F1 engines just got cheaper; what’s $12M between friends?

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Things are starting to take shape in Geneva and it starts with the two meetings held by the FIA by assembling, first, a Strategy Group meeting to hammer out the details and followed by a F1 Commission to agree to said details. The outcome? Engine will be cheaper going forward.

The FIA had placed the onus on Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda to not only supply the entire grid but to cap the cost of such a supply and according to AUTOSPORT, they’ve reached that agreement at $12 million. That’s significantly south of the reported $20 million that was being bandied about in the press last year.

This move was to stave off a virulent and highly motivated FIA president Jean Todt and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone who were poised, with mandate in hand, to make whatever changes necessary to secure F1’s future and much of that was placed on a second engine format that was more affordable. The teams were not too keen on that idea.

The new regulations are set to be installed for the 2018 season and be termed on a three-year deal until 2020. A landmark year as the original 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged hybrid systems format was due to expire on that date anyway.

Also, the group all agreed to reduce the number of gearboxes allowed per season to just three. There was also a charge to the teams to circle back at the end of 2015 to simplify the technical and sporting regulations as many feel they have grown to monster-in-the-closet proportions and who can argue with that?

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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Tom Firth

Sounds promising but we went down this road before of an agreement on engine costs, and it got Veto’d further down the process. It’s positive but need to see what actually happens now.

Jamie Huntoon

Called it.

Sakae

Now, what’s the next handout Tier 2 is waiting for?
I do consider pricing cap a bandage solution on more serious structural challenges, and it will not work on long run, IMO, whatever problem Ecclestone thinks he is solving. Nothing is free, and cost differential for engines will have to be offset by other measures. It is just not clear at the moment who, or what takes a hit. Honda, according to Horner, wanted 30MM (not sure in which currency) per unit, and now they will give it away for 12? Yeah right.

Shane Phillips

This panned out exactly as I predicted it would.

The FIA have done this in the past, Mosley was a master at it. He was great at threatening to push through radical proposals in order to get the teams to meet him in the middle.

I’m glad the new engines are staying, I truly love the technology, and although I think it’s a little bit unfair that the teams are benefiting from the R&D being done by Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Honda without paying for it, but it’s a better solution than losing the technology from the sport for good.

longshot

On the other hand, Renault Ferrari Merc & Honda are benefiting from using the hybrid technology in their road cars, which goes a long way towards paying for the R&D and is option that isn’t available to F1 customer teams.

If the manufacturers are going to use F1 as a test bed for their road car hybrids, its in their interests to supply customer teams at a reasonable price (even at a loss) as without those customers there’d be no F1.

Paul KieferJr

So….$12 million for an engine. Good first step. Still needs improvement. When I can buy an engine for about $3500, you know I’m going to think that they can do better.

longshot

Ok, cost is one thing, though it remains to be seen how they’re going to achieve it & whether it’ll actually go through. A lot can happen between now & 2018.

What I haven’t seen mentioned yet are any rules mandating that customers receive the same software as the factory teams. Until that happens we’re still going to have a two tier F1.

Naeem Ali

so no faster louder cars, and slow F1 cars.. Very Nice… This sucks.. This is not F1…. Slow cars and no sound… Great job

Naeem Ali

We should call F1 , GP2

TheMan

The only fair way to deal with the engine situation is to [a] require each team to build their own or, [b] have a single engine supplier that provides all teams with an identical power plant or, [c] require that all engine manufacturers supply the same engine to customers that they themselves use. Anything other than these options results in an unfair penalty to customer teams, so what would you call a, supposedly, world-class racing series that requires its teams to start out at an immediate disadvantage? Where is the competition in that? F1 needs to restructure its basic rules… Read more »

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