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Manufacturers back Bernie in engine row, but Todt stands firm

F1's leading engine manufacturers side with commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone over the contentious new 2013 regulations - but FIA President Jean Todt insists he will not be swayed
F1's manufacturers have joined the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone in expressing their opposition to the FIA's intention to overhaul the engine regulations for 2013 – but Jean Todt remains adamant that the governing body will not budge.

Ecclestone has slated the plan to replace the current 2.4-litre V8 powerplants with 'greener', turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.6-litre units from 2013 onwards – primarily to underline the fact that F1 is taking its environmental duties seriously – as 'a joke', and after Ferrari had already agreed with the British billionaire, other manufacturers are now similarly confessing to their misgivings about the proposals.

“The FIA made its decision based on false assumptions, without considering the side-effects,” Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone told Swiss newspaper Blick. “The manufacturers and the teams need to go to the FIA and say they have thought about it and concluded that while the decision seemed right then, from today's perspective, it is wrong.”

The manufacturers' argument is reportedly that they cannot afford to build competitive four-cylinder turbocharged units by 2013, with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug telling Auto Motor und Sport that 'we support the four-cylinder only if there is a guarantee that the costs will be reduced by 30 per cent over a period of five years', the German fearful that should Renault withdraw, the Stuttgart-based marque may find itself having to supply even more customer teams.

Lotus Renault GP managing director Eric Boullier has similarly mused in an interview with the official F1 website: “The question is, can we afford such a change? All-in-all, it is important that we don't take the wrong decision in terms of the sport's fans and its future.”

It has also been suggested, claims SPEED.com, that the Craig Pollock/PURE interest in the new regulations was merely a convenient political coup in an effort to demonstrate that the turbo formula is capable of attracting new manufacturers, after the likes of Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen all seemingly dismissed the notion that it may entice them to join the grid.

Ecclestone insists that sticking with the already well-proven V8 formula is a no-brainer, and the 80-year-old hinted over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Barcelona that FIA President Todt may be softening his approach and preparing to make some concessions [see separate story – click here] – but after meeting with the sport's engine manufacturers on Saturday, the Frenchman reiterated that the new rules are proceeding full speed ahead.

“As I said before, we will not change [the 2013 regulations],” he told French motoring blog Auto Plus. “You can do something else, create another discipline, but the FIA Formula One World Championship will take place with the engine regulations that have been decided.”

Meanwhile, after it was mused that Renault had come around to the same way of thinking as Ferrari and Mercedes, the French marque's F1 managing director Jean-François Caubet stressed: “We are fully supporting the FIA. It makes a lot of sense for a carmaker like Renault to be road-relevant. I think it is a key point for the future of F1.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.05.2011- Qualifying, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
Saturday Practice, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
Saturday, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Race, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
31.01.2010 Valencia, Spain Jean-Francois Caubet (FRA), Managing director of Renault F1 Team, Gerard Lopez (FRA) Genii Capital, Renault F1 Team - Renault F1 Team Launch
26.03.2011- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
18.02.2011- Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief
19.05.2011- Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
Saturday Practice, Engine Ferrari
Thursday, Engine Renault of Red Bull
17.04.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
27.03.2011- Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
22.05.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.05.2011- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.05.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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Frank Wank - Unregistered

May 23, 2011 5:19 PM

Big Deal teams agreed to Putt Putt engines last year...like issues never change and F1 NEVER changes its direction. WHO CARES what the manufactures want!!! Honda/Toyota/BMW and Renault are not even in F1..am I missing something or did they not all bail out! All Renault do is make engines now and probably not for long. Reminds me of 98 when Renault made those DOG Mecachrome engines, was the beginning of the end for Williams I think. Little Todt trying with all his might to woo Volkswagon to F1. Who cares about VW, they already said they are not interested! WHO CARES about green F1, it is a total joke, to redesign new spec engines and new chassis is going to cost the teams a fortune and they know it. Gotta go with Bernie on this one... /

Scarlet Pimpernel - Unregistered

May 24, 2011 1:02 AM

So I guess the oh way to shut up a dictatorial Jean Todt is to tell the FIA right now that he can race his own go-carts in Formula 1, while the current batch of F1 teams will register a "new" formula called "Formula V8 Technology" and create their own sporting rules, technical regulations, and race on Eccelstone's race tracks for a 50% reduction in race-track rentals...! When are the F1 teams going to wake up to the insidious nature of the FIA ? New boss...same as the old boss ! If the F1 manufacturers, the F1 teams, and the F1 suppliers/advertisers don't do something NOW they will be racing Fiat 500's by 2014 in order to suck up to FIA and the Green Party of Europe ! Wake up everyone : you're all being played for fools !

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