The FIA has extended the deadline for the submission of bids for the 2021 Formula 1 gearbox supply deal from Thursday this week until next Tuesday.
The governing body issued an invitation to tender last month, covering the supply of a common gearbox cassette for the 2021-24 seasons.
The original deadline was March 14, but before the deadline expired the FIA legal department issued a clarification in the form of an “erratum”.
It read: “In order to encourage the submission of bids, the FIA has decided to postpone the deadline for submitting a tender to 19 March 2019 at 12:00 pm.”
The other related published deadlines, such as for the decision on the winning bid from the FIA, have not changed.
The wording of the statement suggests that the FIA may be aware of at least one potential bidder that has not quite been able to complete its proposal on time.
Although no names have been mentioned, one possibility is that an F1 team is interested in chasing the contract.
The only known bidder is Xtrac, the company having confirmed its intention soon after the invitation was issued.
“I think it would be expected for us to submit a tender,” company president Peter Digby told Autosport last month.
“I think it’s a great idea, I really do. There’s a big cost saving that can be achieved if the right product is supplied to all the teams, that offers reliability and saves a lot of ongoing development that the teams inevitably do when they’re competing.
“The tender has asked for a contemporary gearbox and the ability of suppliers to supply. I think it’s a very good tender, they’ve asked all the right questions, and it’s an impressive bit of work that’s gone into it, although it’s a little bit later than we would have hoped.”
Digby admitted at the time that the deadline was a challenge: “It’s a tight timescale to work to. We have to submit everything by March 15, so it’s a short amount of time. But that’s motor racing, and we’re used to tight timescales.”
It is understood that Xtrac had its bid ready to go for Thursday, but has opted to take advantage of the change and wait for the new deadline.