Formula 1's engine manufacturers are set to propose a substantially reduced cost for its hybrid power units as a way of avoiding the FIA and FOM's attempts to introduce a cheaper independent engine supply.
In the wake of Ferrari vetoing cost cap measures in October 2015, the FIA initiated a new proposal that would see an independently-developed engine being made available to teams at a lower price than the reported 16-20 million euros being charged to customer teams by Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.
Though the proposal went as far as a tendering process, the plan was put on hold in November when manufacturers agreed to co-operate on an alternative plan to primarily reduce costs and improve the spectacle.
With the proposal due for 15th January, according to German publication Auto Motor und Sport
, manufacturers have agreed to a rounded price reduction to around 12 million euros in an effort to avoid a customer engine, which would have been built to a different specification before being equalised in terms of performance.
The move is intended to entice Todt, who remains a supporter of the hybrid power unit formula and whose key motivation for the alternative engine is being driven by the vast costs.
When discussing the proposal during the Mexico Grand Prix weekend, Todt suggested costs could be reduced to around 12 million euros, though engines argued this would be difficult. Nonetheless, this move has the potential to win him round, which could effectively signal the end of the alternative proposal.
Such a move would likely irk Bernie Ecclestone, who has been – and remains – a staunch critic of the engines, which he feels don't provide enough spectacle in terms of power or noise.
Even so, Todt and Ecclestone could yet make a bid for tweaks having been given a 'mandate' to forge ahead with proposals on 'pressing issues', which many felt was a veiled nod to the engine proposals if teams and manufacturers rejected it. Todt and Ecclestone have until 31st January to 'express their intention to establish conclusions on these matters'.