Single Engine Proposal Causing Uproar in Formula One

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 13, 2008

The talk of Formula One this week turns to the proposal by Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley that Formula One cars should have a single F1 engine that manufacturers can put their own badge on.  The Units would be technically identical—and Mosely believes that this could be the solution to the sport's spiralling costs.

John Howett, Toyota's team president believes this this proposal by the F1 bosses is purely a political move and would destroy the sport's spirit.

Speaking to British ITV Howett said, "I think that the teams have a lot of ideas to actually save money but at the same time not destroy the core DNA or value of Formula One.  Hopefully for once we can put politics behind these discussions and really focus on the facts, the real issues and then we will find, I am sure, good solutions."

The difference in power between the top teams engines and those engines in the cars of the less advanced teams in Formula One has long been questioned, however, surely if you take this away it would destroy the sport completly, one of the main advantages of this system is that it allows teams to play with their engines to get the maximum amount of power from it.

We have seen over the latter course of this season, some of the "underdogs" cars are getting closer and closer to the likes of Ferrari and McLaren, Toro Rosso have made a massive impact these last few races and come on leaps and bounds since the begining of the season. Even the likes of Red Bull Racing are managing to finish in the top-10.

Honda's Nick Fry agreed with Howett and said, "I think certainly from the Honda side and I suspect from some of the other manufacturers' sides we would like to preserve the ability to design and make that engine as it is part of our brand identity, but making the specification a lot more prescriptive, making it a lot cheaper, is something I think that many of us would support."

Fry continued on to say, "On the other hand, a specification engine or a prescriptive engine, where the design was very, very tight, the materials were very tightly controlled, but we had the ability to put our brand identity on it in that we were designing it, we were making the thing, then that's a very different proposition and I think you would be able to reduce the costs very significantly by doing that."

FIA boss Mosley will meet with the newly-formed Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) following the Chinese Grand Prix to discuss cost-cutting plans for next season and the future.  The FIA has already announced that if FOTA cannot come up with suitable and cost-effective proposals, it will force its own regulations on to the teams to reduce expenditure within the sport.

I'd like to hear your views on this proposal.  Is it a good idea, or will is spoil our sport?  What proposals do you think FOTA could make to the FIA to reduce the cost to F1?