Formula One power could be on the Le Mans grid in the near future.
According to technology magazine Racecar Engineering, the sports car organising body Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) will in 2014 allow Le Mans prototypes to be fitted with F1 engines and gearboxes. In 2014, Formula One is scheduled to switch over to all-new engine regulations, with turbo V6s replacing the current normally aspirated V8s. But when asked if F1 engine supplier Renault will use the opportunity to move into Le Mans, Jean-Francois Caubet said in Monaco recently: “I don’t think so.”
Indeed, there has been a push recently to have F1’s 2014 regulations delayed, with the small teams concerned that the manufacturers’ higher than expected research and development costs look to have increased the engine lease fees.
“I think we are very clear,” Caubet insisted. “We have already delayed the engine once, from four cylinder to go to six cylinders. I think it cost us around ten or 15 million, probably the same for Mercedes and Ferrari.
“So we have blown nearly 50 million for nothing. If you delay one (more) year, we think it (the V6 debut) will be never. As for the cost, I don’t think the cost of the new engine will be a drama,” he said.