Christian Horner suspects 2017 engine regulations won't reach agreement

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Christian Horner doubts Formula One will be able to decide on changes to the engine regulations in time for 2017.

Alongside an overhaul of the aerodynamic regulations, Formula One is targeting four major changes surrounding engines for next year to secure the stability of the sport. By April 30 the teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone have targeted new agreements to reduce the cost of the engines, encourage performance convergence, put an obligation on manufacturers to supply others and further improve the noise.

Horner, whose Red Bull team found itself unable to shift from Renault power to a more competitive rival over the winter, is concerned an agreement will not be reached by the deadline at the end of the month.

"I think it's a complex situation, but fundamentally there were four criteria that were requested by the governing body to be met to ensure stability moving forward," Horner said. "Those four criteria were: a significant reduction in cost to €12 million, the availability of supply or the guarantee of supply, power convergence to within a relatively small bandwidth and to address the noise.

"As we sit here now we are not anywhere near having met any of those criteria and I think unfortunately what will happen, as is often the case with these things, time will run out at the end of the month and nothing will be achieved and nothing will change.

"There is one more attempt in the Strategy meeting and the Commission meeting at the end of the month to discuss and table the concerns and where we're at, but failing that regulations will inevitably stay as they are."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, whose engine department was among the manufacturers that rejected Red Bull in the fear of giving its prized asset to a rival, admitted the final agreement on April 30 may have to be a compromise.

"It is a complex agreement," Wolff said. "We have been given the task in coming up with solutions so that no team is left without an engine. I think all the engine manufacturers have acknowledged that, so we try to cover that. There is an aspect of price reduction, which is important to most of the teams, and we tried to cover that in the framework agreement.

"Obviously it's very difficult to make everybody happy. Christian isn't so happy. But I think we need to come up with a solution until the end of April. We need to ratify those regulations and at the moment everybody is working very hard to at least find the smallest common denominator."