Marussia chief warns 2014 engines ‘threat to the sustainability of the F1 grid’
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Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Oct 2012   |  2:10 pm GMT  |  128 comments

Marussia team president Graeme Lowden fears that the implementation of the costly 2014 engine regulations will put the futures of numerous Formula 1 teams on the line.

Despite the in-development 1.6 litre, turbocharged V6 engines, and accompanying energy efficient systems, being less than 18 months away from their scheduled introduction, the new engine formula continues to prove a divisive issue with concerns over the cost of the technology for customer teams in particular.

In recent days Bernie Ecclestone, a long-time critic of the 2014 rules, renewed his calls for the engines to be canned, suggesting that FIA president Jean Todt may scrap them altogether or delay their introduction, a stance he stays Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo backs.

“I listened to the noise of the engines in (Ferrari’s headquarters at) Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn’t like it,” Ecclestone told the Hindustan Times, going on to suggest that FIA president Jean Todt “will get rid of it”.

“I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years, he added. “I think it is sensible to get rid of it and stick with what we have got. It is much cheaper than the new one. It probably could be 30% of the price.”

The continued uncertainty over Cosworth’s 2014 plans, and the recent suspension of Craig Pollock’s independent engine firm PURE’s operations over funding, has created the prospect of there being only three engine suppliers to serve the whole grid when the new-spec engines come in for 2014.

And with the several fold increase in the development cost of the drastically new designs set to be passed on to the customer teams, Marussia chief Lowden admits he has real concerns over the sustainability of the grid.

Speaking in an interview with the October edition of the JA on F1 podcast – which you can download and listen to directly here – Lowden said: “Looking back over the last two or three years, one of the things that’s really been surprising is just how much the goalposts have moved in terms of things like cost control or resource restrictions and things like that.

“Also uncertainty over engines for 2014, which I think is potentially one of the biggest threats to the sustainability of large numbers of the teams on the grid, and that really shouldn’t be the case.

“Introducing any new step is good for a sport – you need to be innovative, you need to be relevant, that’s absolutely for sure. But it has to be done with sustainability at the heart of it.

“We’re all running businesses, we have responsibilities to our employees and there’s an awful lot of investment, time, effort and devotion that goes in from a lot of people. We owe it to those people to ensure that this sport is sustainable and has a long and bright future.”

Expressing concern that the 2014 engines will only increase the notion that spending more money is the only way to success in F1, Lowden added: “I think most fans aren’t too worried whether it’s a V4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – who cares? It has to be fast, it has to make a noise, preferably environmentally friendly, although I think there’s an awful lot that the teams can demonstrate in other ways with carbon footprint and the like.

“But the key thing is we have to maintain and create great competition, that’s what people want to watch. My own view is that we owe it to the sport to promote a regulatory framework that has the fans at the centre of it. That is ultimately what pays the bills.”

Any about turn in the 2014 plans would certainly require a delicate approach given both Mercedes and Renault, in particular, have committed their futures to the sport in part due to the opportunities presented by the new more environmentally-friendly technology.

Mercedes, having only last week signed up to the new eight-year Concorde Agreement and lured Lewis Hamilton to spearhead its assault on the world titles, is confident its F1 team will be very well placed to take advantage of the new format.


Listen to the full interview with Graeme Lowden and lots more on all the latest goings on in Formula 1 in the new edition of the JA on F1 podcast. Download it directly here or visit iTunes.

 

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128 Comments
  1. Neil Jenney says:

    Mercedes sign up to the new Concorde Agreement and Bernie starts making noises about canning the V6 turbos within a week of each other. Coincidence?

    1. James Allen says:

      Well Merc have invested probably €200 million in the 2014 engines and think they have the best one, so it won’t be them who’s pushing to stop them…

      1. Hisham Ali says:

        That is the point. He waited until Mercedes signed, then went on to criticise the new engines. He did not make any noise about it before.

      2. James Allen says:

        Yes he did he has opposed them all along!

      3. Bradley says:

        Exactly. Bernie stayed silent until they signed…

      4. Neil Jenney says:

        Given Mercedes’ investment maybe the logic should be reversed. Mercedes sign up to the new Concorde Agreement. Now they are locked in, Bernie revisits his agenda of keeping the V8 configuration knowing he won’t lose Mercedes from F1. If Luca di Montezemolo is lending his name in support of Bernie’s viewpoint, I wonder how much Ferrari have invested in the V6 turbos to this point?

      5. tim says:

        Why is Bernie referred to as a good businessman when he costs his sport so much money? 200 million euros invested and now he suggests we should scrap the idea? Excuse me?

      6. …because it’s not his money that was invested. ;-)

      7. Wayne says:

        It’s typical sport, isn’t it? Every team pushing for what ineterests them, and to hell with the big picture.

        People need to get over the sound thing, afterall, it’s not like the saound will affect the racing. It’s like everything else, everyone will be fine with it after a few races.

        Surely they cannot have manufacturers spend hundreds of millions of dollars and then just call the whole thing off or delay it? This is what infuriates me about F1 – the sheer hypocracy.

        On one hand, we care about cutting costs.

        On the other hand we’re happy to have organisations throw away an obscene amount of money because we’ve changed our mind!

        On One hand we care about the environment.

        On the other hand we will fly hundreds of tonnes of freight around the world to dull tracks where even the local population don’t care for F1 – because it makes CVC money.

        No one cares, no one calls them on this ridiculousness.

        GRRRRR!!

