Formula One bosses are considering a switch to turbocharged 1.5-litre engines from 2013, according to a report.
The move is designed to attract new sponsors, teams and manufacturers to the sport, as well as promoting the sport’s ‘green’ credentials, according to a “highly reliable” source quoted by pitpass.com.
F1 bosses are currently trying to secure a return for KERS in 2011, but the source said the talks “were only half the story” and longer-term changes to engine regulations were at the centre of the discussions. Most manufacturers, as well as the FIA, are said to be pushing towards downsized powerplants more relevant to road cars, but Ferrari in particular is believed to be leading the resistance.
Another insider quoted by the website said, “A number of possible engine configurations are being looked at but all at a sensitive stage. [There is a big push] for current units to remain [for cost reasons] but the FIA is keen on a step change in technology.”
One such manufacturer which has talked about entering the sport, should it improve its image and drive down costs, is Volkswagen. The German firm has pencilled in 2013 as the date it could potentially enter F1, either by setting up a team from scratch or buying into Williams.
Michelin has also this week talked about a return to F1, but has imposed several conditions on the FIA: it wants a switch to 18-inch rims to make its F1 tyres more relevant to its road and sports car programmes, and it wants the sport to be doing more for the environment.
Turbocharging was first introduced to F1 by Renault in 1977, but the 1000bhp-plus units were eventually banned by the FIA for the 1989 season.