Japanese carmakers looking at F1 for 2013

(GMM) Renault sees the new engine formula for 2013 as a great opportunity, managing director Jean Francois Caubet has confirmed.

The French carmaker has withdrawn as a team owner of the Enstone based team that bears its name, but remains committed to supplying engines for at least the next three years.

That three-year period covers the transition from the current 'frozen' V8 engine formula to the new four-cylinder turbos that will debut in 2013.

"The engine for 2013 evens out the playing field," said Caubet, addressing suggestions Renault's current 2.4 liter unit is not up to speed with the leading Mercedes and Ferrari.

"The dossier of the FIA speaks for itself," he added, according to motorsport-total.com. "There are technological innovations; the competition is completely open.

"There are precise rules for the costs, the materials, the number of engines per season and the speed (rev) limit. Technologically, we have great freedom," said Caubet.

"Everyone starts with a blank sheet of paper. May the best win."

With the new formula also designed to lure car manufacturers back to F1, Caubet admitted it is "too soon" for BMW to return, but indicated that Volkswagen is "hesitating".

And he said there is a "third group" now eyeing F1.

"It is the Japanese," confirmed Caubet. "I am surprised by their interest in the new engine, but of course the cost aspect may have changed the attitude.

"The Europeans are in front, the technologies are new — I suppose they cannot afford to not be here," added Caubet, who indicated that Honda is seriously considering a return.

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