• Oct 17th 2008 at 6:27PM
  • 48
Citing the ridiculously spiraling costs associated with engine development, the FIA sent out a statement seeking drivetrain suppliers for every Formula 1 team starting in 2010, meaning that the same engine/trans combo would be fitted to every car on the grid. The company that gets the contract would either build and supply the engines or design and supervise the building of them so they meet a specified range.

This kind of plan seems almost incomprehensible given that Formula One has always been known as a series that allows manufacturers and private teams to compete within the regulations to push the boundaries of what's possible in car development, and especially in engine technology. It seems unfathomable that a team like Honda might consider staying in F1 if they had to use a Renault powerplant, or God forbid a Toyota mill. McLaren-Mercedes/Ferrari anyone?

Despite the obvious negative reaction to this announcement, F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone said he doesn't expect to lose any teams: "We're trying to get a level playing field," he said. "I don't see why [manufacturers] should leave, we're saving them an awful lot of money I hope." While increasing development costs have gotten out of hand and threatened the future of the sport by increasing the likelihood that all teams but those with the deepest pockets will be driven out, the overall feeling is that the FIA is using their usual tactic of offering a pretty unpleasant plan, with the hope that teams will accept their much more palatable alternative when that is offered.

Still, there is some support within F1 for this type of plan, especially among the smaller teams that already rely on the major manufacturers to supply engines. A smaller budget means these teams are usually perpetual backmarkers, and with a spec drivetrain, they might be better equipped to grab more podiums. The FIA is set to meet with the Formula One Team's Association in Geneva after this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. We'll keep you posted. Thanks to Doug for sending this in!

[Source: Eurosport]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm so glad I've stopped watching F1, it's so obvious that Ferrari is going to be one providing the engines, it's appears that the 6 car grid at the Indianapolis a few years ago was a vision of the future only with engines instead of tyres.

      • 6 Years Ago
      RIDICULOUS!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      F*ck the FIA. I've been an F1 fan for over 20 years and if this bullsh*t happens, then that's the end of it for me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Time for old Bernie to hand over the reins to someone who's not completely senile. What a stupid idea!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This Is The Main Reason Why I Stopped Watching NASCAR. The Same Car The Same Engine Specs. This Will Kill The Spirit Of Competition That F1 Has Always Stood For. What A Shame
      • 6 Years Ago
      Netcraft confirms it: F1 is dying.
      • 6 Years Ago
      maybe cosworth will come back and make the engines
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, just when it seems like some good decisions were being made for the regulations starting in 2009, now in 2010 they want to kill the entire concept of Formula 1.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will kill innovation. I like the idea of F1 teams trying to rinse every last bit of power from those 2.4 Litre V8's. 750-800 HP is the average so far ( I think).
        • 6 Years Ago
        There isn't a whole lot of wringing going on anymore, seeing as how there's an engine freeze which doesn't allow design changes, except in very specific instances (for instance, for reliability issues) and with approval from the FIA. The 19,000 rpm limit is kind of a drag too.
      • 6 Years Ago

      BAD IDEA.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "It seems unfathomable that a team like Honda might consider staying in F1 if they had to use a Renault powerplant, or God forbid a Toyota mill. McLaren-Mercedes/Ferrari anyone?"

      Yes. God forbid Japanese engines in all F1 cars. Toyota has shown jack squat (besides points here and there) in F1 and Honda is associated with mostly boring, low-rent racing that is the IRL (maybe not Honda's fault, but guilty by association).

      F1 is in bed with Ferrari, and that's probably where the engines will come from. BMW and Mercedes (unless a part of co-development) will pull out because it will be unfathomable (sic?) to have Ferrari engines in their respective cars. Teams will form up similiar to IRL (like Newman-Haas, Andretti Green, etc.)

      I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be surprised to see these things happen.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would imagine that if there was a REAL threat of BMW or Mercedes pulling out, the plan would be scrapped. Along with Ferrari, those two teams mean too much for Formula one for Bernie to let them go. The rest of the teams may or may not be around for long anyway. Renault was shaky a couple years ago, Toyota and Honda both pay WAY too much to be backmarkers, and the privateers . . . they're usually lucky to last more than one year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        low-rent racing that is the IRL (maybe not Honda's fault, but guilty by association)

        I take it you weren't around in the 80's/early 90's when Honda dominated F1?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is stupid.

      This will kill the competition between the teams, what would be left to them, designing the chassis?? Ahh come on.
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