Sauber chief and co-owner Monisha Kaltenborn has made clear her staunch opposition to F1's proposed 'client engine' for 2017. As Sauber is a small team and serial campaigner for lower costs, it might be said the Swiss outfit's opposition to the plan for cheaper engines is surprising.
Indeed, Kaltenborn agrees that the prices charged by the carmakers for the current 'power units' - reportedly up to $30 million per season - are way too high. "These prices are completely unfounded," Kaltenborn told Auto Motor und Sport. "The manufacturers are building their engines anyway. No one is saying that we have to return to V8-level prices, but there must be a middle ground."
Sauber's supplier Ferrari, however, has already vetoed Jean Todt's attempt to impose an engine cost cap, so now the FIA president is on board with Bernie Ecclestone's desire for a 'client engine' to run parallel to the existing rules.
"Six to seven million (euro) I think is a great number," Kaltenborn said. "I would hope that Ferrari offers us the current engine for this money. But I simply cannot imagine that such an engine (the independent 2.5 litre) comes in. We've just seen that Ferrari has its right of veto. So why discuss something when you know that at some point the end of the flagpole will be reached?" she added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing