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BMW, Renault push for turbo return in F1

1 January 1901

Two of Formula 1's major manufacturers are believed to be keen to see a return of turbo power to the top flight in the near future – whilst drivers suggest the sport's new regulations will promote far greater overtaking from as early as next season.

Earlier this year, FIA President Max Mosley gave teams an ultimatum to come up with new ways to cut costs, improve energy efficiency and create a better spectacle in F1 – or else have the rules imposed upon them.

Amongst the discussions, there have been moves for a radical change on the engine front, with calls for the introduction of smaller, 1.5-litre turbocharged powerplants to replace the current, 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8s from 2012.

According to the largest Austrian daily newspaper, Kronen Zeitung, both BMW and Renault are keen on this idea as a way to end Ferrari's present monopoly. Despite the Scuderia's ongoing reliability problems – with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen having suffered a failure apiece in the last two grands prix – Ferrari-powered drivers filled the top five spots through the speed traps in Valencia last weekend, in the shape of Sébastien Bourdais (313km/h), Raikkonen (313km/h), Sebastian Vettel (313km/h), Massa (312km/h) and Adrian Sutil (311km/h).

Turbo-charged engines have not been used in the uppermost echelon since the end of the 1988 campaign.

Meanwhile, detailed computer simulations of next year's sweeping aerodynamic changes – to include smaller wings, no winglets or bodywork appendages and a highly re-designed rear diffuser, with the current style blamed for the sport's chronic lack of overtaking – have 'thrilled' drivers from McLaren-Mercedes testers Gary Paffett and Pedro de la Rosa to rising Scuderia Toro Rosso star Vettel

“The Toyota is particularly bad,” the Red Bull Racing-bound ace told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. “You cannot get closer than about one second behind.”

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