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.”