The FIA had originally planned a switch to four-cylinder engines in 2013, but has approved the revised formula in light of concerns formalised last week by various interested parties.
“Following a fax vote by its members, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified the engine regulations recently drawn up in consultation with the main stakeholders in Formula One,” read an FIA statement.
“The new power plant will be a V6 1.6 turbo unit with energy recovery systems. This new formula will come into effect as from the start of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season.”
The new energy recovery systems (ERS) will replace the current kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) and are expected to be more powerful. Combined with the legalisation of turbocharging, they will ensure overall power outputs remain similar to current levels, despite an anticipated drop in the permitted rev limit.
Formula One’s last turbo era ended in 1988, a season dominated by the 1.5 litre V6 Honda-powered McLaren’s of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. The sport returned to naturally aspirated engines in 1989, with a new 3.5 litre formula.