Teams set to use 2006 engines next season 07 Aug 2006
Formula One engine development will be effectively frozen from this October, the FIA announced on Monday. According to the sport's governing body, whatever engine design the teams run at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix will then be used until at least 2009.
The agreement follows a meeting between FIA President Max Mosley and Professor Dr Burkhard Goeschel and Dr Juergen Reul from the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association (GPMA), the body representing the major car makers involved in Formula One racing (BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Toyota). The GPMA is yet to make any official comment.
The FIA had been planning an engine freeze from 2008, with teams having to homologate those engines this year. Mondays news means the teams will now avoid the unnecessary expense of continuing development throughout 2007, only to then have to revert to their earlier designs.
The full list of measures agreed (from the FIA's press release)
i) Engines will be stabilised from the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix. These will be the only engines used from and including the 2007 season.
ii) This means that no further developments of the engines will be allowed other than retuning for the 19,000 rpm limit, to be agreed in each case with the FIA under the terms of the 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations.
iii) From 2009 the Formula One Technical Regulations will include means to promote fuel efficiency including energy recovery and re-use. All relevant regulations for 2009 will be published no later than December 31, 2006.
iv) GPMA has setup a working group to examine possible future rules for Formula One which will allow a performance advantage to be obtained by means of more efficient use of available energy. These future regulations may include changes to current power units. The FIA and other engine suppliers will join this group.
v) As a result of the above the FIA and GPMA are now in full agreement about the future of the FIA Formula One World Championship.