      8. [MISTER] says:

        When I went to my first GP, it was the SOUND who caught my attention not the racing.
        In my view the engine sound is very very specific and important. They sound like nothing else..

      9. panache says:

        I think the sound issue is definitely NOT “like everything else, everyone will be fine with it after a few races.”

        The sound of F1 cars is iconic and contributes massively to the appeal, atmosphere and even perception of speed.

        Imagine if there was no crescendo of high revving engine noise before the red lights go out, or if the sound of drivers frenetically downshifting as they brake hard into slow corners was barely audible above the commentators and crowd, or drivers wheelspinning the rears whilst trying to effectively harness the immense power of F1 engines could not be heard like it is today.

        If you think sound is not a big issue, watch some GP3 footage with their Inline 4 cylinder turbo engines then you will realize how important the sound these cars make really is.

      10. Steve Zodiac says:

        Go and watch some touring cars, with their quietish exhausts, dull dull dull, while the cars are round the other side of the circuit everyone just chats about the weather. The only people that don’t care about the noise are those that enjoy keeping lap charts( which they are perfectly entitled to but that’s not the majority). If you’ve never heard F1 live you should then you might understand

      11. Spyros says:

        Just think, even with the current cars, we can occasionally hear the noise of the Merc SLS over the F1 cars, during a safety car period. If they switch to 1.6lt V6s, they might have to swap the Merc with something a bit less noisy, to save the F1 cars from embarrassment!

        Has a Prius or Lexus ever been used as a safety car, anywhere?

      12. Glenn says:

        Well said Wayne.
        Almost on topic, how bad did off throttle blowing sound?

      13. McLaren78 says:

        …which means it might be Ferrari (and possibly McLaren/Lotus being customers too) pushing to stop them because they feel they might not be as competitive? With Todt at FIA, they have a chance…!

      14. [MISTER] says:

        Really? Isn’t time for all these conspiracy theories to stop now? Just get over it!

      15. Tim says:

        And who was Todt’s boss not so long ago, prior to becoming FIA President (and may have played “kingmaker” for same)?

        Tim

      16. iceman says:

        Isn’t the implication the other way round – now Mercedes have signed the Concorde Agreement, Bernie can go back to promoting other agendas that are contrary to Mercedes’.

      17. Davexxx says:

        Poor Mercedes, they need the patience of saints! Being side-lined by Bernie in Concorde Agreements share-outs, now being p***ed about over the new engines – AND now having to handle Hamilton Baggage!

      18. Enzo says:

        Ferrari are also ahead of schedule with their V6 turbo,and must have invested heavily also,and from what i read, Luca Marmorini is feeling very confident about it, what’s the reason Di Montezemolo wants to delay or even forget about them altogether?

      19. KRB says:

        Was Marmorini the guy in the Friday conference at Singapore? He didn’t sound the most confident then … prudent and cautious, but not confident.

      20. Enzo says:

        @KRB,
        Marmorini is Head of Engine and Electronics department, i haven’t seen the Friday conference, but i would be surprised if he was there, Domenicali, Fry, Tombazis usually show up.

        Marmorini said on an Italian F1 site, “although it’s a very intense time and very challenging for the engineers, we are all in love with this engine, every time we test it, it keeps getting better”.
        Must be his Italian passione speaking.

        A short time ago, Ecclestone, di Montezemolo were very enthusiastic about the new turbo engine, and all of a sudden, they think it’s crap, and want to postpone or even cancel the whole thing.

        Seems to me FIA,FOTA and Ferrari are on a big powertrip.

      21. Erik W says:

        Ferrari must have problems.
        Santander?
        Spain bank crisis?

        They seem to be against anything in F1 nowadays.
        They hate aero development.
        Now engines.

        To be against aero development is like being a swimmer ant tout, I am the best swimmer but I can’t win if we don’t get rid of the water. Water and air is where the action takes place.

        I don’t think Mercedes nor Renault would deliver any engines(but Mercedes team) if they don’t change to the new format.

        Should the rest run with Cosworth and Ferrari engines?

      22. [MISTER] says:

        You are not seeing the reasons why some teams, like Ferrari, are against the new engines.
        Ferrari produce powerfull sportcars with big engines. Renault want the engines because their cars have smaller engines.
        I think is very smart and logical of Ferrari to dislike the new engines.
        Plus, the new engines cost a lot of money like everyone is saying.
        Plus it seems the sound is nowhere near what we have now.

        So why have them? To show that F1 is going greener? Seriously who cares about that? F1 is an exclusive sport. If they want to save fuel..cut 5 laps from each GP and they are done..or something like that.

      23. Hal says:

        James, do you know if there was any kind of condition to Merc signing Concorde? Would they threaten to pull out if V6 engines got scrapped?

      24. James Allen says:

        I’ll follow up on this

      25. Elie says:

        Very good question

      26. jv says:

        Lewis signs with Merc and then Bernie starts making noise that could make Merc pull out. I wonder how Lewis is enjoying the news?

      27. KRB says:

        €200 million?! Insanity!

      28. Doug says:

        Surely if they’ve spent that much money on the new units already…as, I’m sure will have Ferrari & Renault…the customer teams are going to have to pay more for their existing 2.4 NA engines to cover the development costs?
        To complain/think about banning them now seems to be a case of shutting the stable door after the (prancing) horse has bolted!? :-/

      29. Patrickl says:

        And then to think that they spent amounts like that every year on the engines before the engine freeze.

