A more cost-effective V6 customer engine could be made available to teams from 2017 as a solution towards bringing costs down, according to Bernie Ecclestone, with a tender process supported by the FIA set to be launched next week
The F1 supremo has frequently expressed his dissatisfaction with the current generation V6 turbo hybrid power units, insisting they are not fast enough, not loud enough and too expensive for customer teams at a time when many are struggling financially.
As a result, solutions have been discussed to both bring costs down and provide an option for other teams unable to source a supply (namely Red Bull), the latest being a simpler V6 twin-turbo engine developed by a single independent supplier to be offered at approximately half of the price.
Seen by many as an attempt to limit what many feel is becoming a duopoly between Mercedes and Ferrari, thus reducing their overall influence on the running of the sport, Ecclestone is will offer more power, but use more fuel.
“The FIA will put out a press release on Monday or Tuesday. They'll probably have more power and use more fuel so it means, that there will be some regulation changes. But that has already been anticipated for 2017 anyway, so there's nothing new.”
Indeed, though the measure is unlikely to receive the support from Mercedes and Ferrari, the initative does have backing from the FIA. Ecclestone denies, however, that it is a measure designed to force engine manufacturers to drop their prices for customer teams, even if he claims it will result in the loss of entries if something isn't done.
“It's very simple. If not, we'll probably lose a few teams. It's nothing to do with us what people charge – we have no control over that and don't want to.
“We tried to convince people that the amount of money it was necessary to spend in F1, to be competitive, was not too much, and people didn't agree.”
Cosworth is believed to be the preferred choice for Ecclestone having begun development of a V6 turbo power unit prior to the change in regulations for 2014.