The ongoing complaints over the introduction of four-cylinder turbocharged engines has taken a new twist, with suggestions that teams may be given the choice of running either the new engines or the current normally-aspirated V8 engines for the 2013 season.
We had reported earlier that – despite repeated concerns from some teams and engine manufacturers – that FIA President Jean Todt was going to ratify the new ‘greener’ engine rules through the sporting regulations.
One key opponent to the new rules is F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, and it is believed that he may have convinced Todt to allow both engine configurations to run in 2013. An equivalency formula would need to be calculated to ensure that one engine configuration did not enjoy a significant advantage above the other, however, and this is an entirely new set of problems that the governing body would need to figure out…
It is believed to be another key party opposed to the new engine rules, although its objections stem strictly on the grounds that – as a customer engine builder – it simply can’t afford to instigate these changes.
“The one aspect of the 2013 regulations that concerns us is that we know that our customers do not have an appetite to spend more money on formula one engines,” Cosworth’s Mark Gallagher told reporters in the Friday press conference at the Spanish Grand Prix.
And without a workable equivalency formula, he argues: “Cosworth will have no more customers. Who will voluntarily buy an engine that is worse than the others?”
Precedents have been set in the past, such as in 2006, when the Toro Rosso team was allowed to run with restricted three-litre V10 engines while the rest of the field ran with the new 2.4-litre V8 engines (pictured).
In the late 1980s when turbocharged engines were being phased out of the sport, a separate championship – the ‘Jim Clark Cup’ – was created for the teams running the normally-aspirated Cosworth engines in 1987.
[Images via The Cahier Archive]
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