Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the FIA could be prepared to soften its stance over the introduction of 'greener' engines from the 2013 F1 season - by allowing current units to run for another year.
Plans had been put in place for the sport to switch to 1.6-litre turbocharged engines making the most of hybrid technology, with a desire to make F1 more environmentally friendly being a key part in the decision taken.
Ecclestone for one has been an outspoken critic of the proposed move but the commercial rights holder has now revealed that FIA president Jean Todt is considering the possibility of allowing the current V8 engines to continue into 2013.
Running alongside the new 1.6-litre turbos, the FIA would then have to work on equivalency and Ecclestone admitted that could cause problems.
"What he (Todt) is talking now is about letting the V8s run for a year (more) or something," he was quoted by Reuters
. "But I mean, equivalency formulas never work, do they?
"We'll have to see [if Todt's compromise could be a sign of flexibility]. I don't know. I hope, I hope, I hope. I think he's beginning to understand that the manufacturers all realise its going to cost them a lot of money and they can't hand that on to their customers because the engines are going to be too expensive."
Todt is reported to have met with engine manufacturers and FOTA head Martin Whitmarsh in the Catalunya paddock on Saturday and Ecclestone was quick to point out that he still believed the proposed change was the wrong way for F1 to go.
"Contrary to what people believe, I have no problem with Jean," he said. "I have been friends with him for many, many years. I think the whole idea of this engine is the wrong way to go. I haven't changed and I told him yesterday I have not changed my opinion.
"Jean is still believing that we should be giving a message. I don't know what the message is, because there is more fuel used in the Tour de France than there is in F1. In my opinion, it's all a bit of window-dressing for the wrong reasons.
"People come to F1, they've got the noise and the whole atmosphere of F1 and if that disappears they think they won't get so many (spectators) and the public will go down. You don't see people staying here for the GP3 or even GP2, they leave. But they are here for the noise in F1, that's what they want."