FIA president Jean Todt feels encouraged following a Formula 1 engine summit in Paris on Friday that saw talks center on the cost and sound of power units that will be used in the series from 2021.
A number of officials from manufacturers both inside and outside of F1 met with Todt to discuss plans for future engine supply ahead of possible changes to the V6 turbo power units currently used.
The V6 turbos were introduced in 2014 as part of an expanded hybrid era for F1, only to be met with criticism over their sound compared to the V8 and V10 engines used within the preceding decade.
The summit in Paris saw discussions center on what engine formula F1 could adopt following the end of the current cycle, due to finish in 2020.
As per an FIA statement issued on Saturday, there was “broad agreement for the future evolution of Formula 1 power units”, with the following areas being of particular focus:
- A desire to maintain F1 as the pinnacle of motor sport technology, and as a laboratory for developing technology that is relevant to road cars.
- Striving for future power units to be powerful, while becoming simpler and less costly to develop and produce.
- Improving the sound of the power units
- A desire to allow drivers to drive harder at all times.
“I was very pleased with the process, and the fact that so many different stakeholders were able to agree on a direction for the FIA Formula One World Championship in such an important technical area,” Todt said.
“Of course, now we must sit down and work through the fine details of exactly what the 2021 power units will be, but we have begun on the right foot.
“I am looking forward to working through the process to come up with the best decision for Formula One into the future.”
Todt has previously stressed that F1 would not be returning to V8 or V10 engines in the future, believing it would not accepted by manufacturers, but this meeting points towards positive steps being taken to find a compromise.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”