joeblogsf1 | The real stories from inside the F1 paddock
The onomatopoeia of F1 engines
June 25, 2014 by Joe Saward
With McLaren switching to Honda engines in 2015, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth has the opportunity to sign up another customer. It is good idea to do so because it is good way to earn back some money, without needing to spend a great deal more. At the moment the firm will be supplying engines to Mercedes AMG Petronas, Martini Williams and Sahara Force India in 2015. Now is the time to sort out a fourth because work is already progressing on the 2015 cars and it helps to know the engine as early as possible. The likely clients are Lotus, Sauber and Caterham. Marussia is believed to be locked into a long-term deal with Ferrari but the other teams whisper that they could make a switch. The primary problem is that all three are a little short of cash at the moment. Having said that the Mercedes option appears not only to be the most effective engine on the market, but also the cheapest when one takes everything into account.
Talking around the paddock, it seems that Renault is the most expensive option at the moment. This make sense given that everything in France costs more than elsewhere because of the country’s employment laws and social charges (eh bah!). The price tag I hear for Renault is, ahem, $28.5 million for the engine. To this one must add the transmission (which Red Bull will do for you if you write them a cheque for $9 million) and you need to purchase the right lubricants for the engine from Total ($2 million more). Thus, without needing a pocket calculator, one can surmise that a Renault deal engine will cost you the best part of $40 million. Geez!
Ferrari seems to be the next best/worst offer with the suggestion being that you get the back end of the current prancing horse for a sniff under $30 million, when one adds in the transmission, service and yadda yadda.
Up in Brixworth, however, you can order the Menu du Jour, service included, for $24.4 million. That will include a little supplement for Petronas but from what I hear this is simply a deal to run Malaysian Jazeman Jaafar in a limited number of free practice sessions on Fridays. All in, the figure is believed to be around $26 million.
So, you want to be more competitive and spend less money? What do you choose?
Ferrari at $30 million. Maaa…
Renault at $40 million. Yougottabekiddinme…
Mercedes at $26 million. Ker-Ching!