FIA Boss Doesn’t Expect New Engine Manufacturers In F1 Despite New Regs

Formula 1’s 2021 engine regulations were developed to bring new manufacturers to the sport, but despite that, the FIA isn’t expecting any newcomers.

The engine revamp was something manufacturers such as Porsche, Cosworth and Aston Martin were all keeping an eye out for. However, according to FIA president Jean Todt, no new engine manufacturers will enter the series.

In an interview with Autosport, Todt mentioned how one party (understood to be Porsche) was very serious about entering Formula 1, yet had recently suggested that it wouldn’t be able to do so.

“There was some demonstration of interest from one, who said to us we are not in a situation to commit for 2021, but what is very important for us is to know exactly what will be the regulations, because there could be a strong interest in the future,” stated Todt.

Right now, his priority is to ensure that the current engine suppliers Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda are all happy to continue and commit long-term to Formula 1.

“My priority is to make sure that we keep them four,” he said. “I always said it would be very unfair to the four engaged to say, ‘OK, we want to attract a new one so let’s change everything.’ But what about them? What about all the investment they have been doing for years and we say, we change completely the regulations because we may have one or two coming?”

“This is one of the reasons why it was not a revolution on the engine regulations.”

The FIA boss went on to say that he was never confident about F1 being able to attract more than four manufacturers as long as its engine rules were so different compared to other championships.

“I was always pessimistic to the fact that, with specific rules for F1, we could have more than four manufacturers. I feel personally it is really a great achievement to have four different powertrains for 10 teams – because it means 2.5 each.”

“So I was very skeptical. That is why I also asked to consider to have some common regulations in other championships because it would encourage other manufacturers, if you were able to have seven to 10 customers, to be able to buy the powertrain. But that has not happened.”

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  • Mark Hawthorne

    Why would this be news or any kind of surprise? It may have been intended to be less expensive but LESS is the key word. It makes absolutely no brand sense for a manufacturer to get involved at what are still huge amounts costs – more than Formula-E which can be spun to show some link to Electric roadcars. Formula 1’s owners seriously want this to be some relaunch for F1 but I don’t see that anything they are doing is making this more interesting for fans or bringing more interest from businesses. The benefits are just not demonstrable for the multi-$m a year investment.

  • Mark Hawthorne

    It’s not a question of innovation at all. It is a question of ROI. Can a manufacturer get a marketing return for their spending not is it innovative for their engineers and products. Formula E may be boring/low-tech/lack innovation but it is marketable. Why are so many OEMs involved? Because to people not interested in racing (the majority of car buyers) it looks like the future. Formula One does not.

  • karmat

    They should open up the regulations to allow almost anything. For example if Porsche wants to run a 1000+ hp twin turbo flat 6 they could do it relatively economically while promoting interest in their brand. If Aston Martin wants to enter a V12, great. The current formula sucks. If you want to keep a lid on costs, simply implement a claiming rule where teams can purchase a competitor’s car for a set price. You won’t put $5 million into a car if you know you could be forced to sell it for $500k.

    • Vassilis

      That’s a horrible idea. First of all allowing them to run almost anything can have a serious effect on competition because it can create big gaps between teams. In the early ’80s if I’m not mistaken cars could run both turbocharged and n/a engines. The former were so much better though that n/a engine manufacturers had to switch.

      Regarding teams buying cars, are you aware the independent ones have massive infrastructure in order to develop and build them? That’s their sole reason for existing. What would make Red Bull, Williams, Force India, Sauber and to an extent McLaren special if they could just buy a works-team’s car?

      The current formula doesn’t suck at all. It’s certainly not perfect but it’s pretty great overall and with a few tweaks it can become great.

  • Vassilis

    I understand where your head is at but in reality it would cause such a discrepancy in performance that there wouldn’t be much competition. As I said, they have tried doing it in the past and all manufacturers followed the best solution in the end which was turbocharging. It could only work if there was BoP but that sucks.

    F1 doesn’t need a revolution to improve.

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