  2. “although I think there’s an awful lot that the teams can demonstrate in other ways with carbon footprint and the like” – that’s a key part of the sentence and the whole saga.

    I think Mclaren’s factory has been granted with carbon-friendly certificate – this is a larger effort compared to engines that run for limited time – and it is something that really counts.

    The situation with 2014 engines begins to develop in a negative fashion, but I can’t really agree with the sound thesis, simply because whatever Mr. E. heard was a prototype, far from being nicely tuned.

    We should better forget about old high pitch V10, but potentially the V6T units also have something to say.

  3. Jodum5 says:

    The Marussia chief is more than welcome to head to GP2 or Indy Car if he can’t handle the costs of F1.

    1. Wayne says:

      Yup, no loss at all – and not just because they are a backmarker but because they add nothing to the show at all.

    2. Davexxx says:

      Meow!!! I think Lowden has a point, it would be a great shame to lose some of the ‘back end’ teams, and end up with just the Usual Suspects on the grid.

    3. sustainable economics says:

      and watch F1 races with 8 or 10 cars ?? look back at the 70s’ and 80′s when they had heats to decide the final contestants. I think it should be like that with close competition.

      1. JOdum5 says:

        I dunno those competitors seemed to manage to adapt to new technical regulations. Is he really advocating using the V8s forever? How would the rumor of delaying them a few years brings the cost down?

    4. Hal says:

      I admire their tenacity so I they get some sort of financial help. I don’t see what F1 gains by losing a team. I guess most here follow the big teams (including myself) but it would be quite sparse without these teams.

  4. Wade Parmino says:

    Efficiency and environmental friendliness of engines is negligible when it comes to F1′s carbon footprint.

    If F1 was really serious about majorly reducing it’s carbon footprint, the race calendar would be rejigged and organized in a way that reduces the amount of travel involved. For example, the Asia Pacific races should ALL be in succession, as the European races are.

    Going from Europe to Canada, then back to Europe, then later on going back to the USA is ridiculous. There is way too much double-backing taking place. This travel is what generates a massive carbon footprint. To move the whole F1 circus from one continent to another (just once!) consumes more fuel than is consumed by the race cars throughout the entire season.

    If these new engines are being built for the purpose of being environmentally friendly, then it has been one giant monumentally pointless waste of money.

    1. CoB says:

      +1. Perfectly said.

    2. Rich C says:

      Its all just a massive PR effort.

      If they were truly serious about reducing their footprint they’d simply shut down.

    3. Wayne says:

      Alternatively, we would not fly to some of these far eastern circuits at all. Not even the local population turn out to watch these races. They are held purely because some unelected prince has decided it would be cool to have a GP! And F1 happily laps up the cash.

      1. JCA says:

        They go to Asia because the euro economy is imploding. The money is going east. They are going there to survive

      2. If tickets were a reasonable cost, then you would see every venue packed. Have you looked at ticket prices lately? Ridiculous.

    4. JF says:

      Very true. Replace the motorhomes with tents and Barbeques. Maybe one caterer for the entire paddock. That would cut out a lot of cost and carbon as well.

    5. Chris says:

      +1 The amount of energy used to transport the whole circus around the world far outweighs the benefits of of a slightly reduced carbon usage F1 Engine. However, the cross over to production cars and the more relevant 1.6 turbo engine size could yield greater benefits to our everyday cars overtime, more so then the current units anyway! This is often the case with F1 driving the automotive industry forwards. They (FIA) have made a decision, so they should stick to it; but this is the FIA so I doubt they will.

    6. Matthew says:

      Agreed.

      It’s a horribly veiled PR attempt isn’t it?

      The only reason F1 engines need to be remotely green is to create some relevance to road cars in order that manufacturers are kept in the sport.

      The cars could all have 10 litre W16s and still burn considerably less fuel during a season than one shipment of 24 cars, 1,728 tyres, scores of trucks laden with kit, a couple of safety cars and about 3000 people from W.Europe to Australia (nevermind the 100k spectators and how they travel!).

      I wish someone would recognise that publicly.

      Actually, probably best not otherwise we’ll never get away with it.

      ‘Yep, yeah, it’s the engines… we’ll have to make them smaller, you’re right, a bit smaller.’

      Lose a couple of cylinders, slap a turbo on and market them as if they’d be exempt from the congestion charge. Brilliant.

      I’d like to know the carbon emmissions produced by developing and manufacturing just 1 of the new V6 engines too. You could probably do a whole season of racing (not including the travel) just on that.

      1. darren says:

        On an even larger scale, if the F1 turbo, kers etc technology provides improvements to all new cars produced, including using less resources in production techniques. We’ll all benefit!t. Maybe even stabilise the price of oil in the future as supplies decrease. And improve the environment to boot.

    7. Liam says:

      Agreed. All this talk of green engines and gadgets like KERS promoted as ‘green’ is completely pathetic when the F1 circus wastes soooo much fuel travelling about the globe and destroying unused rubber after each race.

      I get that F1 needs to be relevant but only to a certain extent. If half the teams on the grid suddenly can’t make any money because they spend it all on engines that is seriously counter-productive. No teams = no championship = relevance completely irrelevant!

      1. Jon says:

        Why no have V12 hydrogen powered cars? They would sound the same (awesome) but totally clean. The engines are basically the same, so they just need to ensure the hydrogen fuel tank can withstand a 300kph crash, which shouldn’t be too hard using carbon/kevlar composite. Lots of road cars already run safely on propane/natural gas. BMW already has the Hydrogen 7 which runs on both gas and H2.

