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Ecclestone pushing for 2016 engine change

ESPN Staff
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Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone says he is confident the Strategy Group can push through a change in engine regulations for 2016.

'They sold the rights'

  • Bernie Ecclestone revealed the FIA accepted £25.5 million in return for setting up the Strategy Group, which gives six teams a say in key decisions. The Strategy Group has already made significant decisions, such as vetoing the budget cap for 2015 which may have alleviated financial pressure on the likes of Caterham and Marussia.
  • Ecclestone stressed the FIA did not sell the right to rule-making but were "looking to get money somehow."

The debate over engines has been lingering for much of the season, with Red Bull [Renault] and Ferrari united in the desire to lift the in-season engine freeze to help cut the gap to Mercedes. Red Bull boss Christian Horner recently called for new engines in 2016, something which would need a majority vote rather than a unanimous agreement.

The Strategy Group, which next meets on December 18, consists of commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and six teams - Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Lotus - with six votes for each of the three entities.

When asked when he wanted the engine change, Ecclestone told reporters on Thursday: "2016. These are my ideas ... We have six [votes] so if we have four teams want to do that that's ten. There's 18 votes so that's the majority."

When asked if he is contemplating a return to V8s or even V10s, Ecclestone replied: "It's up to them [the teams]."

But Ecclestone hopes any change will retain some of the positive aspects of the current power units and would be formally branded as hybrids to emphasise that fact.

"We can all put our money together and have a wager that Mercedes will win the championship next year which is not really the sort of thing we are looking for. I have been proposing and am going to propose that we go back to a normally aspirated engine with some hybrid bits built into it.

"The manufacturers will have to call it a 'McLaren hybrid', 'Ferrari hybrid' or a Williams hybrid' so that it will get across the message. They are hybrids now but nobody tells anybody. It's the best-kept secret actually. What this engine is for. What was it designed for and what have we achieved? It is a fantastic bit of engineering.

"People have built these racing engines and anyone that is currently building the engines we currently have, it would be a bit of a dream for them to build a normally aspirated engine and develop it to about 1000 horsepower which is what I believe we want."

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