Alternative engine rejected by F1 Commission as manufacturers promise own ideas

The FIA has confirmed that the controversial plans for an alternative “client” engine for 2017 did not gain approval from the F1 Commission yesterday, as had been expected.

Given that a majority was required it was always likely that the votes of the teams would stop the alternative plan, which is being championed by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

Instead the manufacturers have agreed to tackle the key issues that the alternative engine was supposed to address. They have to submit a proposal by January 15, with the first meetings on the subject taking place in Abu Dhabi this week.

Significantly manufacturers will have to supply a minimum number of teams, if required.

Regarding the alternative engine plan, the FIA noted: “The meetings acknowledged the four credible Expressions of Interest made for the manufacture and supply of a less expensive alternative customer engine.

“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage – however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group.”

The latter reference makes it clear that the alternative idea could yet be revived if the manufacturers do not come up with answers.

The new proposal will seek to address the issues that the alternative engine was aimed at, most importantly cost and guaranteed supply.

It could be argued that such an outcome is exactly what Jean Todt and Ecclestone wanted in the first place, and that the threat of the alternative engine has in effect done its job.

The FIA noted: “The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One. These areas are:

– Guarantee of the supply of Power Units to teams
– The need to lower the cost of Power Units to customer teams
– Simplification of the technical specification of the power units
– Improved noise

“The manufacturers, in conjunction with the FIA, will present a proposal by 15 January, 2016 that will seek to provide solutions to the above concerns.

“The proposal will include the establishment of a minimum number of teams that a manufacturer must supply, ensuring that all teams will have access to a Power Unit.

“Measures will also be put forward to reduce the cost of the supply of hybrid Power Units for customer teams, as well as improving their noise.

“All stakeholders agreed that the developments will aim for the 2017 season at the earliest, and 2018 at the latest.

“The first meeting between the FIA and the Power Unit manufacturers on this topic will be held this week at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

10 responses to “Alternative engine rejected by F1 Commission as manufacturers promise own ideas

  1. DW

    Isn’t that just the dumbest idea ever …

    Leave it up to the exact same people who gave us this current engine debacle to find a solution and come up with the next set of regulations that favour them …

    If this is an FIA championship, it’s about time they show some backbone & come up with a set of rules that is best for the sport … then if Mercedes, Honda, Ferrari and Renault are happy to compete under those rules and take advantage of the marketing advantage of being in F1, then they can do so … if not, there are 4 independent suppliers interested, and as long as they all make engines that are relatively equally matched I couldn’t care who makes them.

    • Ramshoek

      Isn’t that the smartest idea ever ?!
      Leave it up to the exact same people (brands) that, with their high profile names and investments, give F1 the Marketing value it has nowadays.

      These 4 brands are more important to F1 than any caffeine/sugar drinks companies marketing division. These manufacturers are more important than that financially struggling team that is about to change its name for the 5th time in 2 decades. Or a couple of other private teams in F1 that can easily be replaced by the more ambitious teams in GP2 or FR3.5.
      I think technology has to be relevant to F1 and I do not mean € 20.000 worth of tiny little flaps or vanes every fortnight. I do not mean a new € 100.000 front wing 3 or 4 times a year. Relevant technology !
      And yes, the cost of it all has to be decreased. On all fronts! Including drive trains.

      • DW

        Wow, you’re certainly not seeing the wood for the trees.

        Remind me again what a fantastic job the manufacturers have done of the current rules?
        And I hate to burden you with facts, but F1 popularity has been on the decline since the manufacturers and the technical working group (made up almost exclusively of engineers) have been involved in the rule making process.
        Consider too that the primary goal of the current regulations was to reduce the cost of competing … which has been the biggest failure to achieve a set goal over the history of F1.
        Then there is the most one sided results and dominance every in the history of the sport … again thanks to flaws in the current rules … brought to you by the manufacturers!

  2. Suckers. Will never buy a Renault or a Honda. Merc has been on by black list for a while now.

    • petes

      So how’s your Fezza goin? Still strands you roadside in a blink I guess. No matter, they’re all like that…..

      • Yes Petes, I appreciate yer tense sense humour. I

      • Blimey! This app is getting on me nerves! I was tweeting dat I omitted Farrari 4 obvious reasons – it’s 4 footballers & Kardashians & socialite clowns alike. Real people, like meself, drive a Hyundai or a Kia, luckily WRC cars R not hybrid toys operated from the pit wall.

      • anon, do you really think that the road car that you buy bares any relation to a car in the WRC? Cars that Ford once estimated shared a grand total of 12 components (which essentially boiled down to the headlights and associated switches)? I only hope that your comment is a joke.

  3. Brian

    As usual in F1, the truth is in the language.

    None of this nonsense fixes the problem which is power parity. Guaranteeing access to a power unit does *not* guarantee access to a *competitive* power unit as Red Bull vehemently pointed out.. The engine makers who also have their own teams will never agree to provide a unit that could provide an opportunity for anyone else to beat them. Why would/should they? The two-tiered system that Wolff, et al, couldn’t understand is a system that already exists thanks to their their control of the power units. And by keeping the price high they drain the budgets of the smaller teams which further guarantees their inability to develop anything that could alter the balance of power.

    F1 needs to invoke a “claiming” system where all the power units arrive at the races in unmarked crates and the teams get their power units via a lottery.

    Bernie has said many times that the smaller teams are just crappy businessmen/women who haven’t done as he has an bribed, stolen, cheated, etc. their way to the top so that they would then have enough money to be a power unit manufacturer and be “independent” of Merc, Ferrari, etc. What nonsense.

    Zero effort is being made to get F1 back on track (as it were) to where it ought to be. Winning the Manufacturers Championship used to mean you had built the best car. Now it means you have the best motor which you make happen by rigging the rules to keep yourself in power (as it were.)

    You’re rapidly headed for “who cares land”, Bernie.

  4. GeorgeK

    There are many ways to solve problems, the two easiest (IMHO) being:
    1. Swift and decisive action.
    2. “Let the problem unfold” and see where it goes.

    I think we know which response category this pile of dung falls under? Can’t wait to see the January 2016 update!

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