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GP Week : Issue 43
> F1NEWS> FIA planning universal engine GPWEEK has viewed the findings of a feasibility study commissioned by the FIA and carried out by engineering consultants Ricardo into the possibility of creating a single engine for use over 11 different motorsport championships. The report is the strongest proof yet of the FIA’s seriousness in pushing for cost reduction in international motorsport, as the intention is for the single engine to be based around an identical design across all championships, with differing levels of power starting at around 200bhp in F3 and ending at the highest band of 600bhp in Formula 1. The engine proposed by Ricardo is a straight four, two-litre turbo unit, and the report sets out its proposed introduction for use in Formula 1, IRL, GP2, A1GP, LMP1, LMP2, Grand-Am, DTM, WTCC, WRC and F3 by 2013. Unlike the FIA’s 2008 proposal for a single Cosworth engine in Formula 1, the report allows no possibility for individual manufacturers to create their own power units using a similar design and under heavy restriction of FIA regulation. As such, this document is viewed, by those who have seen it, as a clear sign that the FIA is preparing to wage war against the major auto manufacturers, not just in Formula 1 but across all championships. Although the 57-page document outlines the manner in which using such an engine would have road car relevance, it remains difficult to see what attraction would lie in using such a power unit for the manufacturers and therefore what real improvements this proposal would make to road car technology if the manufacturers pulled out of motorsport en masse. The report includes a number of series which are not FIA championships, such as GP2 and the IRL. GP2 Series organiser Bruno Michel, whose series currently uses Renault engines manufactured by Mecachrome, told GPWeek that he questioned whether the concept would be feasible: “We have an engine in GP2 that we are very happy with. I have no idea if it is feasible or not and I’m not sure it would cut costs anyway. Honestly, I don’t know. It sounds to me like quite a complex thing to put together and I’ve not been informed of it. “After the current three year cycle of the car everything is open, but honestly it sounds to me like something that is not really feasible.” Budget cap to be discussed at WMSC THE concept of a budget cap for Formula 1 teams competing in the 2010 championship will be discussed at the World Motorsport Council meeting on April 29th, despite the fact that the Formula One Teams’Association is not yet ready to provide a united stance and comprehensive reply to the idea. The 2010 budget cap under which Formula 1 teams would be able to have greater freedom of technical innovation than those who do not fall under the cap was announced by FIA President after the last meeting of the WMSC in March, and has caused much debate in Formula 1. While many teams see the importance and viability of such a system, the £30 million cap that was announced by the FIA President is almost universally seen as being too low. Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner told journalists in Bahrain that “the last thing we want is for the championship to be decided by accountants. It is important that we discuss it thoroughly within the association and work closely with the FIA on it - but the crucial aspect is that we absolutely need to reduce costs.” It is understood the FOTA is agreed in principal to committing to a budget cap, but that its introduction needs to be gradual over a number of years, rather than the huge cut currently set to be introduced for 2010.