    8. Phil says:

      They’re also to make F1 more relevant to the engine makers. Road cars have largely moved to turbos and superchargers, and now energy recovery systems are coming into play as well.

      By keeping the F1 engines relevant, some of the investment made by Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault can be recouped in advances that can be taken from the F1 work.

    9. David says:

      It is not because of F1′s environmental image, although it helps. It is because this is where the car industry is going with small spec engines with turbos. The F1 feedbacks into these companies own engineering/development programs.

    10. toleman fan says:

      Hmmmm….

      On the numbers, you’re quite right.

      And it’s not just the global travel, either. The carbon footprint of the actual races is dominated by…travel to the circuit by fans. The carbon footprint of the actual cars is utterly negligible by comparison,

      And the carbon footprint of the team’s bases, the autoclaves and wind tunnels and the rest, which -are- capable of being managed and reduced, are similarly vastly greater than those of the 24 cars they produce.

      I can’t help remembering, though, that when Honda tried to make exactly this argument with the (admittedly appallingly badly implemented) Earthdream thing, they couldn’t get a fair hearing on the numbers or get past the ‘they’re fast cars with big engines so it’s environmentally bad!” stage. And that they ultimately pulled the plug on much of the stuff they’d been considering that could have put some real substance on the idea. Maybe at would have happened anyway. But the widespread refusal to look at the idea in a detached and sensible way probably didn’t help.

      1. Steve Pritchard says:

        How about the carbon footprint of the millions of greener road cars that will be produced because of greener formula 1?

        I think you guys are missing the point.

      2. Exactly. Remember all the turbo road cars that came out in the 80s? Why? F1 made them cool.

  5. Richard Mee says:

    Interesting comment by someone on another blog about BE’s reluctance not really being about noise, more that the new formula of engine will cover both F1 and LMS and he wants to make sure the big teams don’t start racing in LMS…

    Still, i personally think any restricted ‘formula’ is a missed opportunity for true, relevant innovation. Teams should be given a set amount of fuel and a set budget and given free reign on configuration, aspiration etc… imagine the spike in interest when the field contains a mix of 4,6, 8, diesel, hybrid – you name it – telling which car it is by the noise it makes! Will also make it much easier to get more manufacturers into the sport aligning road car engine development with individual teams!

    1. Rich C says:

      They restrict the specs so tightly because all F1 people are afraid to lose.

      They’re not about winning.

      They’re all about NOT losing.

      So they don’t want to leave any openings for true innovation that might leave them behind.

    2. JCA says:

      They restrict the engine formula to create parity, otherwise you get a development war that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars

    3. Andrea Sasseti says:

      I would also like to see the amount of fuel (or rather rate of fuel intake) to be the only restriction placed on engines. Better yet: define it in the most general term possible for energy (joule?) so that electric and diesel and whatever else is an option.

      As it is though, the 2014 formula is a really good thing because it finally ends the farce that is the engine freeze. The engine freeze is the single most contrived, artificial and nonsensical part of the current rule-set (way worse than even DRS).

      Formula 1 is ostensibly the pinnacle of motorsport and yet the most important part of the car is not permitted to be improved upon. Not only is that an absurd situation in and of itself, but it has also turned F1 into an aero competition because aerodynamics is now the ONLY meaningful performance differentiatior.

      I think that giving engineers more areas they can work on can get us cars with more varied strengths and weaknesses. I don’t care if the engines have four, or twelve cylinders or if they’re Wankel or electric or if people strap jet-turbines to their cars.

      The price-objection is entirely moot: engineers will always spend every last cent of their budget, but after 2014 teams will have to cut back a bit on aero development (the results of which are only useful to one specific car). Instead, some of that aero-money will go into funding engine-development (which means some of F1′s economic and intellectual might will be deployed on far more widely useful technology).

      I have a hard time believing the FIA, Mercedes and especially Renault will indulge Ecclestone again. You can’t really trust anything Bernie says anyway – there’s always politics behind it.

  6. Jon Wilde says:

    James,

    have you been able to authenticate the quote from Bernie? not so many weeks ago he was quoted as saying the new engines sounds good (having heard them run on dynos)

    I would be amazed if the new formula rules have not been built into Mercedes agreement to sign the Concorde Agreement.

    On the topic of Marussia’s comments and those of HRT today regarding customer cars, whilst Marussia are far and away my favourite team on the grid they need to simply focus of results. F1 is a sustainable enterprise for all involved provided if it is correctly managed, so halt engine innovation for another 2-3 years will only deter new manufacturers and sponsors.

    One final point, as a Lewis fan I really hope the new engine regulations come in for 2014!

    Any chance of a shock announcement from Honda this weekend?

    1. James Allen says:

      Well if you look at the channels via which the quotes came out then you can take it as read that they are genuine.

      1. Jon Wilde says:

        http://www.auto123.com/en/news/f1-bernie-ecclestone-reportedly-happy-with-sound-of-v6-engine?artid=147523

        Thanks for the reply James, feel free to delete the link as appropriate, but other news outlets are reportng a more positive take on presumably the same meeting at Marenello.

        It would be interesting to see Bernie use the f1 website to voice his opinions rather then speculation or qoutes possibly taken out of context across the Internet.

      2. dansus says:

        Welcome to politricks.

    2. Rich C says:

      Sorry, I disagree.

      Its all about money. You can’t “properly manage” something with no money.

