‘Fourth engine manufacturer’ could join F1

2013 F1 season

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Mercedes, 2013A new engine manufacturer is considering joining Formula One, according to Mercedes’ team bosses.

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said he was certain the new engine regulations would take effect from next year:

“I’m 100% sure that the new engine is going to come. All the manufacturers are pretty far with their engine. You’re probably going to see a fourth one joining.

“And I think that decision has been made for good or for bad. It’s a nice piece of engineering and it is the future and this is why we have to get used to all these changes and I’m looking very much forward to the new engine format.”

There are four engine manufacturers in F1 at present. However Cosworth is only supplying engines to Marussia this year.

“There are lots of rumours out there – probably you know better than I about engine manufacturers joining,” Wolff added.

Team principal Ross Brawn said the new engine formula for 2014 was more likely to attract new entrants than the current one:

“In some ways it’s a great opportunity, in some ways it’s slightly painful, going into this new engine. But it’s a step I think we need to make at some stage because the current engine, the V8, has become a bit archaic.

“It doesn’t appeal to new manufactures, or new manufacturers don’t want to come in and make a V8 engine, normally aspirated, the the technology is different now. but the new regulations are making it more attractive.

“As Toto mentioned there’s other manufacturers looking seriously at Formula One now, which with the old engine we never would have got.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 73 comments on “‘Fourth engine manufacturer’ could join F1”

    1. P.U.R.E.?

      1. What I was thinking.

      2. P.U.R.E has been rumored to halted its 2014 project due to fund running dry.

      1. Yes please.

    2. VW? :-)

      1. That would be pretty easy to VW, the only thing they need to do is to get rid of 10 cylinders of the their W16 Bugatti Veyron engine :-)

        1. Humour aside the W architecture is unfortunately not useable, all the engines will be virtually identical due to the FIA regulations being a virtual “blueprint” for the V6, only the attachments have some room for innovation and even that is extremely limited.

      2. @full-throttle-f1 They’ve ruled themselves out entirely from F1. They’re focusing on the WRC.

    3. I wonder if they say it out of knowledge or just out of hope?

      It won’t be PURE (they’re a dead entity to me). I’m guessing it’ll either be Audi or, more likely IMO, a return of Honda.

    4. would be cool to see Honda or Toyota returning.

      1. I was thinking Toyota, or possibly BMW (but that’s more wishful thinking than anything)

      2. Or Hyundai.

        1. Or Great Wall or any other Chinese manufacturer trying to create a positive image.

    5. “AMG” instead of Mercedes High Performance Engines, I reckon. ;)

    6. isn’t that PURE? Thats been known for a while?

    7. TAG(Porsche)?

      1. Porsche=VW

        1. Audi maybe?

    8. What are the agreements about engine suppliers? I think there was a maximum number of teams one engine supplier can sell its engines?

      McLaren might be in a hard place. You can’t have Ferrari engines. Merc might not give its engines. So it only leaves Renault – and RBR is Renaults main team.

      1. Why McLaren cant have a Ferrari engine??…:)
        Vodafove McLaren Ferrari vs Scuderia Ferrari

      1. Hardly likely,they buy their engines from Merc AMG.

        1. The Agera engine is supposed to be an in-house development. Are you thinking of Pagani?

          1. I was thinking of both but I may be behind the times.

        2. @hohum – The Koenigsegg V8 is based on the 4.6-litre Ford Modular from the Mustang, nothing to do with AMG. They did originally plan to power the car with a development of Coloni’s F1 flat-12, but that’s the closest the brand has ever gotten to any single-seater.

      2. Petronas?!

        1. Himmat Singh.
          4th February 2013, 18:17

          LOLZ. Petronas is a friggin oil & gas company, nowhere close to manufacturing car engines!

        2. @mantresx – The name Petronas was indeed present on an F1 engine used by Sauber sometime in the late 90s / early-2000s but those were nothing more than Ferrari-patented engines with the gearboxes built (also, under a Ferrari-patent) by a company named Sauber Petronas Engineering (with its shares split between Peter Sauber and the malaysian petroleum collossus).

          It was all just a branding thing. Petronas was never an actual engine manufacturer. :)

          1. @tony031r

            That was a really well said summary. :D

            There are so many little things in F1 which if you don’t know about, can lead you to misunderstand. It’s a funny sport :D

        3. Petronas E01W engine is history. Case close.

    9. It is certainly a more relevant technology for manufacturers to get involved with, who knows, maybe GM or Ford would like the opportunity to get some publicity benefits and early testing of Hybrid technologies that they have to research anyway, as I’ve been droning on about forever the actual V6 engine is going to be a pretty simple and inexpensive item for a manufacturer to design and build, the difficult and expensive part will be the electrical power pack.

