F1 Engine redesign for 2018 agreed by the teams

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It all began with the president of the FIA waking up and smelling the Parisian roses. Jean Todt admitted the FIA had failed by not putting a cost cap on the new V6 Turbo hybrid engines during the technical consultations some years ago. So in collaboration with Bernie Ecclestone, an engine cost cap of around 12 million euros was pushed through for 2017.

Ferrari objected and used their sacred veto to prevent this from going any further.

The response?

Jean and Bernie decided that a new budget engine must be produced by another manufacturer and set about inviting expressions of interest to tender. However, the F1 commission voted this proposal down, so the next counter thrust was a statement issued by the World Motorsport Council which read:

“The World Motor Sport Council approved, by a near unanimous number (just one vote against), a mandate for the FIA President, Jean Todt and the Representative of the Commercial Rights Holder, Bernie Ecclestone to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula One such as governance, Power Units and cost reduction.

“Mr Todt and Mr Ecclestone expressed their intention to establish conclusions on these matters by 31 January, 2016.”

As Honda’s motorsport chief, Yasuhisa Arai explains – this means the F1 engine manufacturers have been given ‘homework’. Yet his comments imply, very little will happen by January 31st.

Whilst suggesting the talks are positive for the future sustainability of Formula One, Arai made it clear, “It hasn’t progressed that much. The meeting itself was put together because of the cost issue and there are many options with regards to reducing costs.

“So it’s now for all the manufactures to look into the options and then we will discuss these in the future.

It could continue on for a long time”.

In fact it looks as though the engine manufacturers are now going defy the instructions of Bernie and Jean, despite the threat of an imminent dictatorship taking control of Formula One. Ferrari’s team principal claims, “The FIA came with a long list of things to do. We changed the approach of the meeting because it is not to say the turbo yes or mono-turbo yes, or the other way around, and try and tick the boxes”.

It appears the teams will agree to a redesign of the V6 Turbo Hybrid power unit – but for 2018 – as Arrivabene reveals. “We need to set a target for our engineers and they need to respect it. Then they get together and now they are trying to seriously go a step forward.

“You can’t design an engine for 2018 in three hours. But I think the step they are making is looking good for the future to achieve the target that was set for them.”

Clearly there is an element of a swipe at the FIA’s past failings as Arrivbene insists, “All the team principals that were present were setting a target. I like a lot the engineers, but if you let them decide, they are going to the sky”.

The result, F1 may have a new engine Formula before the original plans for 2020, though we are at least two seasons away from seeing the reality on track. However, there is little hope there will be a return to the beloved formula where the combustion engine is King, given that each of the engine current four F1 power unit manufacturers favour units based around the current design.

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11 responses to “F1 Engine redesign for 2018 agreed by the teams

  1. Sounds like drawing a line in the sand and daring Bernie and Todt to step over it. All that the manufacturers have to do is walk away and F1 is pretty much dead in the water.
    As for the power units ? They are great pieces of engineering even the ones that don’t work that well. I like the whirr of the turbos on these Power Units. Anyway the lack of noise never really bothered me, it’s a silly argument bought forth by Bernie to use as a smokescreen to hide the bigger problems in F1 i.e. not moving with the times in regards to social media and broadcasting live sporting events over the internet and cutting out the middleman. Which would be Bernie I guess.

    I expect out of the chaos of Bernie’s eventual demise, a new and stronger F1 will emerge eventually. Though I get the feeling he wants to destroy it purely out of spite and contempt for all those he’s made his fortune off.

    • We keep hearing this guff about “social media” – as if it was somehow going to fix everything that’s wrong with F1. In isolation simply increasing the advertising reach of a gilded turd isn’t going to accomplish much, is it?

      • I would say look at how the WWE uses social media to promote it’s product with fans. Which includes getting said fans to sign up to the WWE Network (which is not doing as well as they’d hoped but that’s probably because the WWE has become a bit stale of late, they killed the competition). Netflix and other streaming services are destroying the old broadcasting methods, which in turn means tv revenues will go down over time.

        It looks like if you want to profit from broadcasting you’ll be looking at moving to streaming services. FOM has the content and probably has the ability to create it’s own streaming service for F1 when that market matures. Why sell through a middleman when you can go directly to the fans.

        Social media is a tool that you can attempt to use to attract new fans. F1 will die a slow and painful death if it doesn’t adapt and change to the internet. But then again I’ve always thought Bernie is the kind of person to say “When I die, F1 dies with me”.

  2. good. let everyone walk away, F1 will be dead in the water as taperoo2k said, but then everyone will return once the smoke clears with a clean slate and no stupid ferrari veto in the new contracts.

  3. Sounds like the FIA wants the engine makers to become more lenient. Sounds also like the FIA is trying to say, hey guys, we got it wrong, as usual! We want to correct the nightmare we created in the first place. This is not about Ferrari’s veto power (agreed upon by everybody!). This is about FIA’s admission that they are incompetent.

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