Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug is confident that there will be enough new turbo engines to supply the entire Formula 1 grid in 2014, even if independent supplier PURE fails to resurrect its plans.
PURE has been forced to suspend its operations because investment money has failed to come through, and it cannot continue working until the finances are in place. With continued uncertainty about whether or not Cosworth will push on with a 2014 engine, PURE's absence could leave just three engine suppliers in F1 after next year, as only Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Renault have yet begun development of the new turbo power units.
Amid suggestions that Mercedes and Ferrari do not want to expand beyond their current two customer teams, and the FIA not eager for one engine supplier like Renault to supply the rest of the grid, there is the outside chance that some teams could find themselves without an engine. But Haug is optimistic about the situation, and thinks that even with just three engine suppliers, a solution can be found.
"I am pretty sure that we will have three [engine suppliers]," he explained. "I do not know about more than three, but with three I think we can get the job done."
When asked whether or not Mercedes would be willing to expand beyond its current two customer teams, Haug said: "Let's not discuss this yet, but we need to evaluate the situation for the teams.
"We are in discussions with the three manufacturers together – still on cost issues, and still on bringing the costs down. There will also be a subject on who will supply."