Aston Martin's new team boss Mike Krack believes now is the right time for his team to look into the possibility of becoming F1's fifth engine supplier for 2026. At present, F1 counts four engine manufacturers with Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda (set to slowly transition to Red Bull Powertrains) all supplying their power units to teams for the 2022 season. Aston Martin and McLaren currently race with a Mercedes engine, Haas and Alfa Romeo race with a Ferrari power unit, and Red Bull and AlphaTauri are powered by Honda. But that could all be set to change by 2026, with F1 having already set out the framework for the next engine regulations. There is hope amongst some that Audi, Porsche and others could enter the sport if the new engine regulations can entice them, while Krack has confirmed that Aston Martin will also be watching closely.
What next for F1 engine regulations?
F1's engines will move to become more sustainable in 2026, with an added focus on reducing the cost for teams that build them. The plan is to retain the 1.6-litre V6 engine, first introduced back in 2014, but increase the electrical power to 350kW. The complicated MHU-H will also be dropped from the power unit in a move that could see potential new entrants, such as Audi and Porsche, view F1 as a more appealing showground to run their own engines and cars. And there will also be a power unit cost cap introduced that will likely have the same effect.
Krack: Now is the right moment for Aston Martin
"First of all, we are happy with the engine partner that we have (Mercedes) – but we have a new set of regulations coming for 2026 with more emphasis, obviously, on electric power than today," explained Krack, speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com , ahead of the 2022 season. "I think it's normal for brands like Aston Martin that, if there are new power unit regulations, you have a look into them, you carefully investigate if this is strategically the right thing. "I think is the right step that F1 is taking to have a higher hybrid bias or higher bias over electric power. I've been involved with BMW in both. Formula E is fully electric, with the Hypercar it was hybrid. It was similar to F1, although not the same. "Now we are in 2022 and the timelines are reasonable to introduce them by 2026, because we know that other competitors are also evaluating to make an entry. "I think this is, as a timeline, reasonable, if you take this decision to be on the grid in 2026 with your own [engine]. I think it is the right moment to look into it now."