It’s been known for some time that Formula 1 is highly interested in bringing in new engine suppliers to the sport, but it is already close to losing a potential candidate in Aston Martin, according to a report by Autocar. The British publication stated that new regulations, set to be introduced in 2021, likely won’t put an end to the costly engine arms race that Gaydon can’t afford to participate in.

Rule makers originally proposed a cost-controlled formula, but compromises have already been made and while a final decision wasn’t expected to be announced until yesterday’s Austrian Grand Prix (won by Max Verstappen of Red Bull, of which Aston Martin is a title sponsor and “innovation partner“), the company’s CEO Andy Palmer said ahead of the race, “It doesn’t look like the new regulations will be of interest, sadly.”

He added that Aston Martin was initially interested on the basis of cost control, and that the new formula would be “a part of an equation” that would put more emphasis on the driver’s skill. “I don’t see the costs coming down far enough with the regulations I’ve heard discussed and I do see that the opportunity to spend a fortune chasing down a tenth of a second a lap will remain.

“At Aston, we love the sport, and we’d love to be involved, but we cannot get involved in an arms race. It’s needlessly expensive and it undermines the sport, because whoever has the advantage of that tenth will win. I won’t say we’re definitely not going to do it until I see the final proposal because there are still some areas where there is not enough clarity. But if the door is left open to a spending war, then we won’t be involved.”

The sport’s governing body and teams announced the new regulations in October last year, but since then there have been a dispute on the details. The basic premise was that the designs of the 1.6 litre turbo V6 engines would be heavily mandated, with some of the expensive electric and energy storage systems being removed or standardised.

Aston Martin confirmed at the time that it was working with a consultant, former Ferrari engine chief Luca Marmorini, on a possible engine project. Palmer added that the company’s commitment to Formula 1 was long term and is not influenced by the team switching from Renault to Honda engines for 2019 and 2020.