DECEMBER 5, 2008
The FIA reacts
The FIA has reacted to the news of Honda's withdrawal with a letter to the teams saying that its tender processes are now complete and that Cosworth, together with Xtrac and Ricardo Transmissions will supply a complete Formula 1 power train beginning in 2010.
The cost of these deals will be a $2.4m downpayment plus $8m a year for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. These prices are based on four teams signing up for the engines and include 30,000 km of testing. The annual cost will reduce if more teams take up the option. Neither the engines nor the transmissions will be badged. This gives teams the option of using the standard engines, building an identical engines themselves, having been supplied with the technical specifications or they can continue with their own engines but with agreement to accept parity with the standard engines. Teams will still have to use the standard transmissions.
The FIA says that this will enable the independent teams to survive and help teams if they need to replace departing manufacturers. There will then be a new state-of-the-art high tech engine, which could be in Formula 1 as early as 2013 if the car industry has sufficiently recovered by that point. Teams have until December 11 to decide what to do but the FIA says that if fewer than four teams go for standard engines the price will go up but will still be available.
This sounds like a sensible compromise for all concerned.
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