    10. So what ever happened to Cosworth? I cant remember which engines Marussia used last year.

      1. They started supplying 4 teams in 2010: Williams, Lotus, Virgin and HRT. Then every year started loosing customers and now they only have Marussia, a shame how it all came to this.

        1. And everyone else went to renault. Maybe GM should make some engines for F1 lolll

          1. An engine (Repco) using a stock GM (Oldsmobile) block won all 4 championship titles in 1966-67.

    11. Spaghetti?!

    12. I was hoping McLaren would be building their own engine, or at least jumping into bed with an exclusive deal with Honda or
      Another engine supplier is needed. What’s going to happen if one of the current three ( Cosworth won’t be there next year IMO) builds a complete pile of **** ?. Say Renault’s new powerplant is a dog, that would take RB, Lotus and Williams out of the championships. Or what if Mercedes pulls the plug, leaving just two suppliers?. Or Ferrari can’t get theirs to work, that’s probably the worst scenario of all. Luca would implode.

      1. Even if Mercedes pulls the plug on their F1 team there is no evidence to suggest they would also stop supplying engines.

        I personally think none of the current engine manufacturers is going to fail in building a decent enough engine.

      2. There isn’t much of a reason to suggest that one manufacturer may build an uncompetitive engine: the regulations dictate pretty much every aspect of the engines, so for a manufacturer to build an uncompetitive engine they’d have to not be able to read in essence!

        1. You’re right there’s not much evidence but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I don’t think there will be any problems on the performance front, afterall the performance is regulated. Reliability is another thing alltogether, especially in the first couple of seasons. Redbull having been running KERS for 3 years and still can’t get it to work reliably. Mercedes had a terrible time for a couple of seasons with their engine. The new powertrains will suffer reliability problems at first, which is to be expected, but it’s not at all inconceivable that a manufacturer will cut their losses to protect their brand if problems persist.

    13. And who’s that 4th manufacturer going to be? It isn’t VW, that’s for sure. They were quite open and serious about a potential involvement, but only starting 2015. So VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti are all out of the picture, at least for 2014. I don’t see Toyota coming back too soon either, based on how their last escapade in F1 ended and their current commitment to the WEC project. Hyundai is nothing more than a Bernie-fueled rumour right now, PURE had their cash-cord pulled a while ago etc. etc.

      In my humble opinion, I simply can’t see anyone prepping an engine in time for 2014 other than Honda. They are the only manufacturer that already have a V6 turbo they can develop (the one they run in IndyCar) and the know-how to do so in less than one year. Think about it, what if Ross Brawn gets the boot from Mercedes? Maybe laying the foundation for a new Honda factory team might not be that bad of a prospect for him. And what if there’s some truth and willingness on both sides, behind the McLaren-Honda rumours? I know it’s all science-fiction at this stage, but this is a puzzle where the pieces might just fit.

      Personally I’d love to see Toyota or BMW aiming for a comeback, or an US manufacturer like Chevrolet getting involved, or Audi and their WEC staff launching an F1 offensive, or even Citroen or Peugeot having a go at Renault’s crown but…my money is on Honda.

      1. Nice combinations! All of it :)

      2. Honda or Audi. VW just became involved in WRC, Porsche is coming to Le Mans in 2014 and since they are owned by the same people – Audi. I agree on Toyota, BMW and Chevy (or how about Ford). Peugeot unlikely because they have just ditched their Le Mans effort and fired a lots of people as part of restructuring, and Citroen will soon go from WRC to WTCC. Honda and Audi have all the experience needed.

        Or maybe something Chinese to power HRT and other Minardis.

        Or Cosworth :)

        1. @dujedcv – As far as I know, the 2014 regulations of both F1 and WEC are allowing some sort of bridge between the two competitions, both from an engine and aerodynamic perspective.

          If that indeed happens, not only F1 might suddenly be of interest to manufacturers involved in endurance racing but it might as well be an incentive for Porsche. And to be honest, if VW are to enter F1 at some point, I could bet everything on the fact that they will do it through Porsche. Audi does too well in endurance and GT Racing at this point and VW are probably looking at a long-term commitment to rallying at the moment (and we know they can’t handle more than one project at a time since they had to pull the cord on the Dakar in order to finance and concentrate on the WRC effort).

