JUNE 3, 2013
FIA to freeze V6 engine development by 2018
The FIA will move to 'freeze' development of F1 manufacturers' new turbo V6 engines, it has emerged.
Just as substantial development of the current V8 engines was frozen years ago in order to control costs, a similar 'freeze' will gradually be introduced between 2014 - when the new rules are introduced - and 2018, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Next year, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will equip the twelve F1 teams with V6 power, while Honda's works deal with McLaren will begin in 2015.
"Honda is coming in just in time," said correspondent Michael Schmidt, "because the development of the new engines will be gradually frozen until 2018.
"If they (manufacturers) wait too long, their response to problems could be restricted."
The 2018 'freeze' is putting pressure on other carmakers believed to be considering entering F1, like BMW, Toyota or a Volkswagen marque such as Audi or Porsche.
"Quick decisions are needed," said Schmidt. "If they wait too long, the rules will punish them."
The gradual 'freeze' also explains why suppliers are locking in customer teams on long term contracts, to prevent teams from jumping from supplier to supplier while the designers gradually tweak and improve their fledgling V6 units.