Cosworth has been supplying engines to HRT and Marussia this year in Formula One but that could be at risk if the proposed sale of the historic engine maker comes to fruition. Cosworth announced it was seeking to sell after slogging it out in standby for the last 18 months. Cosworth’s CEO, Tim Routsis, told the Times:
“We have been paused for the last 18 months and the board has decided that we can not wait any longer otherwise we risk losing momentum.”
According to the Telegraph, Rolls Royce could be a possible suitor in the purchase as the two companies have teamed together in the aerospace industry. Other possible candidates could be private equity players or trade buyers. With an impressive history in Formula One, the company’s duo of Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven are ready to divest themselves of the engine company as recent history has been a disappointment by F1 measures.
Cosworth re-entered Formula One after former FIA president, Max Mosley, proffered a new cost-cap strategy that lured HRT, Marussia and Caterham F1 into the sport in 2009. The teams needed an inexpensive engine supply and Mosley had devised a simple supply program that would be affordable for Cosworth as long as 4-5 teams utilized the services. Caterham F1, Marussia, HRT and legacy team Williams F1 all partook of the cheaper program.
Over the following three years, the engine struggled to be on par with the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault and this left all but Marrusia and HRT moving to new engine supplier deals. The regulations for 2014 are rumored to be changing to a turbo V6 and at the time of the announcement, Cosworth seemed keen to develop the new engine. With the concern over the cost of a new engine supply program, the regulations have been called into question.
Ultimately it would be sad to see Cosworth leave F1 but current economic times are such that it may be more than just an engine supplier leaving the sport. recent engine company, P.U.R.E., recently announced they were in a state of pause as they were also to supply F1 in 2014. The oppressive economic climate has many wondering if the engines for 2013 and beyond might be Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault and if this is teh case, one wonders if customer cars aren’t a serious reality as HRT has signaled its challenge in remaining in F1 with a new engine supply cost.