Cosworth working on 2014 engine 'for 18 months'
6 October 2012
F1 engine builder Cosworth has revealed that it would love to be a part of the sport's new technical age, provided it can find a suitable partner to make the development of a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 viable.
While rivals Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are all known to be well underway in the race to be ready for the new formula in 2014, Cosworth's future was less clear, having made it clear that it was looking for a major manufacturer tie-up or substantial financial help to make the project a reality. One potential player for 2014, Craig Pollock's PURE operation, has already been hit by monetary setbacks and appears to be out of the picture, but Cosworth's Kim Spearman told journalists at Suzuka that his employer would love to continue, having enjoyed partnerships with Williams, Caterham, Marussia and HRT since its return in 2010.
"[We'd] love to do it," he insisted, "If we can find a commercially sustainable way to provide a competitive platform for some potential customers, we'd like to do that. We are in useful negotiations with customers and, hopefully, we'll find a way to be in. We've been in business for 54 years, much of it in F1, [and] we've got passionate people back at Cosworth who want to stay in F1 and we'd like to get there."
Asked whether the company has any ideas 'on paper', Spearman revealed that Cosworth had been 'working on the engine for 18 months', as well as continuing to develop its existing powerplant.
"For 2012, obviously we turn our attention to the next six races and helping out teams to do the best they can," he noted, "We're trying to consolidate [Marussia]'s situation in tenth place in the constructors' [championship] and, as you've probably read, they've re-signed and partnered with us for 2013, when they'll use a KERS-enabled package, which we hope will bring yet another step up in pace for them. We're very excited about that, and we're still in negotiation with HRT."
Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali underlined the task facing prospective engine builders for 2014, particularly those, like his equipe, that also has to construct a chassis to mate the finished product with.
"We are developing our system together with our suppliers as part of the challenge of the 2014 powertrain project, to confirm the fact that we are already on full boost in our department, to make sure that we are ready in proper time for this new huge challenge, because, for us, it means that we had to start and update all the infrastructure, to make sure that these new engines and this new system are ready to run," he noted.
"We need to be ready with a new engine, trying to find the customers for the future and trying to make sure that we are competitive, because one of the things for 2014 is the fact that, for all of us, both from the chassis point of view, due to the regulations and also for the engine and powertrain regulations point of view, we are starting from target references that are purely self-made, without having any kind of information [regarding] the other competitors. It will be an incredible task, at least for us, as a small team to make sure that we are able, both, as I said, from the chassis project but also from the engine, to match strong teams like Mercedes, like Renault and all the other teams that are working very hard already."