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Cosworth's chances of F1 return dashed

Hopes that Cosworth could make a return to Formula One in 2008 have been dealt a major blow after Ferrari were given the green light on Wednesday to supply two customer teams with power units for the foreseeable future.

Cosworth had a good chance of making a comeback to F1 after 2007 with the FIA having laid down a rule stating manufacturers could only supply one other team with engines from 2008.

That regulation would have meant that Ferrari would not have been able to continue supplying both Red Bull Racing and Spyker MF1 beyond next season - meaning there would be an opening to help Cosworth make a return.

Cosworth's commercial chief Bernard Ferguson told that the single supplier rule had certainly given his company the possibility of coming back - because Red Bull would have been forced to find a new engine partner from 2008.

"What happens in 2008 when, it would appear, that the most sensible thing for Red Bull and Toro Rosso would be to have the two cars on the same engine?," he said. "But if that is a manufacturer who is already in the sport as well, that by definition breaks a rule.

"If both those cars are Renaults, then that would be three teams with Renault. So maybe there is an opportunity there."

But the FIA has now dashed any hopes of such a situation materializing by stating that they have accepted a request from Ferrari to supply two teams with engines in the 2008 championship.

That means the Spyker MF1 will now be able to take up the options they have with Ferrari, while Red Bull may try and put together a long-term deal for Scuderia Toro Rosso to run with the Maranello power plants.

Cosworth, who have no contracts for next season, now appear increasingly unlikely to make a return at all.

Cosworth's only option to return to Formula One in 2008 seems to be the new Prodrive team, who will make their debut that season.

The British squad, however, have stated in the past they are hoping to buy an entire car/engine package from another team.

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