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A new twist in the saga surrounding Lewis Hamilton has come to light and it is one which could affect much more in F1 than the career of Mercedes' new driver.
Reporting in the Hindustan Times, the second most widely read English newspaper in India, Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt reveals that controversial environmentally-friendly new engines which are due to be introduced to F1 in 2014 are likely to be scrapped.
The new engine regulations were developed by the FIA, and they involve replacing the current 2.4-litre V8s with more environmentally friendly 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 engines.
The new engine regulations are understood to be at the heart of Hamilton's decision to move to Mercedes. McLaren has won five races this year alone whereas Mercedes has only won one race since it took over its team at the end of 2009. It has been widely reported that the change in engine regulations would give Mercedes an opportunity to improve performance as it would be a fresh start for the team.
"Hamilton has clearly gambled on the capitalising on new engine regulations in 2014, when a 1.6-litre V6 turbo will be introduced," claimed the Daily Telegraph today. "Mercedes, as one of the sport's manufacturer teams, are expected to throw everything at that season." It doesn't look like they will get a chance to do this.
"I listened to the noise of the engines in Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn't like it," says Bernie Ecclestone. He adds that he thinks FIA president Jean Todt "will get rid of it. I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years. I think it is sensible to get rid of it and stick with what we have got. It is much cheaper than the new one. It probably could be 30% of the price."
There is plenty of precedent for the FIA proposing technology which is never introduced. In 2005 it announced that it had developed a radical rear wing which was split in the middle in order to improve overtaking. This was due to be introduced to F1 cars in 2008 but was put back a year and never saw the light of day.
The Formula One Promoters Association (FOPA), which represents all of the circuits, last year threatened to drop F1 over fears that the new engines could make the cars could sound so different that it would drive spectators away.
The circuits dropped their threat after the FIA agreed to raise the power of the engine from its original proposal of 1.6-litre V4s. It isn't the only change which has already been made to the engine proposal as it was revealed last year that it would not include cars running on electric power in the pitlane as originally envisaged.
FOPA's chairman Ron Walker says that "the circuits would be appalled if they went ahead with that new engine now, particularly if there is no guarantee the sound will be the same. The circuits will all support Bernie in his quest to keep the same engine because it will mean great savings in the cost burden of running the sport."
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