A meeting was held at the International Automobile Federation (FIA) headquarters in Paris, France, where FIA representatives gathered with current power unit suppliers, automotive manufacturers and Formula One’s new commercial rights holder Liberty Media to evaluate the direction of future F1 power units.

A report last week by German webisite Spox said that Audi – having recently departed from the World Endurance Championship series – was to attend this meeting. The meeting concluded with the attendant parties agreeing that it was important to maintain F1 as the pinnacle of motor sport technology, as well as a laboratory for developing road car-relavant innovations.

The focus of the meeting then turned to increased outputs for the new-generation power units, while keeping an eye on reducing cost and complexity. Sound – an key component of the Formula One spectacle – is also said to see an improvement with the new power units, which will also allow drivers to push harder at all times.

“I was very pleased with the process, and the fact that so many different stakeholders were able to agree on a direction for the FIA Formula One World Championship in such an important technical area,” said the FIA president, Jean Todt.

Audi R18 (2016) #8 (Audi Sport Team Joest), Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval, Oliver Jarvis

Having pulled out of Le Mans, rumours of Audi entering Formula One have intensified

“Of course, now we must sit down and work through the fine details of exactly what the 2021 power units will be – but we have begun on the right foot, and I am looking forward to working through the process to come up with the best decision for Formula One into the future,” he added.

A greater emphasis on sound is required for the next generation of F1 engines, said Mercedes-AMG motorsport chief Toto Wolff. “If we look into a future generation of engines, I think in the past there wasn’t enough emphasis on the sound. So if we can combine great, affordable technology with a lot of horsepower and a good sound, that would really tick a box.”

Currently, the premier open-wheel single-seater racing series employs 1.6 litre turbo petrol-electric hybrid power units, and this configuration appears set to remain until the end of the 2020 F1 season.