Earlier today, we posted about FIA ratifying the adoption of 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines, which will be used in F1 from 2014. This overrides the previous direction announced last December, which would have made F1 cars use four-cylinder engines from 2013. Now, Adrian Newey reveals that the party behind this flip flop drama is Audi, which flirted with four-pot F1, only to walk away in the end.

Red Bull Racing’s chief technology officer said that the FIA World Motor Sport Council decided on the four-cylinder turbo direction after Ingolstadt had hinted that it would consider an entry. But in the end, it turned out to be just a “test the water” move by the four rings. That, coupled with opposition from current teams, forced the U-turn.

“The initial decision from the engine working group was for a four-cylinder turbo to be introduced for 2013. The big driver behind that was Audi. They said they would come into the sport if there was a four-cylinder turbo, and that’s what everyone agreed in order to get Audi in. They subsequently decided that they won’t bother after all, thank you very much, and we were lumbered with a four-cylinder turbo,” Newey said.

“Certainly from an engineering point-of-view, a four-cylinder turbo is not a nice engine to install – you’ve basically got to put a space frame around it; you can’t make it properly structural. A racing V6 is a much nicer engine to package. That will now be the 2014 engine,” he added.