Ferrari and Toyota threaten to quit F1 if Max Mosley forces standard engines

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari, F1\'s oldest team, has threatened to quit over standard engines

Ferrari, F1’s oldest team, has threatened to quit over standard engines

First Toyota, now Ferrari is threatening to pull its F1 team if Max Mosley persists with his plan to make all F1 teams use the same engine:

The Ferrari Board of Directors expressed strong concerns regarding plans to standardise engines as it felt that such a move would detract from the entire raison of a sport with which Ferrari has been involved continuously since 1950, a raison d’etre based principally on competition and technological development.

However today brought further indications from the FIA that Mosley is planning to do just that.

Last week the FIA met with FOTA – the teams’ representative group – to discuss future engine regulations. Four days earlier the FIA had put out a tender inviting manufacturers to submit plans for a standard engine that every F1 team would have to use from 2010.

However after the FIA-FOTA meeting no agreement had been made on standardising engines. A joint statement by the two claimed the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, to be introduced next season, would be standardised in the future.

Today a new statement from the FIA declared:

The FIA has received a number of questions from interested parties regarding that Invitation to Tender. In accordance with the FIA’s Tendering procedures, the replies are set out in the relevant section of the FIA website.

The Tender schedule for transmission-only bids has also been updated. Bids for engines and transmissions in combination and bids for the supply of engines alone must be submitted by 7 November 2008. A minimum of three further weeks will be given to those considering transmission-only bids.

A FOTA source told Autosport the six manufacturers currently involved in F1 (Ferrari, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes and Renault) have agreed not to submit a tender:

None of the FOTA members will apply. This has been confirmed by all the members.

Earlier today rumours arose suggesting Toyota would pull its F1 team and return to sports car racing (where it competed most recently from 1998-1999) if standardised engines were introduced. Ferrari have now said likewise.

Significantly, it was representatives from these two teams that represented FOTA at the meeting with Mosley – Luca di Montezemolo and John Howett. Presumably the other four manufacturers were similarly strong in their desire not to see standard engines. Honda’s Nick Fry and BMW’s Mario Theissen have said as much recently.

The obvious question is, why is Mosley continuing to push for standard engines in the face of strong opposition from the manufacturers? In doing so, he is risking driving them away from F1 – including Ferrari, the oldest and easily the most famous of F1’s participants.

Two explanations come to mind: either Mosley wants to drive down costs even further, or he wants standardised engines instead of standardised KERS, which he may think will improve F1’s credibility as a developer of environmentally-friendly, road-relevant technologies.

My money’s on the second one. What do you think?

More on the standard engines and cost cutting row

49 comments on “Ferrari and Toyota threaten to quit F1 if Max Mosley forces standard engines”

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  1. I think he wants the championship to be even more about the driver and less about the car, but I can see why the FOTA are opposed.

  2. Standard engine and transmission would turn formula 1 into every other open wheeler series. Indy, GP2, Formula 3 and so on. Hell I really don’t care how much F1 teams are spending and it’s because of the spending it has turned into the number 1 motorsport in the world.

  3. HounslowBusGarage
    27th October 2008, 21:02

    I think yer right, Keith.
    I *do* think that Max is a pervy old spankaholic but I also think he is quite savvy on the future of motorsport per se.
    I think Max is imagining a world where unfettered burning of fosil fuels is about as acceptable as smoking in church, and is therefore trying to ensure that the sport we all love is going to survive in the face of increasingly strident environmentalists.
    Doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong; if they can point at Formula One as an unreformed, profligate consumer of fuel, they will engineer its banning.
    I think Max is trying to think one step ahead (if that isn’t too mixed a metaphor). Max will want to lay the cornerstone of a resource-responsible version of racing that may or may not utilise the KERS concept, but which will definitely be able to prove to the eco-lobby that it has taken (considerable) steps to limit its environmental impact.
    In a few years time, I would not be surprised to see an ‘energy-equivalence’ type Formula One, where vehicles compete on some kind of maximum energy expenditure per race – however that energy is derived and applied to the track surface.

  4. My money is on the fact that Max has gone completely mad. I have trouble figuring out why hasn’t everybody just simply fired him, or provoke his resignation, something of the sorts.

    I think F1 should spend thrice as much, go twice as fast, have tires twice as fat, and don’t really give a damn about kers and similar nonsensical devices. Just give the engines more juice and let the boys go about it.

  5. Despite the fact that the FIA seem to be biased towards Ferrari, and that i am a Mclaren fan. Ferrari are right on this one, Mosely through these warnings by the two manufacturers should understand that standard engines isn’t the answer.

    Keith, did anyone hear the comment Eccle$£one made on the Standardisation of engines. It just shows how arrogant and out Рof Рdepth he is.

  6. AmericanTifosi
    27th October 2008, 21:46

    Time to start a revolution and overthrow czar Mosley.

  7. As I said in a previous post, if standard engines are brought in they’d have to be Ferrari engines if we want Ferrari to continue to compete.

    Thank God FOTA are standing together on this one, the standard engine would be terrible for F1.

    If they want to be green then just have a maximum fuel load per race, each season this would be reduced to encourage fuel efficiency & alternative technologies.

    The engine is one of the few parts of an F1 car that relates to production cars so by preventing the teams from developing them they are making F1 less of a driving force for production car technology too.

    All I want for Christmas is for FOTA to get their act together and start up a new series, free of the FIA and Bernie.

  8. For me, F1 was at its best when it had fat tyres, open engine regulations with a limited fuel allowance and aero that consisted of front and rear wings only.

