FIA president Jean Todt optimistic end to engine battle imminent
Head of F1's governing body hopeful sport "very close" to deal
By William Esler at the NEC
Last Updated: 15/01/16 5:27pm
FIA president Jean Todt is hopeful F1's engine power battle will be resolved following Monday's meeting of the sport's Strategy Group.
The four engine manufacturers - Mercedes, Honda, Ferrari and Renault - have until Friday night to put forward their proposals to the FIA on how to cut costs.
Sky Sports understands talks between the car makers have proved constructive and a number of plans have been agreed, including an offer to cut the price of engines for customer teams.
Todt and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone were mandated by the World Motor Sport Council in December to make changes to the rules governing F1's power units, with the pair set to make recommendations at the end of January if the manufacturers' suggestions are not satisfactory.
"They have to make some proposals by tonight," said Todt. "I have had proposals and most of the items I feel are going in the right direction and on Monday afternoon, at 3pm, we have a strategy meeting in Geneva. The day after we have the F1 Commission in Geneva."
Todt hopes next week's meetings will end the need for a cheaper customer engine supply that was proposed last year.
"I think we are very close," he added. "I am optimistic. I hope that people have some good sense because it is our championship. It is in our interests, it is in the interests of the team, it is in the interests of the commercial rights holder.
"I think in a normal world with sensible people we should all be able to agree on a good solution."
Todt admits the proposals for an independent engine were largely influenced by Red Bull's struggles to find an engine supply for 2016.
"We have not been happy with certain situations, mainly on the powertrains. Not the specification of the powertrain, but the cost for the teams and the possibility of being supplied," he said.
"For me it is simply unacceptable if a team does not get one engine to put in each car. So we have been addressing that.
"That is the reason for this, that is why we said 'the only solution if the manufacturers do not agree to answer to our requests, we need to introduce a customer engine which will accessible to any team'. That is now it started, we were in a situation and needed to find an emergency solution."
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