‘Fourth engine manufacturer’ could join F1

2013 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

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

  1. 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.

    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. 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…

  2. 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.

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