Legendary engine maker Cosworth, a name intimately linked to the history of F1, says it's unlikely to return to Grand Prix racing as an independent manufacturer in 2021.
As Formula 1 works towards defining the sport's future engine rules, a priority is to devise a platform which would entice independent suppliers to offer a cost effective power unit.
While Cosworth is attentive to ongoing discussions, managing director Bruce Wood has ruled out the company's involvement on its own, insisting only outside financial support would justify launching a in-house design.
"First off, we'd love to be there," said Wood, speaking Thursday at the Autosport International show.
"It's been reported quite widely that we've been heavily involved in the ongoing current discussions.
"Where we sighted it from the beginning is that it's unlikely you will see a completely independent Cosworth on the 'if you build it they will come' [basis].
"That's unlikely because I think the economics of that are hard to make work.
"We certainly hope that we might be there partnered with a small OEM that's willing to make what hopefully a new regulation will enable being a much small financial commitment to get into F1."
Wood cites the current level of technological sophistication of F1's engines as a deterrent to investment. Simplification in the future, and therefore cost reduction, would obviously go a long way towards raising the barriers of entry.
"It's no secret that the level of technology currently in F1 is quite prohibitive, even to somebody like Cosworth with our background getting into it because there are so many elements that are absolutely cutting edge," explains the Cosworth boss.
"The heat energy recovery would require tens of millions of investment.
"The rules as they are being proposed would certainly technically facilitate Cosworth coming back into it and will bring down the cost barrier to entry to the point where there's a lot more OEMs, or not necessarily car manufacturers but other sponsors, see Formula 1 as something they can bring into their sorts of budgets."