          I’m curious what Toyota is up to, to be honest and what will happen if this year’s LeMans effort doesn’t pay off and they get trashed by Audi once again. They’ve already announced they will only run one car as the full season contender in the WEC and a second car at LeMans, after last year they led everyone to believe they will run two cars in the WEC and three at LeMans. There’s either great confidence or financial issues there. To be honest, I’m not sure Toyota have the willingness to invest that much cash into F1 anymore. Same goes for Peugeot (having financial difficulties). Citroen was never a possibility, more of a fantasy of mine, while Chevrolet will probably stick to NASCAR, IndyCar, GrandAm and GT Racing since it pays off a great deal for them on the american market.

          I’m gonna go wild here and make a prediction: Honda in 2014, Porsche in 2015, BMW 2016. :)

          1. @tony031r – Remember what happened previous 2 times they decided to equalize F1 and prototypes: 72 – it worked for only 2 year and only Ferrari and Matra were in; 1991 – 1 great season and then everything fell apart.

            Chevy – Grand Am and ALMS just got merged so they might jump to P1 but it is unlikely that they will build V6 turbo.

            Toyota – after ditching very successful WRC and Le Mans effort they have spent 8 years trying to succeed in F1. Many millions later all they got were two seasons as a strong midfielder and a lot of disappointment. So it is very unlikely that their bosses will allow a second try.

            And Porsche might team up with someone to create 80s – like thing (maybe McLaren if Mercedes ditches them)

    14. It´s probably gonna be Honda or Toyota… They can´t le Nissan (Infinity) take all the glory from Japan…

    15. Himmat Singh.
      4th February 2013, 18:20

      There is a chance of a Proton or Lotus engine. Too.

    16. On May 2011, a certain leading British car manufacturer announced a partnership with one of the most successfull Formula 1 team in developing a hybrid-electric, two-seat, concept car. While there were no announcements, or even rumours, about create a F1 engine, the technology could be used to get the power of a six-cylinder engine!….JAGUAR anybody??

      1. The Jag/Williams project has been cancelled.

      2. Well jaguar is now Indian, I doubt TATA will be interested in bringing jaguar into f1. But if they did force India jaguar? An Indian alliance or their other brand land rover lol I highly doubt it

    17. mclaren there making there own thats how merc know

    18. Here is some food for thought. Honda do currently race in Indy Cars, but in 2011, they also built an engine for Endurance racing. They used it in the American Le Mans Series, their 2.8 L V6 Twin Turbo winning at Long Beach.

      As we know, we F1 teams only having 8 engines a season, each engine is being asked to basically cover an Endurance Race, just broken up into 2 hr “Sprint” races. So where is the best place to test/develop an engine designed to last X amout of GP’s before it gets locked away? Endurance Racing of course.

      Now this is Honda. They used the 1.5 L V6 Twin Turbo F1 block, and made the 3.0 L V6 Naturally Aspirated NSX engine from these, so how much will it take so make the 2.8 L Twin Turbo into a 1.6 L Twin Turbo, and generally cut down the size of the engine? Not much.

      I wouldn’t be suprised to see if this is the engine Honda bring into F1, IF they ever come back.

      It also ties in with what I heard about McLaren having talks with Honda about a full works partnership, and McLaren getting FREE Honda V6 Twin Turbo units.

      1. @minihulk69, more likely for Honda would be a design based on their 1000cc V4 MotoGP engines, they already rev to 18000. The idea of a Honda motor with McLaren hybrid power added does make sense, I imagine McLaren contract out the casting for their road car engine so letting Honda do it for the race car on a sponsorship deal would make sense.

    19. Jess (@justblowingofsteam)
      4th February 2013, 18:46

      It’s official that Briggs and Stratton are in the mix.

      1. Merry Tiller B&S Formula One Team!

        Cuts down the opposition!

    20. FlyingLobster27
      4th February 2013, 19:06

      Funny that: I just read a piece on Endurance-Info about a rumour that Peugeot may be preparing something, but an F1 engine sounds way too expensive for them.
      Reminder, PSA terminated their LMP program at the end of 2011 because of financial difficulties; they have however continued a -certainly not cheap, mind- works rally program through Citroën, which may be (also or in place of the WRC) joining the WTCC next year.

    21. F1 already has 4 engine manufacturers. Get with the program Ross.

      I know Cosworth are close to losing all customers, but they haven’t yet. Honda, as @minihulk69 has said above, is the most likely and sensible candidate to become the 5th engine manufacturers.

