Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn says no new engine manufacturers will come to F1 until 2026 at least when the rules change.
The current regulations are guaranteed to be in place until 2025, and it seems no new suppliers are ready to come forward during that time.
And plans on the rules for 2026 and beyond remain open, but Brawn doesn’t expect any company to come forward with interest in joining Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda as an engine manufacturer under the current rules.
“It’s not that far away when you think you’ve got to do a new engine,” Brawn told Autosport.
“You will have to be starting your engine design in 18 months if you want to get one for then.
“So with the FIA and with the manufacturers we’re now looking at what the next powertrain should look like, and I think that’s the opportunity to get new manufacturers involved, and we need to find a design specification to do that. We’re looking at what we feel is a relevant powertrain for that period.
“No one is going to invest in the current engine, because it’s going to finish in that time, and it’s a very substantial investment to get up to speed.”
Brawn said talks regarding the new regulations are underway, but they won’t be rushed through.
“We were having a discussion about it,” he confirmed.
“Pat Symonds, Nick Hayes, Gilles Simon, Fabrice Lom and Nikolas Tombazis, we’re all working on what the powertrain should look like for the future.
“We know what the objectives are – relevance, the economics of it, and it’s got to be a good racing engine. We know what we want to achieve, we just haven’t defined yet what that will be.
“We continue to believe that there are alternative approaches to solutions to the future. We don’t think there’s one solution.
“We believe we can occupy a very relevant space. Sustainable fuels are a big thing for us, because whatever engine we have, that will be a major part of it.
“With some of our partners we’re now working on a strategy for introducing sustainable fuels into F1. So that will be a big element for the future. But really for the moment I don’t have an idea on how the engine should look.”
Asked if the new rules would be a big shift or an evolution of the current ones, Brawn replied: “I think for the moment we feel it will retain similar technologies to what we have now.
“There are a number of radical engines on the horizon, but we don’t think they are well enough established that in 18 months you can commit yourself to them.”