2016 F1

Todt admits FIA made mistakes with engine rules

Todt admits FIA made mistakes with engine rules

Todt admits FIA made mistakes with engine rules

FIA chief Jean Todt admits that, there were mistakes in the rules regarding the supply of Engine Units, introduced in 2014.

New 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines were in 2014 season, and it is believed that a usual engine supply as a customer team would cost in the region of £20 Million, much exceeding the proposed £12 Million that the FIA would like to impose.

Ferrari vetoed plans last month to reduce that price to €12million, and Mercedes says it already loses a “substantial” amount of money on supply deals.

“No limit was proposed which was probably a mistake,” Todt told Autosport.

“It doesn’t mean a cost limit would have been accepted as we proposed for six years some cost limitations and, unfortunately, it has never been accepted.

“That is why we are always looking at how can we implement measures which make F1 more affordable.”

Another vital fact that Red Bull and Toro Rosso will be lost to the sport, after cutting ties with long-time supplier Renault, also Mercedes, Ferrari and now Honda have all lined up to refuse to supply them under the existing, 1.6 litre ‘power unit’ regime.

Todt continued, “It should be included in the regulations, but it was not included,” said Todt of the FIA’s mistake.

“The way it is written, you cannot supply more than a certain number which is three, but it isn’t written a minimum figure of teams you have to supply.”

More sounds from F1 against 2017 F1 engine cost cap

In the form of an official statement announcing alternative plans for a parallel ‘client’ engine formula for 2017, FIA president Jean Todt referred to the veto that is uniquely wielded by Ferrari.

“We exercised our veto in compliance with our legitimate commercial right to do business as a powertrain manufacturer,” team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said in Mexico on Friday.

Asked how he can justify that stance morally in the face of smaller teams struggling to stay afloat, he added: “Why do we have to justify it more (than that)?

“If somebody asks you to produce an apple to a specification, you produce that apple but then they want to impose the price of that apple, what are you going to do?”

Toto Wolff, boss of the dominant Mercedes team, commented that by participating in F1 since the start and as the sport’s “strongest brand”, Ferrari has earned its unique veto power.

“I would like to add,” Arrivabene said, “that we are not applying the veto to every single meeting. The last one, I remember, was applied by Jean Todt actually, many years ago.”

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg also weighed in on the debate about engine costs in F1, when told that the small teams pay their suppliers some EUR 22 million per season for a supply of ‘power units’.

“It’s unbelievable,” he told Globo. “Crazy, right?

“On the other hand, you spend 22 million but have a marketing return of 2 or 3 billion, so in that case 22 million is nothing. Remember that F1 is the top class of motor sport in the world,” added Rosberg.

Bernie calling for an alternative engine

In response to Ferrari’s veto, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has called for an alternative engine, from an independent supplier.

Ecclestone said his new plan, involving cheaper, louder and faster 2.2 litre V6s, perhaps based on the Indycar formula and supplied by Cosworth or Ilmor, will also save cash-strapped teams.

It will reportedly cost small teams just EUR 6 million to buy, but be fully competitive with dominant ‘power unit’ manufacturer Mercedes.

Ecclestone denies he is creating a two-tier system.

“We used to have turbos and normally aspirated (engines),” he insisted. “It was not two-tier, it was called ‘choice’.”

Germany’s Sport Bild said Ecclestone, who thinks the engine rules in their current form have caused “the biggest problems F1 has ever had”, will meet with Cosworth chief Kevin Kalkhoven in the coming hours.

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