      And (lack of) money is the whole point of his remarks.

      And if they went to other series, as has been suggested by others here, there’d be NO sponsors’ money.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      To the vast majority of fans – the millions around the world who don’t get to go to races and watch on TV – the sound is a non issue and the development of technologies that will eventually transfer to road cars is the relevant issue.

      1. Rich C says:

        I really doubt technology transfer is of interest to very many ppl. I think they just tune in to see racing.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        Sorry, not what I meant. I was trying to say that Bernie disparaging the noise of the new engines and the actual sounds they make is not the issue. For most fans the sound issue will bear no relevance to life or indeed if theytune in or not. Whether they tune in of course is the quality of the racing. Where the new engines will make a difference to my day to day life ( and what i meant when i called it a relevant issue) is when my future car employs technologies developed and innovated in f1.what is being lost on Bernie and others who cite the importance of sound is that it won’t matter a jot either today or in the future.

      3. Steve Pritchard says:

        But is of interest to the manufacturers. They need a return on investment!

  7. Señor Sjon says:

    Let them build engines they want.
    For example:
    Turbo: xx max pressure
    Fuel tank: max xxx liters
    Petrol: road car super 98/Ultimate/V-Power, whatever you can buy at your local fuel station.
    cc: max 1500
    Don’t mix up turbo/non-turbo engines, that is always horrible and gets LeMans situations where the diesel engine has great advantages.

    And then, let them free! If Ferrari wants to build a 1.5l V12T, let them have it. There are different brands and each one has a different segment in which they sell cars. For example:
    Ferrari/Mercedes V8, V10 or V12
    Renault V6 or I4
    BMW: I6 or V8
    Ford/Cosworth: V8
    Subaru/Porsche: boxer 6 or 8 (low center of gravity)
    VAG: V12 (Lambo/Bugatti), V8 (Audi) V6 or I4 (VW).

    I loved those rules in the early nineties. You had 3,5l engine and you could make a V8, V10 or V12. Each brand has its own market segment, so they can actually use what they learn. What use does Ferrari have with a V6? They have no roadcars with such an engine. You can enlist more engine manufacturers if they can actually put the technology to good use.

    Another thing is, that BE can’t really sell the F1 as pinnacle of Autosport when a junior clas is running V8 engines (WSR) and he has stiff competition from V8 Supercars (Australia) and Nascar in other continents.

    Also, the LeMans series of cars have bigger engines.

    Other thing: Why doesn’t the F1 have one or three car teams? You see it in many other classes and F1 in the distant past. Teams such as HRT could focus on one car better than building two. They are cash-strapped as is.

    1. Rich C says:

      I suppose 1-car teams are legal now, not sure.
      But allowing 3-car teams, which 3-car MOnte was always banging on about, would be more expensive and to be in the fight for the manufacturers’ championship you’d automatically have to have 3 cars.

    2. KRB says:

      But on bhp F1 blows away any of those other series.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        The Peugeot 908 HDi was reported to have around 730bhp, just as much as modern F1. Though LMP no longer run power levels that high, this was only a couple of years ago.

      2. Baktru says:

        NASCAR engines also have more power than F1 engines.

  8. Paul says:

    I think ultimately the only way F1 can ensure it “is sustainable and has a long and bright future” is by ousting BE.

    He’s done an incredible amount for F1 over the years but I can’t escape the feeling that for the past decade or 2 he’s been nothing but a leech, bleeding the sport dry for his own gain. I’m tired of his games.

    1. Rich C says:

      You want to see games, let Luca run it.

  9. Spyros says:

    It used to be that technologies in F1 would eventually find their way in our cars. To some extent, anyway.

    That’s why double diffusers were ridiculous: there’s no way Mercedes or Renault will make a car with one of these in 10 years’ time. It was a performance enhancement that was complicated, difficult for the fans to understand and it made one team nigh-on invincible… so it was a bad thing, in every conceivable way.

    I think that introducing 1.6 litre V6 to make F1 ‘green’, doesn’t hold any water. At all. It’s like eating two steaks and a plate of pasta followed by a can diet Coke, to help maintain your figure.

    But I would quite like to see F1′s bright minds trying to do it. I don’t much care for electric cars, so the whole ‘make the pit-lane electric only’ seems utterly pointless to me but efficient, turbocharged engines DO work in everyday cars… and I don’t remember anyone complaining about the noise coming out of the 4-cylinder, 1.5 litre, 1000bhp (more in qualifying) 1988 engines.

    Car companies fall over each other to advertise how efficient their small and mid-size care engines are these days, so with such a formula, I don’t think there would be any danger of having just three engines for the whole grid.

    F1 is good for new technologies and advertizing. Or at least, it used to be. The ‘green’ label is ridiculous, but I’d much rather see teams battling to complete the race on just x litres of fuel, than see who has extracted the most amount of downforce from a gismo I will never get to use.

    1. Rich C says:

      The x-liters of fuel idea always sounds like a good idea.
      Until you see some ‘economy-run’ racing in other series like IndyCars, NASCAR, and so forth.

      Then everyone complains bitterly about it not being “racing”.

      1. Yeah, and Group C sports car racing was certainly boring to watch…

      2. jv says:

        The problems with Indy and NASCAR are certainly not the limits on fuel.

  10. ArJay says:

    ‘…Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years, he added…’

    Er,…in order to fine-tune the sound effects?
    How about digital synthesis, with the car’s noise determined by points standing in the championship:-
    Higher = louder, rasping
    Lower = softer, whirring
    Would provide immense incentive for the back-markers to improve.