      1. Cosworth aren’t working on a 2014 engine project (or at least they havent publicly confirmed it) and the ever diminishing number of teams running their engines has likely meant it’s financially unviable (and probably was after Caterham left, let alone Williams or HRT).

        P.U.R.E. were lining themselves up to snap up any Cosworth teams before it all fell to pieces.

        My guess is Honda won’t be in a position to solicit any teams in time for 2014 – They may be able to make a move on McLaren in a couple of years (depending on Mercedes plans), but all the other current teams seem to be locked in, especially with the (probably unfounded) rumours surrounding STR moving to Renault, Force India moving to Ferrari and Sauber taking Mercedes engines.

      2. I know Cosworth are close to losing all customers, but they haven’t yet.

        Cosworth is already out of the picture, if you ask me. There are 3 ways out for them, all very likely:

        1. They do not develop a V6. As far as I know they’ve sort-of said they won’t because of the high costs implied.
        2. They develop a V6 but they don’t have a client for it. Marussia is in deep financial trouble right about now and, if they don’t get it together in order to pass Caterham in the WCC this year, I’m afraid they’ll flush themselves down HRT’s route. If Marussia is gone, so is Cosworth.
        3. Presumably Marussia beats Caterham to 10th in the WCC and gets the much needed cash flow from the FIA. What’s to stop them from switching to Renault just like Williams and Caterham did? Or even better, to a potential new manufacturer? It’s not hard to find someone who’s developing their engines with a bit more consistency and care for performance than Caterham, once the cash is there.

        Caterham’s days in F1 are numbered either way, I’m afraid.

        1. You mean Cosworth, right?

          1. @optimaximal – Yeah, obviously should have written Cosworth there. My bad. This is what happens when I have a go at multitasking. :)

    22. Honda may have experience producing V6 turbos for Indycar but do they have any experience with a KERS unit like we have in F1?

      1. The first mass-market hybrid was ?

    23. I’m surprised no one has mentioned TATA Motors. They and Honda have to be the most likely newcomers.

    24. Now that US GP is back on the calendar again, I would love to see Ford making an F1 come back. They were a power house back in the days .. :)

      1. While Ford USA is healthy, Ford Europe loses money and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. They also canceled their long running WRC program due to costs. With F1 being Europe based, I somehow don’t see them joining, although a Ford-Cosworth return would be quite nice…

    25. Considering that building an F1 engine is very expensive, I find it weird that there is a company building one and has not announced anything. It could be that they may haven’t got a contract with a team, but there are plenty of teams that would kill to get their hands at a works engine and partner with a major manufacturer.

      Still, the PURE program was well underway and was ran in Toyota’s HQ in Cologne, so maybe Toyota bought their IP’s, hired some of PURE’s staff and continued with the design.

      Also, I remember reading somewhere, not too long ago that Cosworth was still developing V6, which was curious, as they have no money and no contracts for 2014 and parts of the company are for sale. Maybe they found a manufacturer to bankroll their program (just like Ford had done with their DFV) and they are still in the game.

      Finally, just like BMW during the late 90’s, before they entered F1 with Williams, there may be a car manufacturer that has a skunk-works teams developing an engine and has finally given the go-ahead to compete under the new rules.

      1. @aetost, building a V10 F1 engine that revs beyond 22,000rpm and is more powerful and reliable than all the other F1 engines is very expensive, but building a 1600ccV6 that is limited to 15,000 and is no more powerful than the rest is not expensive in motorsport terms.

        1. @hohum Even when coupled with a turbo system and numerous heat-exchangers and energy recovery systems?

          The actual combustion engine is only part of the equation from 2014. It’s all very well if your cylinders are pumping, but if your turbo or ERS fails you’re going to lose a lot of places or run out of fuel before the end of the race…

          1. @optimaximal, you are right about the ERS, I have said so many times before and in this posting. I think it quite likely that teams like McLaren and Williams may develop their own ERS packages and may be prepared to sell them to other teams, that is where a seperate internal combustion engine supplier may have an opening. Take Honda for instance, they race in MotoGP with a 90deg. 1000ccV4 that revs to 18000 rpm, the max bore in MotoGP is 81mm, in F1 2014 80mm, so it is not difficult to see how the 1000cc V4 18Krpm engine could be the base for a 1600cc V6 15Krpm engine design.

    26. I think it’s BMW.

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