Formula 1 chiefs have agreed to delay the introduction of new engine regulations until 2014, in a move that will see the sport switch to 1.6-liter V6 turbo engines.
F1's manufacturers tabled a proposal at Wednesday's meeting of the Formula 1 Commission to move away from the plans to have four-cylinder turbo engines from 2013.
That four-cylinder concept had divided opinions among the car makers and, after intense efforts between them and the teams, a proposal was put together for V6s to be introduced in 2014, still featuring the "green" hybrid systems that the FIA is so determined to see in competition.
The manufacturers' proposal received the necessary agreement in the F1 Commission, which is made up of the teams and other representatives from the sport, and it will now go to a fax vote of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council. With the WMSC having made it clear it was willing to consider a delay to the original 2013 plans if there was a push from the sport's competitors, getting the official sign-off is likely to be a formality.
The late effort to find a deal on future engine regulations comes after an intense debate over the past few weeks about a way forward for the sport. Ferrari was against the idea of four-cylinder engines, while Mercedes-Benz and Cosworth had expressed reservations about the costs involved of developing the new designs.
Only Renault was in favor of the move, and its managing director Jean-Francois Caubet had warned that the future of the French car manufacturer in F1 depended on the engine regulations changing.
"I told Bernie and Jean Todt that today we are in the 'red zone' because we have no idea what will be the future for Renault," he told AUTOSPORT in Canada.
Now, however, Renault has also agreed to the V6 concept that now looks set to be incorporated into the regulations.