While rival engine manufacturers are playing their cards close to their chests, it is believed Cosworth’s support for the 2013 engine formula is definitely wavering.
Renault and Cosworth have written a letter to the FIA as F1 struggles to find agreement over a new engine formula for 2013.
FIA president Jean Todt has told engine manufacturers that there will be no delay to his plans to introduce smaller turbocharged power-units in 2013 – although there may be room for some compromise in allowing teams to continue using the current V8s for an extra year.
In a meeting with the suppliers and the FIA in Barcelona, the federation’s president Jean Todt reportedly proposed that detuned V8s be able to compete alongside the new four-cylinder turbo engines.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that Cosworth, the independent British marque that was heavily supported by the FIA for its F1 return last year, told Todt they are not in a position to provide four-cylinder engines at a competitive price in 2013.
“The one aspect of the 2013 regulations that concerns us,” admitted Cosworth’s Mark Gallagher, “is that we know that our customers do not have an appetite to spend more money on formula one engines.”
But an unnamed team boss believes Todt’s proposed compromise would require that the four-cylinder turbos perform better than the V8s in 2013.
“Then Cosworth will have no more customers,” he is quoted as saying. “Who will voluntarily buy an engine that is worse than the others?”
Bernie Ecclestone, therefore, proposes an alternative compromise.
“Jean can achieve all of his goals with the current V8s,” said the F1 chief executive. “He can equip them with KERS, he can limit the fuel and we can postpone the introduction of the four-cylinders for two years.”