Things are starting to get dicey in Formula 1 concerning engines…or power units. On the heels of the USGP, the FIA have announced a new tender for a low-cost engine supplier for the 2017 season. Here is the FIA announcement in full:
The FIA has studied cost reduction measures for teams participating in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship which were not conclusive, including:
– a global cost ceiling,
– a reduction in costs via technical and sporting regulations,
– an increased standardisation for parts.
The FIA, in agreement with FOM, suggested the principle of setting a maximum price for engine and gear box for client teams at the last Strategy Group meeting.
These measures were put to the vote and adopted with a large majority.
However, Ferrari SpA decided to go against this and exercise the right of veto long recognised under agreements governing F1.
In the interest of the Championship, the FIA has decided not to legally challenge Ferrari SpA’s use of its right of veto.
Therefore the FIA will initiate a consultation with all stakeholders regarding the possible introduction of a client engine, which will be available as of 2017. Following this consultation a call for tenders for this client engine, the cost of which would be much lower than the current power unit, could be undertaken.
Supported by FOM, the FIA will continue in its efforts to ensure the sustained long-term development of the Championship and look for solutions enabling it to achieve this. It asks all of the teams to make a positive contribution to the success of this approach through proposals and initiatives in the interest of the Championship and its continuation over the long term.
It is understood that Ferrari have exercised their right to veto the concept of a cost-cap by the FIA and this, according to reports, have prompted the tender.
What’s interesting is the ZDF interview from last week with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and former FIA president Max Mosley. Ecclestone’s press conference at COTA and now this tender. The positioning is intricate and perhaps delicate where it needs to be and rather blunt-forced where it has to be.
You’ll recall that over the weekend, Ecclestone said that Honda were keen to supply Red Bull and engine but it was being blocked by McLaren boss Ron Dennis who enjoys his exclusivity. No doubt a power play but it does lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of Dennis.
Now the tender, which levels off at Ferrari, is offered because Ferrari isn’t willing to make the changes needed to secure the future of F1…at least that’s the implication. Surely veteran fans will know that it is more than Ferrari who have a vested interest in not changing anything. Namely those chaps that won the USGP and both driver’s and constructor’s titles.
It’s heating up in F1 and regardless of many of the harsh words and carping about Red Bull detonating it’s Renault relationship, I still maintain that F1 does not want to lose its largest privateer who spends millions, if not billions, on the series in total. not just the racing team but the entire series.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1