FIA starts tender process for 2017 alternative F1 engine

The FIA has wasted no time in pushing ahead with its plans to have an alternative engine on the grid in 2017, and to that end has already issued a formal call for expressions of interest on its website.

It had been thought that there would be more discussions before the FIA set the process in motion. Although no details are given, as previously noted the plan is for a single manufacturer to earn the right to supply a 2.2-litre twin turbo V6. A deadline of November 23rd has been put in place.

The FIA said it “has decided to launch a consultation among the engine manufacturers in order to potentially identify for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons of the aforementioned Championship an exclusive alternative engine manufacturer which will be solely entitled to supply this alternative engine to the competitors entered for said seasons of the Championship.

The FIA is now calling for expressions of interest to identify candidates interested in becoming the exclusive supplier of the alternative engine to the competitors.”

Candidates have to supply a detailed dossier regarding the suitability and experience. Intriguingly the detailed requirements state that the “the candidate declares to be entirely independent of a major car manufacturer.”

The FIA notes that after an assessment the “candidates whose expression of interest meets the requirements stated in this document may be entitled to participate in a tendering procedure the aim of which would be to identify an exclusive supplier of the alternative engines to the competitors.”

20 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

20 responses to “FIA starts tender process for 2017 alternative F1 engine

  1. ctp

    Really… 10 days for potential suppliers to put together a multi-million dollar, multi-year business proposal? Sounds like the bidding process for the World Cup…

    • DW

      Yes, very odd … considering they’re eliminating anyone with a manufacturer link.
      Unless, they’re already some way down the road in discussions with someone like Cosworth, & this process is just window dressing?

      • Brian

        It calls for:

        (a) their declaration interest (why would you file this thing if you were NOT interested?)
        (b) their CV
        (c) a statement of manufacturer independence.

        No multi-million dollar business propasals required at this point.

        I’m not sure how it would take longer than a week to do this part. It’s not like Cosworth and/or Ilmor and/or whoever haven’t been aware of this idea being bandied about for the past couple of months and will have already discussed it in-house..

        1. Yes we’re interested
        2. We’re Cosworth. Need we say more?
        3. Yes, we’re independent.

        The interesting question, as GeorgeK references, is whether Bernie and the FIA already have assurances that at least one company *is* interested. Or not.

  2. GeorgeK

    A face saving move on FIA’s part. When no one expresses “interest ” in the next 10 days, FIA can say “Oh well, we tried” then drop the silly notion.

  3. Glen

    Doesn’t Ilmor have a 2.2 litre, twin turbo V6 already designed, built and raced? (it may be badged as something else but I’m sure that’s purely for marketing purposes, so Ilmor is still entirely independent😉 )

    And hasn’t Mario Illien been hanging around Red Bull in recent times?

    What a coincidence!

    If I were a power unit manufacturer, who has created exactly what has been asked of me, to be used as the exclusive power unit formula for a minimum period of time, only to then be told that another engine formula is to run alongside mine which will have parity in power but is cheaper to develop, build, run, maintain etc., I may consider suing the people responsible for this change of regulation in order to redeem my now-wasted development costs. Whether I’d have grounds to sue, I don’t know, but I’d make enquiries.

    • Glen

      I’ve just been reminded of the talk (rumour? Confirmation? I’ve lost track) of Cosworth entering Indycar next season, so they could have a design already existing too. That’s not as shady as the Ilmor/Red Bull connection, though.

      2017 is only a season away. That’s not a lot of development time for something entirely new.

      • petes

        I seem to recall that Cosworth is owned by two gentlemen who either are owners of an Indy outfit or are closely associated with same. So, no surprises there other then that the controlling body doesn’t seem to like their cred or they’d be in?

