Todt stands firm over green engine regulations

FIA president Jean Todt has warned Ferrari and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone there will be no change to the new engine rules.

FIA president Jean Todt has warned Ferrari and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone there will be no change to the new engine rules.

Ecclestone has voiced his concern a switch from the current 2.4-litre V8s to the greener 1.6-litre four cylinder turbo unit will be bad for the show and potentially turn sponsors away.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has also stated the change is not in alignment with the manufacturer’s roadcar business model and so will prove costly.

There is the undoubted potential for friction looming, especially as all sides - the teams, the FIA and commercial rights holders CVC – must have a new Concorde Agreement signed before the end of next season.

Todt, however, has reminded Ecclestone and Ferrari that they agreed to the change at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in December.

“Who is part of the World Council?” queried Todt at a media briefing conducted at the Istanbul Park circuit.

“We have 26 members and among them you have two representatives of the F1 world.

“One is the oldest team representative, which is Ferrari, and the other one is the representative of the commercial rights, which is Bernie Ecclestone.

“I repeat it was unanimously agreed. So in 2013 we will have the introduction of the new engine.”

Todt has confirmed a meeting is to take place in Barcelona on May 21 to assess the progress the teams are making with regard to the new engine regulations.

The former Ferrari team principal, who may attend, has suggested if there was overwhelming opposition, then perhaps the rule may be revisited.

“In the next meeting we could say if we have strong new evidence dramatic things could happen and we could reconsider something,” added Todt.

“But at the moment there is no reason to reconsider it because it has been unanimously agreed, again after lengthy discussions and meetings with people who are involved in this business.”

Todt, meanwhile, has refused to be drawn into the debate relating to any potential takeover of the commercial rights, either by the News Corp/EXOR consortium, or even by the teams.

The only point made by Todt is that the FIA have right of veto in relation to any potential new owner.

“From what I know CVC has no intention of selling,” said Todt.

“If it happens in five years, 10 years, it’s not a question for me, it’s a question to CVC.

“If one day CVC decides they want to sell the rights, if I am still president I will speak with my people in the FIA and we will say if we are happy or not with the people who want to take over.”

Todt would naturally prefer if there was peace and harmony, adding: “For me as FIA president we would all be stronger if we worked together instead of against each other.”

In other matters, Todt has announced he would like the ban on in-season testing lifted, potentially accommodating three two-day sessions, in particular to help the emergence of fresh talent.

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