Rivals guarantee two F1 customers for Cosworth

Cosworth is staying in Formula One and designing a V6 engine even though it only has two customers lined up for the 2012 F1 season.

Team Lotus switched to Renault power last year and Williams is following suit for 2012, leaving struggling Virgin and Hispania as the only Cosworth-powered teams on the grid.

The independent Northampton based engine maker said when it returned to F1 in 2010 that it needed a minimum number of customers to make its programme viable.

But when asked if Cosworth can survive with only two teams on the books, boss Mark Gallagher told Auto Motor und Sport: “We can.

“We regard each of our customer contracts as a separate deal. Each has fixed costs: engine, support at the track, development, individual adjustment to the car. So there is a profit with each deal. With regards to 2012, instead of having three separate profits, there will be only two.”

Chief executive Tim Routsis expands: “In 2010 we supplied mainly new teams, and no one knew whether they would survive. It would not have made sense if we had not taken a potential collapse of one of these teams into account.

“As a fourth team, Williams was for us rather a bonus,” he added.

And Routsis said it was always clear that Williams might jump ship at any moment.

“(Chairman) Adam Parr was always quite clear with us, saying from the outset that they would jump at the first chance of being with a car manufacturer,” he said.

As for the future, Cosworth is happy with the change of plan from four-cylinder to V6 engines to debut in 2014.

Said Gallagher: “For the four cylinder there was no cost-curbing device. The big manufacturers were counting on at least EUR 60 million for development, while for us we are dependent on the payments from our customers.”

He added that the V6 rules restrict development costs much more effectively.

“We also have a customer guarantee,” revealed Gallagher. “Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have committed that at least two customers will stay with us. Three would be ideal.”

Source: GMM

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