Bernie Ecclestone has sent a warning out to teams about the current state of engines in the sport.
The F1 supremo has admitted that he thinks the turbo hybrid power-units currently adopted on the grid are too expensive and complicated. And that he would prefer to see the swap to a simpler, cheaper engine that independent companies could build as well.
The issue is the four car manufacturers in F1, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, and Honda all currently back the new technology. This is because the technology is being transferred over to help the fuel economy in their road cars. The drawback however is the cutting edge design and technology involved means smaller independent companies are struggling to build the engines, due to spiralling costs.
Ecclestone has been wanting to open up the sport to independent engine suppliers as a way of combatting the power of the car manufacturers. Who he feels have too much of an influence over the way Formula 1 is run. Between Sergio Marchionne, the Ferrari president, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff the pair have enough votes to veto any changes in F1 commission meetings. According to Ecclestone the pair want to stick with the current power units, as their units are competitive.
Currently the engine manufacturers are working on an FIA proposal to make the engines cheaper, simpler, and louder. As well as making engines readily available to teams. However, Ecclestone feels a satisfactory agreement is yet to be reached. This is a contradiction to what the FIA and F1 strategy group said a mere eight days ago. When they supposedly agreed on a raft of new changes to reduce the costs of customer engines.
There will be a meeting on the 25th of February to discuss the matter further, though Ecclestone is doubtful a satisfactory result will be reached. One thing is for sure. The engine debate looks set to rumble on.