Hold your Horses!

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

The surprising win by 21-year-old Sebastian Vettel at last week's Italian Grand Prix at Monza is starting to have a fallout that may change the way Formula One deals with engine regulations.

It has long been an open secret in F-1 that Ferrari somehow has been able to circumvent FIA's current freeze on new engine development projects.

Many teams, starting with Renault, have complained to racing's governing body that they have been left way behind on horsepower to the Prancing Pony crew this season.

And the whispers turned into shouts after the Ferrari-powered Scuderia Toro Rosso shocked the F-1 world by winning this past Sunday.

Renault's F-1 boss, Flavio Briatore, told Spanish newspaper As this week that the performance boosts made by Ferrari now are being discussed in the open by its competitors in the paddock.

"We have discussed (horsepower) with the other teams to try to find a solution," he said. "I have met with (FIA chief) Max Mosley a few times and by the end of the season all this might be solved."

The real issue is that unless Mosley and the FIA amend the engine freeze rule, teams other than Ferrari could be left in the dust for the next five seasons -- the length of time it would take to develop a new engine.

The drivers on the circuit also are talking about the inequities. For one, two-time F-1 champion Fernando Alonso is considering ending his deal at Renault if the French manufacturer cannot guarantee an improvement in its engine performance for next season.

"The problem is, being stuck with (a Renault engine) for five years is an untenable position for any team that has that kind of disadvantage," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.

Renault supplies engines to Red Bull for its two-car F-1 team.

Horner is in agreement with FIA goals to keep costs down in F-1, but said that all teams must start playing with the same rules if it is to work.

"The FIA has all the information," he said. "At the end of the day we need to keep costs down. We don't need an engine formula to completely open up, but there should be a parity as much as possible among the engine suppliers -- otherwise we will all end up with one engine at the end of the day."

He said proof that the system is broken came with Vettel's victory. Red Bull has developed the chassis for both its team and Toro Rosso, but each uses a different engine.

"Obviously there is no bigger example than between the two Red Bull teams," he said.

FITZPATRICK MOVING UP

The youngest driver to win a Canadian stock car racing championship -- J.R. Fitzpatrick, who accomplished the feat at 18 in 2006 -- has signed a deal to test for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team later this month at Iowa Speedway.

Fitzpatrick, who is competing this season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in the No. 84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevrolet, will drive TRG Motorsports No. 7 Chevy Silverado at the Iowa track that was designed by Rusty Wallace.

"We are really excited about aligning ourselves with another talented driver like J.R. Fitzpatrick," TRG team principal Kevin Buckler said. "We're even more excited to be shaping the career of a young star like J.R. He has already proven that he has the talent to be a winner in CASCAR and we believe that it's only a matter of time before he is winning in the ranks of NASCAR in the United States."

Fitzpatrick said this week that it is an opportunity he has wanted for some time and he hopes to make the most of it.

"This is a fantastic opportunity," he said. "Even before I got my driver's licence I have wanted to race cars and to have the chance to work with a successful team like TRG Motorsports is very special. Working with this team gives me the chance to learn in so many different areas. That knowledge will help me take the next step in my NASCAR career."

Over on the Sprint Cup front, Patrick Carpentier is now completely free of any obligation to Gillett Evernham Motorsports for next season.

GEM had hoped to find sponsorship for a fourth car but have been unable to do so. Its first right of refusal on Carpentier for next season expired this week.

Robert Desrosiers, Carpentier's agent, said he was optimistic that the Joliette, Que., native could find a ride with another team.


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