    1. Rich C says:

      Speaking of fine-tuning the sound, I saw the promo video for the new Jag and I swear he said they had some tricky valve stuff *in the exhaust system just to do exactly that.

      1. toleman fan says:

        The current (F10?) BMW M5 plays fake (synthesised) exhaust noise to its occupants through the hi-fi speakers.

        Next time someone tries to tell you that electric cars are rubbish -because they don’t -sound- fast-, remember that.

        Personally, I found it impossible to care about the car once I knew that. Don’t hate it, wouldn’t mind one, but just…not bothered. I just can’t feel passionately about something so soulless.

      2. jv says:

        Let them rev them out to what ever they want and you won’t have to worry about the sound any more.

  11. Jey says:

    Well,if as reported in this website,Merc thought the last missing bit in the puzzle was the 1.6L TC engines in 2014,then it already shows signs of evaporating as hot gas with the kind of noise that Bernie is making
    :-)

  12. Cuba says:

    Reducing the carbon emissions elsewhere in F1 is missing the point. The reason for the more carbon friendly and innovative engines is to feed the technology back into real engine manufacturing where the potential benefits are global and enormous.

    1. Rich C says:

      I’ll bet this is the one area of F1 tech where they *do patent stuff.

    2. toleman fan says:

      Pity they cancelled the 4s for V6s then.

      Unless the V6s are somehow relevant to the straight-3s most of us are going to be driving soon.

      1. JCA says:

        The new bmw 3s are a 6 cut in halve, so yes.

  13. Pete_GH says:

    Indycar have been running similar spec V6 turbo engine’s this year & having attended 3 races (Indy 500, Mid-Ohio & Fontana) I thought the engine’s sounded great.

    Regarding the increased costs, Its always going to be the case that initial R&D will cost more, But overtime the running cost’s will decrease & by 2016 I can see engine costs been around what they are currently, If not a bit lower.

    I recall when the current V8 formula was introduced in 2006 many of the same arguments were been used to try & stop it, Especially the sound & cost argument.
    A few years down the line nobody was complaining about the sound & the cost of running the units had decreased so that also became less of an issue.

    1. Pete_GH says:

      Meant to add a link where you can hear the Indycar engine’s-
      http://youtu.be/NpCYfUZiyQ4?hd=1

      Something to remember is that the F1 units will have higher rev-limits than whats used in Indycar so the F1 V6 Turbos should sound louder at high revs.

  14. Cuba says:

    Cars stuck on eight year old engine designs is hardly the pinnacle of motorsport that F1 purports to be.

    Besides, what’ll be different in three more years? More money – doubt it? Cheaper engines – doubt it?
    We’ll just go through this again.

  15. Spencer Shand says:

    F1 develops future road car technology, I remember Prost driving a paddle shift, semi-auto gearbox in a Ferrari long before a road car ever dreamed of it. If the road needs smaller and more efficiecnt engines then F1 needs to develop it for them. Marussia and HRT calibre teams can fill the grid anytime. I would rather see BMW, Porsche, Toyota and the like using F1 as an R&D to push new technologies. F1 will go on and on forever cutting costs, but better to bring value for money. Making parts last longer, engines better and more durable is the best way to keep teams in, not cutting costs. Let’s not forget that cost-saving is not about some ideal, it is all about filling the grid in the end.

  16. Elie says:

    BE talk about engines Is just crap and isn’t it convenient that it just happens at the Ferrari factory where FIA chief Jean Todt was ex chief. I bet Mercedes will say “well just come down & listen to our state of the art engine which sounds even better than the current v8 , uses less petrol has more power & can run enough electricity to run the whole pit garage over a weekend wirelessly ”

    The whole point is the teams wanted this and debated it for many months before agreeing on it. I don’t believe for 1 minute it is purely the costs because everyone would have known it would have costed substantially more. It is very relevant for F1 to go down this path & the technologies invested in this area will only develop manufacturers road car technology further- this is Ferraris chance to join the 21 century rather than wait for its road car program to run its “natural course”. I don’t think the manufacturers should pass on the full costs as they will be benefitting long term on their road cars from the development- not to mention other racing programs. I can’t see Mercedes doing an about face after spending so much money, signing a Concorde agreement & new driver just because right now Ferraris engine doesn’t sound right !
    If all the teams agree to it and the sustainability of some teams is in jeopardy perhaps the FIA needs to step in and fund some of the costs to the smaller teams based on their share of the revenues compared to the larger teams.

  17. Greg says:

    Do you not think that the engine manufacturers should be using F1 as a brand more to fund the new engine program, I wonder how much Renualt made from the Williams deal with the Clio some 20 years ago? it couldn’t of been a flop as they did a 2nd.

  18. Andy says:

    I never had a problem with the old 1.5l turbo’s and I don’t see a problem switching to 1.6l with increased Kers in 2014.
    Of course they will be more expensive. If Graeme Lowden is so concerned about the cost, why doesn’t he suggest other alternative design restrictions.
    You could say for example, ban the use of wind tunnels from the first race of the season to the last, although that wouldn’t go down well.
    An interesting cost saving initiative could be to allocate prize money relative to your operating budget. So the FIA would stipulate a desired budget, operate above that and your prize money is reduced on a sliding scale. Operate below and it is increased.
    Although the likes of HRT and Marussi are generally derided for their performance, there must be an absolute chasm between their budget and what Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren etc operate on.
    Blaming the potential demise of some teams on the 2014 engine regs is a poor argument.

