F1 shouldn’t be afraid of new engine regulation

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Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says Formula One should not be afraid of introducing a new power unit regulation.

The FIA has called for an expression of interest from independent engine manufacturers who could produce a specification power unit which would be cheaper than the current 1.6-litre V6 turbos on offer. F1’s Strategy Group will meet to discuss the idea of introducing the new regulation in 2017, and Fernley told F1i it’s an avenue Force India is happy to see explored even though it won’t be using the new power unit.

“I think it’s important that it’s explored, let’s see what there,” Fernley said. “For sure an independent power unit isn’t something that Formula One should be afraid of.

“I think that the two different specifications is something that I probably can understand Toto’s frustrations with. But maybe there are other routes with that and that’s why I say going through the process of looking at what an independent supplier can provide; bearing in mind that it’s likely to be supported by Red Bull, the finances are there. Maybe it provides an alternative power unit that keeps Formula One with a competitive program.”

The FIA’s move to introduce a client engine has come after Ferrari exercised its right to veto attempts to reduce the cost of the current power units. Asked if Ferrari could move to veto a new regulation once again, Fernley replied: “Yes it could certainly be blocked by Ferrari, no question.

“I think it’s got to go through the process. The FIA are taking the lead role on that and it is supported by the commercial rights holder. I don’t think that it’s something that affects us, we have a contract with Mercedes until 2020 anyway and we have a fantastic supply from Mercedes but like all independent teams it is the cost that is hurting us.”

Technical feature: Exclusive pictures of the Ferrari power unit

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