FIA prefers cost cap to new engine

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FIA president Jean Todt admits he would rather introduce a cost cap on power units than allow a new specification of engine in F1.

The FIA released a remarkable statement on Monday criticising Ferrari for vetoing cost capping measures and saying it is pushing ahead with plans to introduce a different type of power unit which would be cheaper and supplied by an independent manufacturer. Speaking to reporters at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico, Todt says Ferrari’s stance was a “disappointment” which left the governing body with no alternative but to continue with new engine plans.

“It was a disappointment that Ferrari decided to use its veto right on the price of limitation, so we have been trying to see what could be an option, because we don’t have an influence on the revenues, it is the matter of the commercial rights holders,” Todt said. “But we have influence on the regulations and in this case I am only seeing the possibility of introducing the more affordable engine that will still allow teams to be competitive.

“If they say we want it, then we move along with this consultation, so we will propose that at the next Strategy Group meeting. We are optimistic that it will be voted in favour and it will go to the F1 Commission. Then we will make sure that it is the right balance of performance and we know that we can achieve that.

“In the World Endurance Championship we have achieved a balance of performance. You have three manufacturers who are competing with three different engines - one with a turbocharged engine, the other one with the diesel engine and another with the hybrid engine – so it can work.

“I am sorry that we have to go to this situation. For me it is very annoying that some teams are struggling to get an engine for next year, it should not happen.”

And when asked if his preferred solution is to be able to reduce the power unit cost rather than bring in new regulations, Todt replied: “Of course, it’s better, of course.”

And Todt says he has a clear figure in mind which should be imposed on power unit manufacturers.

“Not half, but I consider €12 million, which is still quite a lot of money, but it is an acceptable amount. I am not responsible for following the budgets of the manufacturers and their expenses, but I think it is not a provocative figure, I think it is a fair figure. And I think it’s something that also should be acceptable for the customers.

“If we are not able to get this solution, we need to find another solution because otherwise the risk is that teams go bankrupt. That is the information I get. It starts with a completely unbalanced distribution of the revenues and here we cannot do anything. I would hope that the teams will get access to the best revenues and will be able to pay an affordable price for the engines as customers.”

REPORT: Rosberg beats Hamilton to Mexican GP pole

AS IT HAPPENED: Mexican Grand Prix - Qualifying

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