Mercedes trying to undermine Cosworth's return to F1
Now that Cosworth is poised to return to F1 in 2010 after a false start the last two years when teams decided to buy engines from the big factories - Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes, Norbert Haug said McLaren and Mercedes would be ready to technically assist new formula one entrants.
In other words, Mercedes would like to snag that customer engine business from Cosworth.
With prospective new cost-limiting rules aimed at bringing up to three new teams onto the 2010 grid, Mercedes' Haug also suggested that chassis partner McLaren may be willing to help, but since their chassis is horrible this year, who wants their help?
"If the appropriate regulations are in place, then definitely we are ready to assist, but it must be clear that formula one is not a charity," the German said.
When Prodrive intended entering F1 in 2008, a deal was in place for a full customer McLaren-Mercedes car and engine package, but ultimately the rules were challenged.
It has been rumored that, as the teams and the FIA broker a compromise agreement over the budget cap dispute, new regulations regarding the use of car components by customers, and even the transfer of technical knowledge, may be implemented.
On the issue of the 2010 entry list, to be published by the FIA on June 12, Haug said he hopes the ten existing teams all go on to race next year and beyond.
And like Ferrari and Renault, he admitted his concerns about the credibility of some of the proposed new entrants.
"The image of formula one is vital," Haug said. "Teams must not only be able to succeed in the long term but also have the know-how and the financial ability."