• Engine regulations

2014 engines will entice new manufacturers - FOTA

Chris Medland
June 30, 2011 « Ricciardo reveals Silverstone debut with HRT | »
Martin Whitmarsh and Ross Brawn answer fans' questions at the FOTA Fans' Forum © FOTA
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The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) says that the 2014 engine regulations are still designed to invite new manufacturers in to the sport.

Adrian Newey stated last weekend that the four-cylinder proposal was brought in to encourage Audi to join Formula One, but with the German manufacturer apparently changing its plans the teams have revised the future engine regulations to feature 1.6 litre V6 turbos. Speaking at the FOTA Fans' Forum at the McLaren Technology Centre, FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said the engines need to be regulated to continue to be attractive.

"It's an issue of risk management," he said. "It sounds strange but we're in a situation at the moment where there are three manufacturers - well three automotive manufacturers and one independent manufacturer - in Formula One. The automotive manufacturers have, over the history of Formula One, been very significant investors in our sport. And I think we need to provide an environment where the engine rules are sufficiently defined so that people can come into it knowing that if they do a sound and good technological job then they will be competitive."

Whitmarsh said an open book on engine design, allowing manufacturers to pursue different numbers of cylinder in different layouts, would be too risky for new engine manufacturers.

"I've certainly argued for diversity myself in the past - but I think the danger is that automotive manufacturers become inhibited of entering the sport if there's just too great a variety. Typically, the regulations although they are fixed they in truth evolve, and I think what would happen if you had a range of engines after a year probably it would be clear that either a V6 or a straight four or one solution was right. And at which point the manufacturer that has developed one of the alternatives has to reinvest all that money.

"So I think it's about reducing the risk so that I hope in the future we can have four of five automotive manufacturers in Formula One at any time. They're always going to come in and out as it suits them and as it suits their marketing program but I think we've got to create an environment that is attractive to those companies being in Formula One."

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn agreed with Whitmarsh's comments, saying that the current V8 specification engine was not encouraging to any potential manufacturer.

"We're not going to get manufacturers come in with the V8 formula we have now; nobody's interested," Brawn said. "The new engine does create fresh opportunities for manufacturers to come in and that's another reason why we need a new engine. Because who's going to come in and build a V8 18,000rpm engine? No manufacturers are interested, so it gives a fresh opportunity and a more relevant specification for more manufacturers to join."