Nico Hulkenberg is well placed to comment on the respective strengths and weaknesses of most of the current engine suppliers in F1.
When he debuted in 2010, the German’s Williams was powered by a Cosworth, while last year he raced a Force India with a Mercedes V8. And on Tuesday at Jerez, his brand new Sauber had a Ferrari engine.
Asked to nominate the differences, the 25-year-old said: “Mercedes has the most power at the top, but the Ferrari is very good in the mid range.
“Both engines are better than the Cosworth,” he is quoted by Speed Week, “although in qualifying trim it was very strong.
“Unfortunately it (the Cosworth) was not so good with full tanks,” added Hulkenberg.
F1’s other engine supplier is Renault, who may have yet another customer for 2014.
Team boss Franz Tost told reporters at Jerez on Tuesday that he is considering swapping Ferrari for the French-made turbo power in 2014.
“We are in negotiations but no contract (is) signed so far,” he said.
Tost said it would be an advantage for Toro Rosso to share an engine supplier with its sister team Red Bull.
“If you are racing with a Renault engine we would have the same gearbox as Red Bull, because this is possible from the regulation side,” he said.
“We will use the synergies that the regulations will allow us to do.”
Mercedes’ new shareholder and director Toto Wolff, meanwhile, said on Tuesday he can imagine F1 getting another engine manufacturer on board for the turbo era.
So far, Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes are committed to the V6 rules, and Wolff is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace: “I think probably we will see a fourth one coming.”
With HRT’s demise, the only Cosworth-powered team left in F1 is Marussia. Boss John Booth admitted on Tuesday that he is in talks with suppliers about 2014.