Controversy Surrounds FIA's Deal with Cosworth

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) deal with Cosworth for the supply of a standard engine in Formula One doesn't look like such a clean deal after all. And we're not talking about the process of picking a new engine supplier for the sport, but the way it influenced the FIA's choosing process when referring to the 2010 newly entries.

Several rumors – backed by unconfirmed comments from several team owners – surfaced in the British media in recent days that FIA granted an F1 entry only to the teams that were not connected to any of the existing engine manufacturers in Formula One. As most of the outfits that initially lodged an F1 entry had been in talks with Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari, they allegedly didn't stand a chance to be granted an F1 entry.

The reason for that was the then-ongoing dispute between FIA's Max Mosley and the FOTA, representative body for the F1 engine manufacturers. Wanting to give the current manufacturers as little power as possible, Mosley seems to have picked only teams that would later team up with Cosworth. USF1, Campos and Manor have all committed to that rule, while much bigger names like Lola or Prodrive chose their own way and were, consequently, left out.

One of Cosworth's main conditions to return to Formula One was to have at least 3 teams to supply engines for in 2010. And their wish was FIA's command. The confirmation came from some of the team owners that were hoping to make the F1 roster next year.

We were told that if we wanted to take up the 2010 grid slot we would have to sign a three-year engine contract with Cosworth,” said one of them. Another wrote in a letter that he “had a real possibility of obtaining a Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari engine. It was made very clear to me that it was considered a mandatory condition from the powers that be that Cosworth was the engine supplier,” reports the GMM news agency.

While the FIA confirmed that signing up for Cosworth power plants was an important condition for being granted an F1 entry – therefore admitting to their mistake of considering political criteria more important than sporting ones – the British engine manufacturer insisted they did not ask the FIA to proceed to that policy.

(Cosworth) in no way, shape or form requested that the FIA make demands on its behalf of potential entries to the formula one world championship,” said a statement from Cosworth.
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