Feb.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 is targeting a return to four-digit horse power.

On Thursday, the sport’s powerful strategy group is set to meet in Paris, and the big-ticket item for discussion will be Bernie Ecclestone’s desire for 1,000 horse power by 2017.

The F1 supremo has confirmed to Forbes that the so-called new engine ‘unfreeze’, allowing manufacturers to more freely develop their turbo V6s throughout the season, will not be enough.

“(It’s a) good power unit and a wonderful bit of engineering but not designed for formula one,” he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

Indeed, a new report by Italy’s authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport reveals that Ecclestone is preparing to propose a move to a 2.2 litre, bi-turbo V8.

Others may argue that the current V6 architecture is fully capable of delivering the kind of horse power punch that Ecclestone is seeking.

Andy Cowell, engine boss at F1 pacesetter and reigning champion Mercedes, told Speed Week: “The maximum power output of the V6 turbos, if we reach 100 per cent thermal efficiency, is 1,630hp.

“That would be perfection, and perfect is what we strive for,” he added.

FIA president Jean Todt confirmed that the issue of engines will be discussed at the Paris meeting on Thursday.

“Personally,” he is quoted by Russia’s f1news.ru, “I am open to any constructive suggestions, but on the condition that we ensure the stability of the technical regulations.

“If it is possible to increase engine power under the current rules, then it can be considered a normal evolution,” the Frenchman added.