FIA to launch tender for new engine supplier

The debacle around the engine problems in Formula 1 has prompted the FIA to launch a tender process for an independent engine supplier, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The sport's commercial rights holder revealed at the United States Grand Prix that motorsport's governing body is looking for a low-budget power unit, which they hope will help solve the current engine problems, and will open the tender as early as next week.

F1 could lose two teams at the end of the 2015 campaign after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz threatened to pull both Red Bull and Toro Rosso out of the sport if they don’t find a fast and reliable engine partner.

Ecclestone, though, has revealed they are other plans in the pipeline.

"The (governing) FIA (International Automobile Federation) will put out a press release on Monday or Tuesday," he is quoted as saying by Reuters.

"They (the engines) will probably have more power and use more fuel. It means I suppose that there would be regulation changes, which have already been anticipated for 2017 so there’s nothing new."

Formula 1 switched from V8 engines to the greener 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines with extensive energy recovery systems ahead of the 2014 season, but not everyone is happy with the new power units.

It was reported last week that Ecclestone is ready to "force" teams to go back to V8s, but it has now emerged he is in favour of 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6 engines, which are currently being used in the IndyCar Series, that will be provided by an independent supplier.

FIA President Jeant Todt is reportedly happy with the proposal, but Ecclestone concedes it would need approval from the Formula 1 Commission and World Motor Sports Council while there is also the issue of veto rights.

"It depends what the veto rights are. Bit complicated actually," he said.

He added: "If by chance the FIA and commercial rights holders agree, it doesn’t make a lot of difference what other people vote. It’s called democracy.

"His (Todt's) responsibility to us is that he’s got to run a first class championship basically. He can see what we’ve got isn’t. So he’s going to do whatever is necessary and make sure it is."

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