Max Mosley has conceded that his plans for a standard engine in Formula One are unlikely to be endorsed by the teams, but the FIA President says he still wants to introduce an independent engine supplier in case more manufacturers decide to follow Honda out of the sport.
With the teams rigorously opposed to the idea of a standardised engine, a compromise is expected to be reached with the FIA whereby the manufacturers would make their engines available to the smaller teams at a reduced cost from 2010.
“This is still under discussion, but I think we will end up with a frozen engine, regulated in such a way that independent teams can obtain inexpensive supplies,” Mosley told the official Formula One website.
Adding that he hoped to see some sort of independent engine supply from 2010 onwards Mosley said: “I think we ought to try to have at least one independent outside engine supplier, because of the risk that we will lose another manufacturer or even two.”
Formula One will not have to wait until 2010 to see changes to the engine regulations however. As of next year the units will be required to last three races and performance will be equalised via a reduction in revs and restrictions on development.
It had been hoped that the 2008-13 engine freeze would help level the engines but a loophole in the regulations that allowed teams to make changes on the grounds of reliability lead to something of a horsepower field spread in 2008, with Renault notable losers.
Mosley insists that the principles of the freeze stand proven however: “The only problem with the original engine freeze was that in rectifying reliability problems, some teams appear to have gained somewhat in performance,” he said. “We simply intend to ensure that the sporting contest remains fair.”
The FIA President is also confident that fans will get to see more overtaking in 2009 with new aerodynamic regulations and the introduction of KERS expected to improve the racing spectacle.
“The 2009 aerodynamic regulations were developed by three of the top Formula One engineers, aided by an extensive wind tunnel programme. I have no means of judging whether they have got it right, but if they have not, it will be surprising and disappointing.”
“In addition, the KERS system, if fitted, will make a significant difference to overtaking by giving a car an 80hp boost for up to six seconds each lap.”