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Wolff warns against an all-out engine war in F1

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has warned against the serious financial consequences for Formula One of a "gloves off" engine war.

The sport is again in crisis as Marussia have recently gone out of business, Caterham are on the brink of following suit and three other teams in Sauber, Force India and Lotus are fearing for their futures.

But the battle lines are being drawn when it comes to the development of the current power-unit systems which would result in an escalation of costs.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, whose team are powered by Renault, has suggested from 2016 onwards the regulations be opened up with regard to the power unit.

Horner has often cited Renault's deficiencies this season as reasons why his team have been unable to compete with the dominant Mercedes.

Current rules allow the three power-unit manufacturers - Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari - to work on 92 per cent of the system for 2015, with just eight per cent frozen.


Within that 92 per cent, the trio can then change almost half of the unit, but Horner believes for next year there should be unlimited changes, and then from 2016 a complete freeze. Mercedes are not prepared to go down that route and offered a number of compromises far from Horner's liking.

It means from 2016 Mercedes could be out-voted when it comes to a review of the regulations, which in turn would result in potential financial suicide.

"Nobody can really be in favour of an all-out engine war from 2016," said Wolff. "We would make it very clear how irresponsible that would be for the sport in an environment where we have just lost two teams, where we are talking about financial hardship for some of the other teams."

He added: "If you want to attract new car manufacturers you need road relevant power units, engines, and you need transparency and stability.

"You won't attract them, and you won't make yourself attractive for large corporations, large manufacturers to join Formula One, if you change the rules every year."