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Horner realistic over F1's future, predicts Ferrari will stay

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says that he would love Formula 1 to go back to the era of V10 and V12 engines. But he also knows that's never going to happen.

The sport's new owners Liberty Media unveiled their blueprint for the future technical direction of the sport earlier this month. The plans keep the current basic V6 set-up, although the exhaust energy recovery unit (MGU-H) will be dropped.

That's disappointed many teams in the paddock. Ferrari has gone as far as to threaten a veto over the plans - or even to quit the sport.

But Horner took a more pragmatic view. He said he understood the difficult balancing act required from F1's director of motorsport Ross Brawn. He also said that he doubted Ferrari would leave the sport.

“I’d have loved to have gone back to a V10 or V12, Horner told Sky Sports F1 in Brazil. "Something normally aspirated and high revving.

"I would love to go back to a screaming V10 or V12. When you hear the double seater going round, it sounds glorious - it would have been great to get back to that.

"[But] I understand that there has to be a middle ground," he continued. "And I think that the middle ground that Ross and the guys at the FIA have gone for is similar to what we have.

"The FIA are trying not just to please one side or the other. They’re trying to pick a middle ground that’s right for the sport," he explained. "And, most importantly control costs - I’m not going to have a problem with that!

“It’s a V6 single turbo engine. It gets rid of the hybrid. There’s a lot of standardisation, which I think is a positive thing. It’ll bring performance closer together and should reduce costs.

"I think it’s a solid step, and there was nothing I heard that didn’t sound sensible, to be honest with you."

Liberty's engine proposals were discussed by the F1 Strategy Group in Geneva on Tuesday, which Horner described as "pretty cordial, to be honest with you."

“There was no table banging or anything," he added.

Horner felt that Ferrari's vehement rejection of the latest proposals went beyond just the issue of engine development.

“I think that Ferrari are linking engines to all kinds of other issues," he said. "They’re obviously looking at the picture as a whole rather than looking at engines individually.

“It’d be a great shame," he replied when asked if Ferrari really could end up quitting the sport over the plans. "Ferrari and Formula 1 are synonymous but they both need each other.

"They’ll bluster that they don’t need Formula 1, but what other form of motor racing is going to give Ferrari the platform that Formula 1 does?

"Likewise, we love racing against Ferrari because it’s prestige if we can beat Ferrari and, as a fizzy drinks company, it’s even better!"

"Nobody wants to lose Ferrari and I don’t think Ferrari can afford to lose Formula 1.

"There will be a lot of brinkmanship and chest puffing at the moment, but I think when the music stops they’ll still be there.”

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