Cosworth believes that the ambitious plans it has in place for the future can help it re-establish itself as a World Championship-winning engine maker.
The British engine manufacturer returned to F1 at the start of this season with customer deals with Williams, Lotus, HRT, and Virgin Racing. Although the partnerships have not yet produced a podium finish, and Lotus has opted for a switch to Renault, Cosworth has made big strides in understanding exactly what is needed to be successful in contemporary F1.
As well as believing it can make good progress – especially with Williams – in the short-term, the company thinks the all-new engine regulations coming for 2013 provide a perfect opportunity for it to return to ultimate glory.
Cosworth's F1 general manager Mark Gallagher said: "We've been approached by potential new teams, and we've had discussions with existing teams, about the next two years, but we're looking forward to 2013, because the world's our oyster. We have very ambitious plans for developing the Cosworth offering for 2013, and we certainly want to be with teams throughout the grid. We want to be winning again.
"The fact that Cosworth got to a point previously where it got associated with the smaller teams, what we called the customer teams, during the manufacturer era, we certainly have huge ambitions that we can change that. We want to be with teams capable of winning the World Championship. That's why the relationship with Williams, and other relationships, will be very important to us."
Cosworth's return to F1 this season has not been without its troubles. Its planned deal with Team US F1 fell through when the outfit folded preseason, and it had some early troubles bedding down its relationship with Williams. But Cosworth group chief executive Tim Routsis says the situation is now much improved – especially on the Williams front as both parties have made big steps forward.
"I'm quietly proud of the job that everybody's done, but we're now working into the phase where we're really learning how to use the engine," explained Routsis, referring to the techniques engine makers have to look at to help teams exploit blown diffusers. "I think both Williams and ourselves would say that there were times at the beginning of the season when we were howling at each other, but that was driven more by frustration. Neither of us are here to make up the numbers, and I think it's now a relationship that's maturing nicely.
"It always takes time for people to settle down and learn how to work together, learn where the sensitivities are, and learn where things are well received. I think we're now in that phase. You know, no doubt at all, that improving results on track always does wonders for a relationship."
Despite losing Lotus at the end of this year, Routsis says that Cosworth's commercial situation remains strong – and thinks there are plenty of opportunities for it to expand its deals in the future.
"There's a recognition throughout the grid that there isn't a significant performance advantage to be had, but reliability varies tremendously across the engine providers, and we've got the most reliable engine, and that's very attractive," he said. "We not only provide an engine that's competitive and reliable, but actually is produced very economically. We provide a very good financial solution as well. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out teams are very interested."
Routsis also reckons that if the negotiations it had with Red Bull Racing at the end of last year had come after it had shown what it could do, then its dealings with the team may have had a different outcome.
"We had a lot of conversations with Red Bull, but obviously at the time we were at a bit of a disadvantage because we were talking about what we were going to do, not about what we had done. I think if we'd been able to wind the clock forward 12 months, things would have been different."
Routsis made it clear that Cosworth's F1 future was not dependent on it being able to supply more than one team – which means its presence does not depend on the new teams surviving.
"It was a question we looked at long and hard when we considered coming back," he said. "New teams in motorsport are a high-risk business, for all the reasons we understand. So we structured our contracts so that they were completely standalone. We don't have any objection to supplying just one team if that's what it comes to, and we can clearly supply a much greater percentage of the grid if that's what's required as well."