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Formula One to switch to V6 engines in 2014

Formula One will delay the introduction of a new engine until 2014 with 1.6 litre V6 turbos to replace the...

A Grand Prix race car. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Formula One will delay the introduction of a new engine until 2014 with 1.6 litre V6 turbos to replace the current V8s instead of a proposed four cylinder unit, the governing FIA said on Wednesday.

The decision was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the International Automobile Federation's Formula One commission in London but must still be approved formally by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

"We are very happy with the solution," said an FIA spokesman.

"We have had fruitful discussions with all the stakeholders following the last World Motor Sport Council meeting in Barcelona."

The original plans were for 1.6 litre four-cylinder hybrid turbocharged engines to be introduced from 2013 as part of measures aimed at making the sport more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who took part in the F1 commission meeting, has been a firm critic of the four cylinder engine and expressed fears that it would sound very different and alienate fans.

The new V6s will still feature the 'hybrid' systems the FIA wants to come to the fore but will be more acceptable to those manufacturers baulking at the cost of developing the new engine.

Renault, who supply three teams including champions Red Bull, had been the biggest backers of the four cylinder concept while Ferrari had called for a rethink on ditching the V8s that are used in most of their luxury sportscars.

Mercedes and privately-owned Cosworth also supply three teams each with engines.

Renault Sport managing director Jean-Francois Caubet told the autosport.com website last week that his company's Formula One future was in "the red zone" because of uncertainty about the engine rules.

"We have told (FIA president) Jean Todt and Bernie that we are pushing for the new engine because when we decided not to stop in F1, the three conditions were very clear for the Board," he said.

"The first one was to change the technology of the engine to make it more relevant, to find a link between Formula One and the product. Secondly to reduce the costs, and thirdly to perform.

"We have halved the costs, we have performed with Red Bull Racing and with Renault, but the problem of the road relevance is a key point for us," said Caubet, whose company agreed the new compromise deal on Wednesday.

Timeline

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