FIA FIA announces F1 engine tender.....

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Autosport are reporting that the FIA has put out a tender for supply of engines and transmissions starting in 2010 as part of their cost cutting initiatives.

"The FIA will today open the tender process for the appointment of a third party supplier of engines and transmission systems to be used by competitors in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The tender summary and requirements will be published on the FIA website shortly."

However, this does not prohibit manufacturers from making their own engines, but does mean that they have to build them to a certain design, and will be tested to ensure they remain within certain performance parameters.

Is this the end of F1 as we know it?

Or is it simply a return to the days where everyone (except Ferrari) simply bolted a DFV to the back of the chassis and went racing???

This process will reduce the amount that manufacturers want to participate in F1, but will not open it up to new competitors, as the initial costs required in setting up a manufacturing base to build and design a (competitive) chassis are now prohibitive in F1.

In order to increase competitors on the grid, I believe strongly that customer chassis should be allowed for the first (say) 5 years, during which time the teams must show that they are investing in the infrastructure required to build their own car......

As the rules currently stand, it is impossible for a new independent team to enter, without the investment of almost a billion dollars in initial infrastructure:

That is:
Machining area,
Wind tunnel,
Super-computer (For CFD)
Carbon Fibre Manufacturing area.
Huge resources for CAD/CAM

All of these are required in order to simply get to the back of the F1 grid, let alone the front.....
cider_and_toast started an interesting thread about the subject of new teams here.

As you say though, this does nothing much except to reduce the costs of designing the engine.
All of the other related start-up costs are the same.

For me this will effectively neuter F1.
F1 should be about cutting edge design and pushing the limits (admittedly it hasn't been like that for a while now) but this is taking things too far.

The prohibitive design rules are bad enough but standardised engines?
Might as well watch GP2 or A1GP.
In a way I have to agree with The Artist.... that this move is intended to return F1 to the DFV days of garage racing but in this day an age that's unlikely to happen.

As far as the manufacturers go it could be a win win situation becasue they still get to put the name on the cars but don't have to spend their own cash on the R&D. If the engine ends up as a steaming pile of nuts and bolts during a race the manufacturer can then turn around and say "well we didn't build it". It seems like less risk for a better return.

The problem then becomes where do the teams make other gains. If the Aero regs are made even more restrictive teams will still spend a fortune looking for that extra 10th. In the 70's a radical alteration to car design would prove to have a radical effect on car performance (either making the car faster or slower). A classic example being the huge drop in performance by Lotus and Ferrari after their 1978 and 1979 world championships. In the mordern era of F1 (and as pointed out in another thread by vervista) cars evolve gradually and each 10th of a second costs a fortune.

Everytime the FIA try to plug one money pit another will just open somewhere else.

The only way to truly make F1 cheap is for the FIA to supply a single chassis and engine to all teams but then what would be the point.

F1 should be the pinacle of motorsport for both drivers and technology and this is just not compatable with cost cutting measures. The best way to help teams and encourage more participation is to give them a bigger slice of the pie. Measures such as dropping the 50 million doller enterance fee or allocating more money to teams at the lower end of the grid during their first few years after entering the sport as assistance payments to get the team up to speed. Better still how about stopping Bernie and the banks sucking all the money out of F1 and giving more to the people who actually make the sport what it is, namely the teams.
I think it's been said before (quite possibly by GM) but the best thing for F1 now would be to tear the old rules in two and allow the designers almost total freedom to innovate. The new rules could be as simple as a car must:

Fit within dimensions x,y,z
Pass the safety tests (raised by 5% force each season)
Use x joules of fuel (reduced by 5% per season)

Then we'd see some interesting designs.
This proposal has exactly the same flaw as the current engine freeze. Ferrari and Mercedes haven't saved a penny, as they spent all the money on looking at engine materials to improve performance while retaining an identical design.

I think that this is all about Mad Max adopting a negotiating position to bully the manufacturers and has nothing to do with what will actually happen in 2010.
When I saw the headline I had visions of a steam boiler & chimney!

I think all the posts have touched on the fact that F1 has to be seen as the pinnacle and despite the history showing that large numbers of teams have used one engine before, the DFV, there were other engines out there. You feel that although the 'control' engine won't be compulsory the FIA will make damn sure it's prohibitive to do otherwise.

I think in order to preserve some of the 'DNA' of F1 you have to let teams have their own engines and make cost savings elsewhere.

How about zero testing throughout the season and have the Friday of a GP weekend as unlimited test running?
How about the FIA tenders out for identical CFD computers instead of engines, then the teams all have the same starting point like they do with the standard ECU?
How about a cap on the number of personnel a team employs rather than trying to cap budgets?

It could well be a red herring to scare the teams into making other assurances regarding spending as I'm sure the FIA is aware that the fans would switch off in droves as you may as well be watching A1GP or GP2.
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