The economic downturn wrought devastating effects on motor racing. Formula One alone lost half its engine suppliers when Honda left at the end of the 2008 season, and both BMW and Toyota followed at the end of 2009. But things are looking up again. Cosworth may have dropped out this season, reducing the engine suppliers to three: Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes, the latter of which admits that it may have left had the engine formula not changed. But Mercedes has stayed and is dominating the championship. Honda is coming back next season. And word around the paddock is it may not be the only one.

According to Giancarlo Minardi – founder of the team now known as Scuderia Toro Rosso – BMW engineers have been conspicuously spotted lately at F1 test sessions and grands prix, lending to speculation that the new engine regulations may entice the Bavarian automaker back into the series. According to Minardi, BMW's marketing division is pushing for the automaker's return to F1, with the board slated to make a decision in May. BMW would be more likely to consider an engine-supply deal rather than taking a team over like it had with Sauber, but with which team or teams it might collaborate remains a big question mark at this point.

As if that's not enough, Ford is said to be considering taking over Cosworth's aborted V6 turbo engine program to take both outfits back into the sport as well. Cosworth supplied F1 engines under the Ford banner for years, but returned under its own name for four seasons from 2010 through 2013 before shuttering its program to develop an engine to meet the new regulations adopted this season.

With Honda, BMW and Ford back on the grid, F1 would be back up to six engine suppliers like it had been in the 2008 season that marked the highest level of participation from automakers in decades.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's just not the same for me without a Cossie Ford on the grid, so count me as happy to see this news.
      JF GeSchmidtt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great for the sport. Will push all of t he manufacturers to up their game. Hope they don't have a development freeze on the engines, also they need to drop the 100 KG per hour fuel flow meter and just mandate a similar size fuel tank. I don't really care one way or another about the sound, but they need to keep things competitive and they need to keep things fast, very fast.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I only want to see this if BMW makes 3 different sportback versions of the F1 car. And a 4 door coupe and then a sportback version of that as well.
        • 1 Year Ago
        You win the Internet today!
        • 1 Year Ago
        Don't forget the FWD cross-tourer 4-door coupe sportback version. With optional x-drive, of course. And heated wings. (DRS optional on the Premium Package)
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'd like to see a rally F1 car.
          Kuro Houou
          • 1 Year Ago
          Closest you will probably get,
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would be really interested to see a Ford on the grid, and would probably follow the sport more closely to see how they were getting on.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The "latter" means the second mentioned of two. It does not work when you mention three.
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