One of the most controversial changes to Formula One is expected to come into effect in 2013 when the FIA will demand that the current 2.4 litre V8 engines are replaced with smaller and more environmentally friendly 1.6 litre turbo units. Even though the implementation is two years away, it has already been analysed in minute detail and the jury is still out.
The most vocal opponent has been F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone who described the engine as "not Formula One. It doesn't sound anything like Formula One." Teams have been more supportive with Renault's F1 engine chief Rob White saying "technically it is relevant to our road cars," and Mercedes' Norbert Haug adding "For us, there is no turning back. The development of the four cylinder engine has already begun." That could prove to be a little premature as one very senior source at the FIA told Pitpass "I don't believe we ever voted clearly on the engine."
As ever with these kind of developments in F1 it will all come out in the wash. However, as things stand, it seems that there is still a possibility that the turbo engine could go the same way as the FIA's famous CDG split rear wing which was due to be introduced in a bid to increase overtaking. It never happened and time will tell whether the turbo engines will fare any better.