The issue came up at a recent meeting of the Formula One Strategy Group, where the participating parties discussed implementing a global cost ceiling, amending the regulations in order to drive down costs, and increasing the standardization of common parts. However one of the most concrete steps would have seen the FIA institute a maximum price which engine suppliers could charge independent teams for their power units. The issue was put to a vote, which the FIA reports passed with a "large majority." But Ferrari vetoed the measure, exercising the right accorded to it under the governing regulations – a step which the FIA will not contest.
With its cost-cap measure defeated, the governing body has confirmed its intent to move ahead with proposals to bring in an outside engine supplier that will provide motivation to independent teams at a lower cost. As we recently reported, the price associated with securing power units from suppliers like Mercedes, Renault, and Ferrari, typically costs teams as much as $30 million per season – a solid two or three times what they cost in the previous V8 era.
One of the leading contenders at this early stage to supply those low-cost power units is Cosworth. The British firm has long participated in the championship as an engine supplier, stepping back from the sport only recently. However other companies could enter a bid for the contract as well. A French outfit called PURE run by former BAR-Honda team principal Craig Pollock began development of an engine package back in 2011. BMW and Toyota both supplied V8 engines until a few years ago, while independent outfits like Mecachrome, Mugen, and TAG have also prepared F1 power units based on engines developed by major manufacturers.
FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - COST REDUCTION
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.