FIA open tender for cheap customer engines after Ferrari veto cost limit
FIA and FOM put forward plans to set maximum price for customer power unit and gearbox supplies; Governing body looking to introduce cheaper engine in 2017
By William Esler
Last Updated: 27/10/15 2:38pm
The FIA has issued a call for tenders to supply a cheap engine for 2017 after Ferrari vetoed plans to set a maximum price for customer power units.
Along with F1's commercial rights holder FOM, the FIA put forward a cost cap on customer engine and gearbox supplies to the Strategy Group which was passed by a majority vote.
However, the FIA says Ferrari blocked the move using "the right of veto long recognised under agreements governing F1".
Engine supplies are currently the focus of attention in Formula 1, with Red Bull without a unit for 2016 after being rejected by Mercedes having announced their intention to split from Renault.
The former champions have reportedly been offered year-old Ferrari units, while any potential link-up with Honda will allegedly be blocked by McLaren's Ron Dennis.
"It's something that's still in discussion," Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said at the US GP. "I don't want to take any position on that matter; the overall story is clear and it goes through the Strategy Group and it's going to be discussed. It's at a very early stage."
FIA statement in full:
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.