FIA president Jean Todt has told engine manufacturers that there will be no delay to his plans to introduce smaller turbocharged power units in 2013, although there may be room for some compromise in allowing teams to continue using the current V8s for an extra year.
Todt met with representatives of the teams and engine makers in the Barcelona paddock on Saturday to engage in discussions about progress toward the new 1.6-liter units that are in the rules for 2013.
With sources suggesting that Cosworth, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari wrote a joint letter to Todt to indicate their concerns about pushing ahead with the 2013 rules, there have been questions raised about whether the sport can continue with the plan.
However, with Renault and the new Craig Pollock-led Pure company adamant that they want the new engines in place, there is no unified stance from the competitors in F1 – which means there is continued uncertainty about what will happen now. Todt, however, made it clear that there will be no going back on the change in 2013 although, according to Bernie Ecclestone, there is an idea for current V8s to get a period of grace for those unwilling to make the switch.
"What he [Todt] is talking now is about letting the V8s run for a [further] year or something," Ecclestone told Reuters the news agency. But equivalency formulas never work, do they? I think he's beginning to understand that the manufacturers all realize it's going to cost them a lot of money and they can't hand that on to their customers, because the engines are going to be too expensive."
Although the idea of allowing teams to continue running V8s for a year would be a help for them, it would bring little financial advantage to manufacturers who would still face the expense of developing an engine throughout 2013 in parallel to their on-track efforts.