  19. Sam B says:

    Why not run on bio fuel – either with the current V8s or the new V6s?

    Running the V8s on bio ethanol etc for a few years as a ‘green’ stop gap could be a good compromise?

    I’m pretty sure the WRC has been running bio for a few years, the V8 Supercars in oz run bio and of course Indy Car have used it for a long time.

    James have the FIA said anything about bio fuels?

    1. Señor Sjon says:

      Burning food for fun (that is bio fuel in a nutshell) is becoming less and less sustainable as an argument.

      1. Michael Grievson says:

        You don’t have to burn food. McDonalds for example turn their old frying oil into fuel for their trucks.

        I do agree however growing crops for fuel is unacceptble as long as there are starving people in the world.

      2. toleman fan says:

        >turn their old frying oil into fuel

        Which is great, and worth doing. Otherwise that oil would be completely wasted. But it’s a micro solution to a macro problem.

        It’s not scalable.

  20. I think the new engines will be great if it ensures that we will see more manufactures stay in the sport

    I think both WRC and Moto GP have showed what happens when you do not ensure that this occurs

  21. myangsr says:

    Bio Fuel has reprecussions which affects food production especially in 3rd world countries, which is a whole other problem.

    As mentioned many times above, many things can be done logistically to reduce the environmental effects of the F1 circuit. More permanent team facilities at the track (this investment by the organisers may be a risk because of the unreliable nature of the calendar)so they don’t have to haul things like motor homes and corporate facilities all over the globe. There are heaps more that they can do to reduce the amount of air travel required to hold a event. Out of curiosity, how many 747′s does it take to get all the teams to the track?

    Now as for the engine…

    The sound of an engine is so powerful in conveying the sensation of speed to the audience at a race. Most people make the argument how the sound doesn’t matter but unless you’ve been and heard it in the flesh you will never appreciate how amazing it really is. I’ve been to every Australian GP since 1997 (and Singapore in 2010) and I have heard all the modern F1 engines in all their glory and nothing compared to the sound of the V12′s and V10′s. During the recent GP weekends, hearing the 2 seater go around before an F1 session made me really appreciate the V10′s more as the current V8′s only sound to be at half throttle in comparison.

    I have been to some historic racing events and have heard 1980′s F1 cars, and whilst they were loud, they sounded flat and pretty uninteresting (in my opinion). These engines from memory wren’s terribly reliable either (compared to the current generation) which would not fit in with the current engine allocation. Whilst my engineering isn’t overly strong, how would 2 less cylinders cope with roughly the same or greater torque (associated with a turbocharger – Im sure the conrods would take a beating) and HP – I think reliability may be sketchy when the V6′s come in.

    I am big fan of technological advancement, but maybe baby steps is required instead of completely uprooting the current infrastructure (costly and wasteful). There are so many little avenues they can explore with real road car technology to reduce the amount of polution these cars make. For example I have a friend that works for Porsche and he was explaining to me the amount of difference Direct Fuel Injection had made for mileage and power on the 911, not to mention the clever control systems to constantly save fuel (a 911 is apparently more efficient than a Toyota Camry).

    ERS has great potential too, Instead of making it a push-to-pass type system, It could be used to increase the torque when the engine is at its highest load to reduce the amount of fuel required during acceleration – They could specify a standard electric motor (with a max HP/Torque rating) to be adopted to all cars and have it run constantly, the only limit to it would be how much the teams are willing to sacrifice the weight balance for more batteries.

    Whilst this is only a couple of ideas, I’m sure small technological advancements like this could be gradually added over time to the current generation engine, which would spread the cost and burden creating a completely new engine package, fuel system etc whilst making it instantly reliable. I say hold off the engines for a few years at least, refine some technology on the current generation engines and then consider the swap.

    Steve

    1. myangsr says:

      On another note, since when were turbocharged cars considered fuel efficient. I’ve had 3 performance turbo cars and they were all shocking. My Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (4cyl Turbo)consumes almost as much fuel as a 6L V8 Holden!

    2. JCA says:

      So because the engines 30 years ago were unreliable, they will still be now?

    3. DC says:

      Steve, the only catch here is that F1 has traditionally been a feeder of technology to car industry and not vice versa. Today’s F1, has absolutely no relation to road cars with the exception of having four wheels. Today’s F1 cars are in some aspects technically way behind VW Golf Mk7 for example. Is this right approach? If it is, and we can say that from financial reasons it is, than we can go back to carburetor engines, which I believe are still used in NASCAR. Or do we say that F1 must be a technology leader, which also means producing tech advanced engines, and if so, than the direction being taken is the correct one. Montezemolo’s biggest problem with V6 engines is that they do not relate to what Ferrari is selling for road, not because of costs or any other reasons for that matter. Obviously the new engines suit Mercedes marketing much better and let’s not forget were a reason for Renault remaining in F1 a few years back.

  22. David Young says:

    I’m looking f.orward to the new engine formula. One of the appeals to me about Formula1 is it’s cutting edge technology and for me this means abandoning engines from the last century. I’m sure threre’s people who didn’t like it when jets were introduced in aviation. No more propellers and that awful whooshing sound.

    1. Rich C says:

      —- Warning warning — Off topic “propeller” post –
      LOL
      I have to relate this story about my 3 yr old daughter’s 1st encounter with a prop plane.
      We were on a turboprop going somewhere
      After a while..
      Her: What are those things on the wings?
      Me: the engines
      Her: Oh. What are those things going around?
      Me: Propellers.
      Her: Oh. What do they do?
      Me: They make the plane go.
      Her: Oh. What if they stop?

