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Formula 1

Mercedes would drop MGU-H to get VW in F1 but has conditions

by Edd Straw
2 min read

Mercedes will support dropping the MGU-H for Formula 1’s next-generation engine regulations in 2026 to facilitate Volkswagen Group’s entry, if certain other compromises are made.

While F1 did consider dropping the MGU-H at the start of the process of creating the new engine regulations, the possibility of doing so was eliminated thanks to lobbying from several of the manufacturers. Mercedes was a keen supporter of retaining it, along with Renault and Ferrari.

But while VW Group has signalled its intent to come into F1, which as revealed by The Race appears to be likely with Red Bull, by being a key part of the next-generation engine discussions, its chances of committing to F1 are significantly improved if the MGU-H is dropped.

Prospective partner Red Bull has lobbied for the simplification of the engines, with its own powertrains division being created to produce the new power units and therefore wary of having to developed the highly-specialised MGU-H.

“The MGU-H is going to be dropped if we can find alignment on many other points,” said Wolff when asked by The Race to explain his position.

“I think it’s a compromise that – at least we, I cannot speak for anybody else – but at Mercedes we are prepared to enter in order to facilitate the entry of the Volkswagen Group.

“But there are several other topics where compromise needs to be found.

“And if compromise cannot be found, then we will probably revert to the governance and have 2026 regulations that the FIA and FOM are going to come up with.”

Toto Wolff

While Wolff did not elaborate on the compromises that need to be achieved, it’s understood that Mercedes wants to ensure all the manufacturers are on a level playing field.

This is because there have been talks about potentially allowing new entrants certain dispensations to hasten their progress, which could include great financial allowances, dyno time and other rules breaks.

Mercedes believes this is unnecessary given all the manufacturers must develop a new engine for the next-generation rules.

The manufacturers will have a meeting at Monza tomorrow to attempt to finalise this plan, but with the agreement in place in principle to drop the MGU-H the key is ensuring that what Wolff describes as “other points” are aligned so the rules framework can be finalised.

His reference to the governance means that should the manufacturers not be able to come to an agreement, it would then be down to F1 itself and the FIA to create the rules. While F1 and the FIA have both already played an active role in this process, they would be able to impose all conditions and manufacturers would not have a say.

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