Engine costs could drop significantly from 2017 onwards if proposals by Formula 1’s engine manufacturers are accepted by Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.
Ecclestone and Todt gave Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda a mandate to find a solution to the current engine crisis. With a deadline of January 15 looming, it’s believed they have offered to reduce the cost of supplying engines to a customer team by roughly 50 per cent.
That would take the current cost of around €20-22 million (£15-16.5m) down to €12m (£9m) per season, though that is also based on supply dropping from five power units per driver to just three.
Whilst such cost savings would offer a lifeline to smaller teams, it is likely to satisfy Ecclestone. The 85-year-old is still keen to see an independent engine in F1, particularly one that is cheaper, more powerful, louder and readily available to all teams.
The proposal likely to be put forward on Friday doesn’t fulfil many of those requirements, particularly the latter, with Ferrari and Mercedes standing firm on their decision not to supply Red Bull with current season engines.
However, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne suggested the Italian outfit and Mercedes could work together to build an alternate engine for those that express a desire to use it, but believes it should be funded by Formula One Management.
“Ferrari is available to join a project where we could develop power units [together],” he said.
“It costs a lot of money. This is also expensive for Mercedes. It seems the only winner is Bernie. Those who are managing the commercial rights should take their responsibility.”