Is the FIA's simple low-cost engine idea already dead?

P1

Podium Finisher
It seems there may be very few if any customers other than Red Bull.

The natural audience for this sort of thing would be Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Force India, Lotus, Manor, Haas and Sauber - basically the low-cost teams plus Red Bull which has its own self-created issue.

Following the articles it seems several teams are not in favor of the idea:
Sauber - Monisha Kaltenborn has said she thinks its bad for F1 because it will reduce manufacturer interest in F1, and she believes manufacturer interest is important for the sport. Kaltenborn also mentioned the importance of high technology to being able to market F1 to sponsors.
Haas - have already said they aren't interested and prefer to stick with ferrari. Haas specifically said that he felt F1 had to be the pinnacle of tech and that the third-party engine idea is going backwards.
Lotus - will be against this once it becomes Renault
Force India - will be against this once it becomes Aston Martin (given that Aston Martin is partially owned by Mercedes and installing Mercedes engines in its newer road cars which makes for a great cross-marketing opportunity)

So basically only Manor and Red Bull are in favor. And by the way I'm not sure if Manor will commit to the FIA engine given that they are telling their sponsors they are a rising team with Mercedes engines and a Williams gearbox.

If this boils down to being just a Red Bull engine, then I think it will look very bad for the FIA since effectively they would be throwing the rules out the window for just 1 team. Plus it would make it very difficult to set the engine parity rules in a way that won't backfire. Imagine they achieve actual parity taking into account power, fuel, weight, etc. In that scenario Red Bull will probably dominate because they have the best chassis. Then the OEMs will say the engine rules weren't set fairly and Red Bull has the better engine. it will be very hard for the FIA to defend their actions without other teams on the new engine.

I think the FIA engine is a no-go.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Haven't we been here before with Max's Cosworth? Thanks to the wonderful way the sport is run, it will never, ever go back to the DFV style, slap it in a chassis and go era.
 

marksawatsky

Podium Finisher
Contributor
Couldn't the FIA allow more freedom for any engine manufacturer that sells their engines for under 12 million? Maybe Honda would start fresh and build something good?
 

canis

Race Winner
Valued Member
Apparently Bernie and Jean did suggest putting a cap on the cost of engines to customers last weekend. Unfortunately the cap they proposed and wanted to enforce was less than the actual cost per unit of the engines so all of the current engine suppliers said they would only supply their own teams if the rule came into place.

Bernie and Jean then back pedalled faster than Chris Boardman in reverse...
 

P1

Podium Finisher
Couldn't the FIA allow more freedom for any engine manufacturer that sells their engines for under 12 million? Maybe Honda would start fresh and build something good?

I think this is a brilliant idea. Somebody should suggest this to them. I doubt they thought of it.
 

P1

Podium Finisher
Ilmor and AER (who make the engines for the Rebellion LMP1 cars) are both interested in making low cost engines for F1 according to this.

Ilmor, AER apply for alternative F1 engine tender

It's interesting because there is also rumor of Renault hiring Ilmor to work on their own works engine. Not sure how they can do both.

The article also suggested cosworth or mecachrome could apply. I think mecachrome is highly unlikely given that they are in financial distress and this is a highly dubious venture with unclear customer demand.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Apparently this indicates that the F1 Commission is fully satisfied with the current state of affairs: no real competition for wins, declining spectator numbers (especially on television) etc.

Even forcing the manufacturers to supply a certain minimum number of teams with power units accomplishes nothing, unless it is mandated that ALL of the power units, including that of the "home team" must be of the same specification. Without such a mandate, it is fairly certain that the manufacturer's teams will have more advanced PUs than the customers, I.E. a de facto two-tier formula.
 

P1

Podium Finisher
Apparently this indicates that the F1 Commission is fully satisfied with the current state of affairs: no real competition for wins, declining spectator numbers (especially on television) etc.

Even forcing the manufacturers to supply a certain minimum number of teams with power units accomplishes nothing, unless it is mandated that ALL of the power units, including that of the "home team" must be of the same specification. Without such a mandate, it is fairly certain that the manufacturer's teams will have more advanced PUs than the customers, I.E. a de facto two-tier formula.

Great. I think this is consistent with the fan survey too.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
So Bernie and Jean are teaming up to put the teams back in there place. Well, that serves Bernie right for all the effort he made to get the teams involved in the running of F1 in the first place! The only conclusion I can draw from this is that if FIA and FOM get their way the manufacturer teams will up sticks and leave (with the exception of Ferrari) and we will herald a "brave new dawn" of Garagistes with the modern day equivalent of the old DFV. The idea is not unappealing...

Bernie Ecclestone battling to keep a grip on Formula 1
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
And a pretty interesting bit of speculation from Mark Hughes:

Showdown: Todt, Ecclestone and Mosley vs Marchionne - Formula 1 - Motor Sport Magazine

The trouble is, we keep seeing the same things over and over and over again. Mosely wanted Cosworth to herald that brave new dawn that FB talks about but it while it may have been cheap it was way off the pace. Recently, we had the P.U.R.E company working on an independent hybrid engine and they ran out of funding. Apart from the DFV which let's face it, which at the time was a massively expensive project, the bulk of the independent engine crowd (I.E. those that were engine suppliers only) have had very little success. See Hart, Judd, Yamaha, Lamborghini and Mugen as examples. They may have had the odd podium or two but were never huge front runners.
 
Top Bottom