Honda does not like the sound of the FIA's 'client engine' idea for 2017. Although struggling at present, the Japanese carmaker's F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai said Honda decided to return to the sport with McLaren after a six-year break because of the current turbo V6 'power unit' regulations.
But to help teams struggling with the high price of buying that technology, FIA president Jean Todt has backed Bernie Ecclestone's idea of bringing in an independent supplier of a cheaper, 2.2 litre twin-turbo engine.
"If the FIA wants to bring in an entirely new engine, that means there will be two different engines in formula one," Arai-San told Speed Week. "That will be difficult. Two different engines on the track will make formula one less interesting and exciting."
Some, however, believe Todt is only backing Ecclestone's proposal because other efforts to encourage the existing manufacturers to lower their prices for customers have failed. Sensing that political move, Force India's Vijay Mallya says: "If the FIA feels that an engine should cost six or seven million euros, this gives me a little foot in the door to ask my friend Toto (Wolff) for a discount."
But Arai-San said the cost issue is not quite that simple. "If you name a price, you have to understand what it covers," he told correspondent Agnes Carlier. "The situation is complex. So we need clarity about what the 12 million mentioned by Jean Todt will cover. Maintenance, support at the track, other things?" (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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