    We need to go back to that, cost cutting can be achieved by spending less on aero testing, limit the fuel and limit it more, leave the teams to find their own best engine solution, allow them to introduce any additional source of recovering power… then limit the fuel again. If one team finds the holy grail, great, let them have it for a year, next year they’ll all have it anyway, or something better.

    …oh… and allow customer cars for the private teams, we need a fuller grid, and somewhere to test the young up and coming drivers.

  9. If F1 was truly serious about cost-cutting and leaving a minimal environmental footprint, surely the first thing to happen should be re-re-locating all races to Europe? Crikey, why don’t they just make a PriusF1, plug ’em in at the back of the garage – man with the biggest battery wins! What a load of bs.

    Real cost-cutting in F1 can only happen with a budget cap imo. I know it’d be tricky and maybe still unworkable, but to retain the purity of the sport, why not just say “you have US$150,000,000 each, here’s the new enviro-fuel, build what you like, test when you like, active suspension, slicks, KERS, whatever (except TC). Now, go see what you can do.” Can Max tell me why this is worse than standard engines?

  10. Well, we know that if the teams really want to force Max to comply to their needs, there is perhaps no more powerful weapon than Ferrari talking about leaving the series. While I am a McLaren fan, I also believe that F1 needs Ferrari in order to survive, and this will perhaps wake up Max more than anything.

    With that said, this desire to make engines standard is just a terrible idea, and it is just another example of Max trying to bully around the sport in a manner that no one likes. Hopefully we will not see this come to being, as it would come close to destroying the sport if it actually happens.

  11. Geeez! You kinda saw this coming, Max agrees with the teams, then announces this just to exercise his lust for power. I vote that the FIA and Mosley have gone quite mad.

    Toyota and Ferrari are quite right to protest and threaten with withdrawl. Other teams should join in too. Show Max they’re serious.

    If FOTA stand united – which they have been doing very well since its formation – FIA will retract the standardised engine rule, because the third-party applicants probably won’t be qualified (unless, God forbid, Cosworth applied!)

    Either Max and the other loonies go, or the manufacturers leave F1 and start anew. Either way, just put me out of my misery.

  12. As far as Max Mosley goes, he should have lost his job at the beginning of the year after the sex scandal became public knowledge. As far as the teams, they all had the opportunity to stick the knife in enmasse, and chose not too.
    We have to look at the big picture here, and that is that Mosley goes sometime next year, and is replaced with a more low key and agreeable president. I have always believed that the FIA, no matter who is president, are a major drag to Formula One. This sport deserves men in charge who know their onions, former drivers, team personel, and so on. Max Mosley is a politician, a lackey, no more!!
    If it was not for Formula One, who would care for the FIA? The sport is too big for this nest of vipers to control. In the last two years, we have seen more penalties and scandals than we have ever experienced, and this is a major turnoff. I believe that the teams are right to make their feelings clear, and the bottom line is, that Mosley and those he represents will ‘fold’ without the billions invested by teams like Toyota, Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber, and so on!
    You cannot keep spitting in peoples faces and making them look inept without some sort of comeback. Mosley has lost the plot, control, and more worryingly, his common sense.

  13. I thought this story would make all the Mclaren whingers happy? Or do they realise that without Ferrari F1 is nothing?

  14. Not really because it would mean Mercedes would also leave.

  15. I think Max has gone completely bonkers, either that or this is evidence of someone desperate to hang onto power and create bargining chips to do so.

    Max: “OK, I’ll drop the 1-engine idea and the ridiculous F2 idea so long as you don’t publicly humiliate me by sacking me”.

  16. It’s a trick by Max to overpower Bernie.

  17. Max is a crazy person and he will kill F1 with “standard engines”.
    I think the girls are spanking the wrong part of his body now. Or maybe he thinks with his bootoms now.

  18. I agree with beneboy and Dougie, that the best way to be enviromentally friendly is to limit the teams fuel.

    There are two options:
    1. A standard sized fuel tank and no refuelling during the race, or
    2. Keep in line with the teams choosing their own strategy but only having a set limit on fuel per car.

    This would encourage the teams to be more fuel efficient, plus if they’re carrying less fuel, they’ll go faster!

  19. I think the standardised engine will happen, in terms of parts, design and specification, although each manufacturer will be allowed to build themselves (despite the obvious lack of economy in that approach). I think when all is said and done, the teams will agree.

  20. The Ferrari statement starts by mentioning that their profits are down for the quarter, then goes onto mention the standard engines – since Ferrari exist as a car maker only to fund the building of racing cars. If they lose the reason to create exotic and powerful engines, thats basically the end of the manufacturer, with the loss of jobs too. And they have been struggling before now, even with the help of FIAT and the Italian Government.
    On the other hand, the FIA proposal is for a single manufacturer to design a standard engine, to the FIA requirements, which will be available to all the teams. The other Manufacturers will be able to build their own engines to this same specification, with verification by the FIAs own manufacturer to ensure that power outputs etc are the same. This is all available to see on the FIA website, ITV-F1 etc.
    To me, this sounds like the specifications used by Touring Cars around the world, which limit the engine capacity and power to ensure fairness, so its not such a radical step. Max is trying to ensure the smaller teams have a chance to buy a spec engine at a reasonable price, without using the main Manufacturers. I hope this is how he sees the way to get bigger grids of smaller teams.
    If all the current Manufacturers are objecting to this, it seems strange, since Max isn’t stopping them from building engines, and even complete cars in the future. Some appear to be objecting to not using KERS after all the development, but Max hasn’t ruled out mating KERS to these standardised engines, as far as I can see.
    Lets not all rush into overdrive and forget whats happening in the real world. We want racing, but it has to be ethical, eco-friendly and affordable too. I think we will be seeing a few more surprises in F1 before 2011.

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