  23. CanadaGP says:

    I doubt that engine technology from F1 has ever helped road car engine development. It’s a myth that race fans seem to readily swallow without doubt.
    Look at all the car manufacturers that have ever competed in F1 and I don’t think they have any road car engines that are technologically superior to their non-F1 road car competitors.
    Road car engines are going to be developed whether or not there’s F1.
    At this point, F1 is more entertainment than having anything relevant to road going automobiles.

    1. DC says:

      Are you kidding? Heard of variable valve technology for example? Pretty much standard today on any road car, first appeared as Honda VTEC on their F1 engines in late 80s.

  24. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    This is a rouge by Bernie knowing full well how much money has been spent by Mercedes on their new engines. He appears to be using the threat of changing the engine rules to get some leverage elsewhere.

  25. Nick says:

    Isn’t it great how businesses have subtly corrupted the word “sustainability”. Ten years or so ago it was a green measure about a company’s impact on the environment, in terms of how it used resources and managed pollution etc. Now companies use it to talk about their own sustainability – i.e. whether a particular strategy will allow them to continue as a business. Still sounds good, because they’re using the word sustainability, but really it’s no different from talking about profitability.

    Anyway, I’m sure some of the smaller teams might pull out because of the engine change. But that’s what happens with major changes like this. The sport will survive, and teams will still make commercial decisions on whether they want to participate or not.

    1. Rich C says:

      EVERYbody uses or mis-uses that word now.
      Its just another buzz-word and when I see it in an article or advert I just turn off and go somewhere else. Its all BS.

      With any luck it’ll soon go the way of “paradigm shift”.

  26. aveli says:

    The idea that carbon dioxide emmitions causes global warming is false, as false as the millenium bug was but unfortunately, the world has already been convinced that that is the case so it’s perfectly sensible for F1 to improve it’s global image by appearing to care so much about the environment. not only that but the V6 engines would make the sport or business more efficience in the long term.
    Eccleston may only have said that to generate more interest in the future of F1. After all history shows that he seems to always know what’s best for the sport.

    1. JCA says:

      The world is running out of oil, anything that puts off a war over oil is good.

      1. aveli says:

        the world is finding new deposits of fuel every month.

  27. timW says:

    could the FIA allow the customer teams to use a restricted V8? Torro Rosso continued to use a V10 for a season when the current engine regs were introduced. I seem to remember similsr grumblings about teams going to the wall etc then!

  28. Richard D says:

    It was always wrong to impose the cost of a radical new engine on the teams against a general background of cost cutting. To pull it now after so much has been spent on its development would write of that cost. I wouldn’t want to see the grid reduced due to the new engine and its affordability for the lesser teams, so I think it would be right to pull it. And if it’s OK to waste money on new spec engines, stop messing around with other supposed cost savings and bring back in season testing!

  29. Nick says:

    Does no one remember that the Turbo Engines used in the 80′s were 1.5L V6 engines? They sounded good to me, so the noise won’t be a problem IMO

  30. aveli says:

    jca, the last time i looked at the opec register, the list has continuesly increased. more than 20 oil discoveries are made every year, so how does that translate to ‘oil is running out in the world?’

    1. Mike84 says:

      It will eventually run out, but so will the sun.

    2. Rich C says:

      Its just logic that we are running out of dead dinosaurs.

    3. toleman fan says:

      The average size of discovery has been declining and the average unit cost of extraction has been rising. Significantly, in each case.

      Hence the real increases in oil prices, in spite of the depressed global economy.

  31. Magic says:

    I don’t get the noise argument. Is everyone conveniently forgetting the 1980s existed.

    Excepting the extra 100cc and the rediculous KERS rubbish it’s essentially the same setup as Renault, Honda, Ferrari and Cosworth ran. They sounded just fine to me.

  32. Mike84 says:

    200 Euros is indeed madness. Quick question, how many watts and liters of fuel were consumed in the process? and how many seasons will it take the new engines to make up for that?

    The guy saying “fans don’t care” about # of cylinders, I think he’s wrong. Even kids will be asking. Any muscle car must have at least a V-8, otherwise it’s perceived as a joke, not the pinnacle of motorsport.

    1. Mike84 says:

      uh, small correction, I meant 200 MILLION Euros above.

  33. Rich C says:

    Here is a link to the proposed replacement engine:

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/10/02/world-smallest-supercharged-v8-enters-production/?intcmp=obnetwork

    Ought to be plenty “green” but I’m not too sure it’ll be stiff enough to act as a structural member!

  34. TitanRacer says:

    I just do not get the whole “green thing” PR spin. racin’ is what it is. so is Futball and the NFL and even Golf.
    making the World a better place because of the trickle-down technology never held water, and never will. how many air bags are there in an F1 car?? how much high-tensile steel is there in an F1 chassis?? likewise, just how much carbon fiber is in the chassis of ur family car?? u prolly all get it.
    I totally agree with Lowden on this issue. stupid is as stupid does. “Thanx” FIA…

  35. Landon says:

    It’s not the idea of V6s that bothers me, I’m fine with a V6, Turbo or not. The thing that bothers me is the slicing of the Rev Limit down to something that some road cars are close to.

    If they go V6 turbo, they should let the rev cap be increased back up to 21 000.

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