F1 drivers may be allocated an extra engine for next season, if the calendar really does swell to an unprecedented 22 races.
In 2013, the long-life engine rules dictate that drivers can use no more than eight V8 engines for the entire season.
But from next year, under the radical new turbo V6 rules, drivers will be penalised if they use more than just five 1.6 litre ‘power units’.
It is expected that, when he presents the calendar to the World Motor Sport Council in Croatia on Friday, Bernie Ecclestone will have trimmed the schedule to 20 or 21 races.
But race director Charlie Whiting told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “If there are 22, we can talk about a sixth engine per driver.”
The smaller teams, however, might not be happy with that.
Their engine bills are already doubling under the new V6 regime, and Auto Motor und Sport claims that just one extra engine will cost them an extra EUR 2 million.
And they will need yet another extra engine – perhaps two – for the new private testing in 2014.
“Every kilometre now costs us 800 euros,” said Force India team manager Andy Stevenson. “Many of us can’t afford these testing days.”
© RIF | GMM