Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cosworth wins FIA standard engine tender for 2010




by Damon Lavrinc

Honda's departure from Formula One came down to a singular factor: cost. The amount of cash required to campaign a team (or two) in the top tier of open-wheel motorsports has been on an upwards trajectory for as long as we can remember, and combined with the current economic downturn, it was just a matter of time before a manufacturer questioned whether or not it was worth the expense. That's a tough pill for enthusiasts to swallow considering all the knowledge gleaned from F1 -- not to mention WRC.

However, in an attempt to get costs in check, the FIA announced earlier this year that it would pursue a tender to supply an engine and transmission package to teams for the 2010 season and beyond. F1's governing body announced today that Cosworth has been tapped to provide the new "low-cost" drivetrain, that requires an up-front payment of 1.97 million Euros and then an additional 6.42 million Euros each season during the three-year contract. While 20+ million Euros might not seem like a bargain, it's a pittance compared to what automakers invest developing their own engine. If they opt out of the unbadged Cosworth engine, teams can use their own de-tuned version of the current 2.4-liter V8. Transmission choices are still up in the air, as Cosworth negotiates with Xtrac and Ricardo.

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