F1: Ecclestone still pushing V8s for 2016 return

(From left) Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, in talks with Bernie Ecclestone, CEO and President, FOM. Taken on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.

Bernie Ecclestone has reiterated his support for a return to V8s for 2016 to help Red Bull get an engine for next season.

Ecclestone has been looking for a way to find an independent supplier to help ensure that the sport is not totally reliant on Mercedes and Ferrari. In addition to a return to V8s – either from Cosworth or Renault – he potentially has access to a low-budget twin-turbo V6, which would use a basic KERS system.

A change for next year would require unanimous agreement of the teams, but a bullish Ecclestone insists that he could force his plan through, despite the likelihood that Jean Todt won’t support it.

“I don’t think we should get consent from the teams,” he told The Independent. “I think we should just do it and say to them, ‘If you don’t like it, you can go to arbitration.’ We could get the V8s back next year. People can build them in no time so we ought to do it.”

“If Ferrari only agreed to supply one customer engine, Mercedes only agreed to supply one, nobody would have any engines. That’s exactly what the situation is. We need an independent engine supplier. I’ve been on about this now for a year and a half.”

Meanwhile, Ecclestone had indicated that he has become frustrated by the Red Bull engine saga – and made it clear that legal action will follow if the company carries out its threat to pull out if it does not have a competitive power unit for 2016.

Ecclestone has always been close to RBR team principal Christian Horner, and usually they are on the same page on all political matters. However, for the first time Ecclestone has suggested that he’s lost patience with Red Bull, whose two teams are contractually committed to the sport until 2020.

He said: “Red Bull would stand up in court and say: ‘yes, we have a commitment, we do, but we haven’t got an engine’. My argument would be: ‘you signed the contract to compete. You should have made sure when you signed the contract that you had an engine. Your team was supposed to do this.’”

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