      • anon

        I was under the impression that they had no interest at all in IndyCar given that the current price caps means that the current suppliers are enduring heavy losses. Cosworth has been in financial trouble for several years – they’ve been defaulting on some aerospace contracts now due to being unable to pay suppliers – so trying to take on an IndyCar program would probably ruin them.

        petes, I presume you are thinking of Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, who are the co-owners of Cosworth.
        Forsythe was a former Champ Car team owner and shut his team down years ago – officially for sponsorship reasons, but there were claims that the real reason was because he refused to work with Tony George. Kalkhoven, though, does continue to have links with the modern IndyCar series.

        However, as I’ve pointed out above, I suspect the real reason why Cosworth is not a shoe in is because there is a lot of uncertainty over whether Cosworth will still be solvent in 2017.

      • petes

        @anon. You nailed it.

    • petes

      Plus I should have said…there’s something familiar in your first sentence.
      Seems F1 is not at all unique, surprise, surprise!

  4. GeorgeK

    I just don’t see how 2 different engine concepts could work. One of two things will happen:
    1. The discount engine is just as good, or better than the MB, Ferrari, Renault or Honda. And all the aforesaid engine suppliers threaten to leave over breech of contract.
    2. The discount engine is totally inadequate and no one wants it. After 1-2 years it goes the way of the Cosworth of several years ago.

    If Ilmor is positioned to make an engine, it would have to be for Red Bull, and will they take flyer on an under performing unit? I think not, so I feel as if scenario 1 is more likely.

    We could be heading to F1 Armageddon.

    • peterg

      George, I’m not so sure. This reminds me of the 80’s when there were 1.5 Lt turbos vs 3.5 Lt normally aspirated engines. It’s possible a 2.2 twin could be in the hunt. Although I’m not sure how it will all balance out electric/kinetic harvesting gizmos.

      • petes

        Sure, there’s that aspect. But how about the manufacturers who’ve designed, manufactured and entirely propped up the concept we’ve seen over the past two seasons, getting the rug pulled from under them by the mob that’s supposed to running the sport? It’s total crap.

      • peterg

        “Manufacturers……getting the rug pulled from under them by the mob that’s supposed to running the sport? It’s total crap.”

        No, it how Bernie & the FIA manage the sport. Bernie & Max, Bernie & Todt. Same crap different bucket.

      • petes

        @peterg Not the same pg.
        Doubt that even Max would have been crass enough to utter the line the little frog uttered yesterday on hearing of the carnage wrought upon his fellow French folks. Todt showed just how slimey low he is.

  5. GeorgeK

    @ peterg: This is not comparable to the 80’s as the 2 different engine types back then were initially supported by the big boys, until one engine type was proven more competitive or the other regulated out of existence.

    When 4 mfg. Have invested billions in developing engines for the entire grid and they threaten to to take their ball and go home, ALONG WITH their teams, it could turn into the Armageddon I previously mentioned.

    I can’t see any scenario where they will allow this to unfold without a major fight.

  6. Kevin Robinson

    The difference that I see between this proposed 2nd engine and the differing formats for the 80s is that the FIA is mandating that the 2nd engine is going to be standard and can only be provided by 1 manufacturer. If That new engine comes in and is more powerful, better, or whatever, Ferrari, MB, Honda, and Renault cannot just switch to using that format, they MUST use the current engines. So, if the FIA does make this 2nd engine better, then they are basically kicking out all of the other manufacturers as none could make the better engine and their current engines would be worthless.

    THAT is where this will become a fight, IMHO. If you want a 2nd engine to be available, then you have to let anyone manufacture it, not just a single company. And why is this new company not just asked to make an engine that is the same structure as the current?

    • peterg

      Gentleman, my comment above, regarding the 1.6 vs the proposesed 2.2 was about it being competitive with the 1.6, i.e. in the hunt. I also said that I was not sure how the proposed 2.2 would balance out, against the gizmos the current 1.6 has.

      I never said I approved of BE’s political chicanery and the impact on the current manufacturers.

      BTW, the turbos in the 80’s won the WC’s against the 3.5 litre atmospherics. Only after the turbos were banned did an attmo win a WC,….89? Honda? If memory serves.

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