With BMW, Toyota and Honda long gone from an expanded grid, the 12 teams in the Formula One World Championship are powered by one of four engines: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Renault or Cosworth. The new turbo four formula that's set to come into effect for the 2013 championship, however, is geared towards attracting new manufacturers into the series. And according to reports, it has landed its first newcomer.
But the engine supplier in question isn't an automaker. Nor is it an established race engineering firm like Cosworth. It's an entirely new enterprise, set up by a former team principal and driver manager. Called PURE, the initiative is being led by Craig Pollock, who managed Jacques Villeneuve's career and ran the BAR-Honda team for a number of years. Pollock and his team are working on a completely new turbocharged four-cylinder engine design, and aims to have customer teams in place long before the new formula takes effect.
While PURE – which stands for Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d'Energie (we'll let you translate that one in your head) – is a new company, it's not exactly starting from scratch. For starters, the design team mapping out its specifications have all been working on Peugeot and Renault engines for F1 and Le Mans for decades. For another, the engines will be manufactured by a subsidiary of Mecachrome, the company that builds Renault's F1 engines – including the one that drove Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull to the championship last year – much as Ilmor does for Mercedes and Cosworth once did for Ford. In other words, they know what they're doing, and while the existing engine suppliers are still tending to their current V8s, the PURE program could get a leg up by focusing "purely" on the new turbo four.