a few years ago it has increased a lot. We have to control these costs, we have to try to reduce them. In fact, we just changed the regulations, we tried to freeze engine developments as much as possible, we tried to reduce the operation of the test stands for the next few years, which is certainly a step forward, but ultimately not enough. "
"I think we will now have the opportunity to put in place a whole new regulation in 2026 and I think that in designing this new regulation we have to not only decide what will be the technical choices or the technologies that we intend. to develop, but also consider the cost of the product itself. When we developed or decided on the 2014 regulations, we focused a lot on the hybrid format, on the technologies, making sure that F1 was kind of a platform for innovation – but we completely forgot about the cost. And I think in recent years the cost of the power unit has certainly been too high. "
“Now I think this will be an important discussion that we will eventually have to speed up, trying to understand the vision of the power unit format of the future, because it's the cost, it's the technology which will again be a key element in attracting new engine manufacturers; if we can even possibly anticipate for 2026, I don't really know. I think the timing is very short, but we certainly need to speed up the discussion and understand the format of the future. "
For his part, Toto Wolff also regrets a lack of communication from F1 on the efficiency of hybrid units … And put forward the same idea: to cap, also, the cost of the engines.
“We started to get the message across in 2014, with Indian Chief (sic) Bernie (Ecclestone), that all this is really not good for Formula 1, that the noise is not enough and that, one way or another, you can't sell your product by talking about it in a negative way. So we're still missing the message that these engines are fantastic hybrid technology but … they're way too expensive. So we need to introduce a clear cap on powertrain spending, just like we did for the chassis, to make it more durable and to attract other OEMs in the future. "