The FIA has announced that will look into introducing a new, cheaper power unit to Formula 1 from 2017 after Ferrari vetoed plans to place a cost cap on customer engines and gearboxes.
Earlier this weekend, F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone spoke of his desire to simplify engines and make them cheaper for teams, with reports suggesting that a tender for an independent supplier could be put out to aid those struggling with high engine costs.
In a statement issued on Monday following the United States Grand Prix, the FIA revealed that at the last F1 Strategy Group meeting, the majority of those present had agreed to a cost cap for both engines and gearboxes, with the FIA and Formula One Management also supporting the move.
However, Ferrari opted to use its veto that it enjoys under the agreements regarding the governance of F1 to block the move.
In response, the FIA has confirmed that it will investigate the possibility of introducing a new ‘client’ engine to F1 in 2017.
The FIA in statement in full can be found below.
The FIA has studied cost reduction measures for teams participating in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship which were not conclusive, including:
– a global cost ceiling,
– a reduction in costs via technical and sporting regulations,
– an increased standardisation for parts.
The FIA, in agreement with FOM, suggested the principle of setting a maximum price for engine and gear box for client teams at the last Strategy Group meeting.
These measures were put to the vote and adopted with a large majority.
However, Ferrari SpA decided to go against this and exercise the right of veto long recognised under agreements governing F1.
In the interest of the Championship, the FIA has decided not to legally challenge Ferrari SpA’s use of its right of veto.
Therefore the FIA will initiate a consultation with all stakeholders regarding the possible introduction of a client engine, which will be available as of 2017. Following this consultation a call for tenders for this client engine, the cost of which would be much lower than the current power unit, could be undertaken.
Supported by FOM, the FIA will continue in its efforts to ensure the sustained long-term development of the Championship and look for solutions enabling it to achieve this.
It asks all of the teams to make a positive contribution to the success of this approach through proposals and initiatives in the interest of the Championship and its continuation over the long term.