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Spare a Thought for Cosworth

In the late sixties and throughout the seventies, Cosworth engines powered more race winners than any other engine. They have soldiered on since then, producing F1 power plants for independent teams, but now it seems the end has come.

Williams

The last Cosworth-powered car in F1?

The FIA’s decision to allow Ferrari to supply two teams with engines has effectively taken away Cosworth’s last potential customer. There has to be some irony in the fact that, while proclaiming their wish to support the independent manufacturer in F1, the FIA has made it impossible for the only independent engine supplier to continue.

With Ferrari about to sign contracts with Spyker-MF1 and Toro Rosso, Red Bull taking Renault engines, and Williams going to Toyota, there is nowhere for Cosworth to run except the unlikely possibility of engines for Prodrive when they enter the game in 2008. Meanwhile, Prodrive are saying that they want a complete engine/chassis deal with a manufacturer, something that is prevented by the rules on customer cars anyway. It is a sorry story for the little guy in F1.

I suppose that, if the FIA stick by their customer car rule, Prodrive might have to produce their own chassis – in which case, Cosworth could return. But, as Bernard Ferguson points out, in the intervening year, Cosworth will lose most of its staff. Which cannot bode well for their ability to suddenly ramp up to F1 if required.

So why has the FIA decided to make an exception to their own rules for Ferrari? I don’t know but am very tempted to answer: because Ferrari asked them to…

3 Responses to “Spare a Thought for Cosworth”

  1. [...] That last statement has to be taken with a huge pinch of salt, considering that it was a decision by the FIA that finally forced the last independent engine manufacturer, Cosworth, out of F1. It is only thanks to that decision that “all of the teams are currently owned or linked to a manufacturer.” So the FIA create the circumstances and then point to the circumstances as justification for their latest action. Seems a bit unfair to me. And it hardly gives confidence to the remaining independent teams that the FIA will represent their interests. [...]

  2. Do the IDIOTS at the FIA remember who started lightweight,BIG hp,loads of rpm,twin cam,multi valve motors before anyone else back when I was born.let me take them a bet that because of Cosworth in those days F1 was thought of and started,all because a lightweight block of dynomite had 4 wheels bolted to it.Its a shame that Bernie does’nt throw 1% of his F1 robbery,back into his own little empire and start a team that can run with one of the original engine suppliers thats made him such a fortune today.I must say,I will miss you all at Cosworth not that I know anyone of you.Bruce,South Africa

  3. I remember when Cosworth engines appeared in F1, Bruce, and watched them change the sport from a secret passion of the few to the second most popular sport on the planet. They will be much missed.

    As for Bernie and Max, I’ve probably said more than my share about them already! But there will always be room for mavericks – if not in F1, then in some other formula…

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