Oct.16 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Ferrari has signaled its intention to veto any moves to cap the cost of engines in formula one.
In July, it emerged that the FIA planned to cap the cost of a supply of expensive customer ‘power units’ to just EUR 12 million per season, and as little as 8 million for a year-old version — many millions cheaper than now.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff vowed to “sharpen our pencils” to try to make it happen, but Ferrari was less impressed with the plan.
“We cannot ask for less than what it costs us,” boss Maurizio Arrivabene said.
The issue was discussed at the engine summit that took place this week in Geneva, where it was agreed that a full 32 ‘tokens’ would be available for manufacturers to upgrade their power unit specifications throughout 2016.
As for the cost cap help for struggling customer teams, however, the proposal hit its expected snag, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
It is believed that Ferrari told the summit – also attended by the FIA and its rival engine competitors Mercedes, Renault and Honda – that it is prepared to bring out its famous regulations ‘veto’ over the issue.
There has also been some political movement in the Red Bull-Renault saga this week, even though it is clear the two sides are definitely still headed for divorce.
Renault, however, would be one of the main beneficiaries of the relaxed engine development rules for 2016, including the full use of 32 ‘tokens’ throughout next year’s world championship.
Not only that, also agreed at Geneva on Thursday is that certain components on the current ‘blacklist’ of engine components will be opened up for potential upgrades next year.
However, the agreement will now be forwarded to the F1 Commission, where full unanimity is required for a late rule-change in 2016.
And it is there that Red Bull could effectively upset the plans of every engine manufacturer in F1.
It could be a powerful asset for Red Bull as it seemingly slides towards the F1 exit, as Mercedes and Ferrari have ruled out supplying the team in 2016.
“There are a lot of rumours in the air,” said former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel on Friday, “and I have not spoken with Mr (Dietrich) Mateschitz lately, but it is hard to believe that it could really happen.
“It (Red Bull’s exit) would mean a huge loss,” Vettel, now a Ferrari driver, told F1’s official website. “But in the end I doubt that it will happen. That’s my position — and I don’t think I stand alone on it.”
As things stand, however, the possibility of Red Bull’s departure seems real.
And according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, also possible is that Renault will decide to also quit the sport, even though it has signed a letter signalling its intention to buy Lotus.
But the report on Friday said the big issue for Renault is that its CEO Carlos Ghosn may not want to green-light a triple-digit million euro project if there is no prospect the French marque can fix its troubled F1 engine.
Auto Motor und Sport said GPS data proves Renault actually went backwards in its development this year, and it still has a full 12 tokens to deploy in 2015 with just four races remaining.
It is reported that Renault will debut an upgrade making use of just 2 of its tokens in Brazil, worth apparently just over a tenth of a second per lap.
“It’s not a question of tokens,” a Renault enginer is quoted as saying, “but the solutions. We have tokens but no solutions.”