The FIA has begun the official process of finding an alternative engine supplier for Formula 1 from 2017, Motorsport.com can reveal, after making the first step in its formal tender process.
With FIA president Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone determined to source a supply of cheap power units for independent teams, they believe the best way is for a standard engine supplier to be sourced.
Although it had previously been thought that a tender process would only begin following agreement among teams, the FIA has made clear how determined it is to get the plan in place.
It has now published documents making clear that it wants the alternative engine plan in place for the period from 2017 to 2019 – so wants those companies which could be willing to provide those engines to come forward.
In the document asking for companies to express their interest in supply the engines, it said: “The FIA has decided to launch a consultation among the engine manufacturers in order to potentially identify for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons of the aforementioned Championship [F1] an exclusive alternative engine manufacturer which will be solely entitled to supply this alternative engine to the competitors entered for said seasons of the Championship.
“The FIA is now calling for expressions of interest to identify candidates interested in becoming the exclusive supplier of the alternative engine to the competitors. This call for expressions of interest is governed by French law.”
The FIA has said it wants companies – which must confirm they are independent of major car manufacturers – to state their interest in supplying the engines by November 23.
They must supply details of their technical and financial capabilities, and if these are accepted then the engine manufacturers will be put forward to begin the official tender process.
The documents do not state the technical specification of the engine, but details of this are available to those applying to the FIA.
Speaking at the Mexican Grand Prix a fortnight ago, FIA president Jean Todt said that the only way he would ease off the efforts for a standard engine would be if current manufacturers agreed to supply customers for $12 million.
“If we cannot come to this solution [for $12 million], we need to have another solution,” he said. “Otherwise the risk is of teams going bankrupt.”