FIA begins search for F1 client engine suppliers

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The FIA has formally begun its search for a Formula 1 client engine by calling for expressions of interest by possible manufacturers.

Earlier this month, F1’s governing body confirmed that it would look to introduce a new, cheap client engine to the sport from 2017 after Ferrari vetoed plans to place a cost cap on customer power units.

In a statement issued on Friday, the FIA confirmed that it had commenced this process, setting a deadline of November 23 for interested manufacturers to make themselves known.

“The FIA 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 statement reads.

“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.

“This call for expressions of interest is governed by French law.”

All bids need to be lodged in the next ten days before the FIA will consider putting any manufacturers forward for tender.

The current engine battle being waged by the FIA and commercial rights holder FOM against the existing F1 manufacturers has resulted in this search for a client engine in a bid to bring engine costs down.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost believes that the idea is a good one, as it will help his team to remedy its own current engine predicament and also give smaller teams more of an influence.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Tost said. “We from Toro Rosso will support it because we want to have this new engine, [a)] at least to have the possibility to choose something, to bring up a new engine for lower costs because the current power unit costs a hell of money.

“B), to be flexible, c) we will have a new sound. And I think that most of the fans and those people here want to have another engine with a better sound – and the rest we will see.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.