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F1 delays introduction of 'green formula'

NEWS STORY
22/06/2011

Following a meeting of the F1 Commission in London, it has been agreed that the proposed new 'green formula' will be introduced a year later than originally planned.

In addition to the delay, the new formula will see a move to six cylinder turbo engines as opposed to four cylinders.

Although the previous four cylinder 1.6 litre turbo formula had been agreed and was due to be introduced in 2013, it wasn't long before there was dissent, first from Bernie Ecclestone and then from Ferrari. Both complained that the new engines wouldn't sound right, the F1 supremo insisting that the noise of F1 is one of it key features.

Soon the other engine manufacturers were expressing their unease, not so much in terms of noise but more about the cost of developing such an engine and even the timescale.

As opposition grew however, Renault announced that it was already some way down the path of developing the unit, eventually threatening to withdraw from the sport should the planned new formula be scrapped.

To further complicate the issue, ahead of today's meeting, Ecclestone claimed that the previous vote over the engine broke the rules of the governing body's own constitution.

The agreement reached today therefore is widely seen as a compromise which takes everyone's view into account.

While the new 12,000 rpm engines will not now appear until 2014, in 2013 the power capacity of the KERS systems will be increased from 60kw to 120kw. Furthermore, fuel consumption will be restricted by both limiting fuel flow and introducing a maximum capacity for races - a move that has been called for for some time.

The new regulations are being introduced to make the sport more energy efficient - as opposed to its widely perceived image as being irresponsible - as well as reducing costs. It is also hoped that by having F1 on board, the whole green agenda can be given an image boost.

"We are very happy with the solution," an FIA spokesman told Reuters following today's meeting. "We have had fruitful discussions with all the stakeholders following the last World Motor Sport Council meeting in Barcelona."

Approval of the changes will be made by fax vote to the FIA by the World Motor Sport Council on Monday.

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