F1 Introduces Engine Cost Cap

Formula One engine suppliers agree to cost cap for season 2016.

Formula One‘s engine manufacturers have hoisted the white flag in their battle with the sport’s governing body, agreeing to cost cap their engines.

Engine supply was a key talking point throughout 2015 as Red Bull’s relationship with Renault publicly deteriorated.

As the team endured a less competitive year than it is accustomed to it went in search of a new engine provider, only to hit a brick wall.

The situation highlighted a glaring omission in the current engine regulations which left manufacturers holding all the cards.

Introduced for the 2014 season, the current rules call for highly complicated, smaller capacity turbo-charged engines.

However, the regulations do not specify a maximum cost, nor guarantee supply for competing teams.

Red Bull’s public criticism of Renault therefore left it in an awkward position whereby it was unable to secure a replacement deal since neither Ferrari nor Mercedes were willing to step in.

While it’s understood Honda was, that move was vetoed by McLaren’s Ron Dennis.

It prompted the FIA to announce a tender for an independent engine supplier, after trying to impose an engine cost cap.

Ferrari, which has the power to veto rules it doesn’t agree with, exercised its right over the proposed cost cap, which triggered the tender process.

However that too failed when team’s voted against introducing an independent supplier, though manufacturers were charged with finding a solution to the predicament.

Now, following a meeting of the Strategy Group, it’s been confirmed a cost cap of $19 million a year has been agreed up.

Many teams had been paying as much as $31.6million for their engines, meaning the cap represents a significant saving.

Teams won’t feel the benefit immediately though, with the new rule only coming into effect in 2018, though it will remain in place for three years.

Manufacturers have also agreed to guarantee supply, meaning Red Bull’s plight shouldn’t be repeated in the near future.

Formula 1 and V8 Supercars content courtesy of Velocity Magazine, Australia’s leading motorsport monthly – vmag.com.au

About the author

Mat Coch

Mat is a contributor and looks after the motorsport content for the website. Based in Sydney but widely travelled, Mat Coch began reporting on Formula One in the mid-2000s. In the last decade he has contributed to websites and magazines globally and in 2014 he founded Velocity, Australia’s only monthly motorsport magazine. Passionate about motorsport, Mat is an expert on Formula One.