Bernie: 'V6 engines big gamble'

2013-05-24 08:36

MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Formula 1 has taken a big gamble with its radically different 2014 engines and manufacturers who get it wrong will pay a heavy price, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned.

The 82-year-old billionaire has been a consistent opponent of the new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 is due to replace the current 2.4-litre V8 unit in the biggest rules revamp in decades.


Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have each committed huge sums to developing the engines, with energy recovery systems and greater fuel efficiency, which will also cost the teams considerably more than at present.

Ecclestone told Reuters ahead of the Monaco GP: "The danger is if one of those three get it wrong it's going to cost a fortune to catch up. And as they are catching up the other people will be going forward. At the moment, everything's fine. There's very little anyone can do now.

"The danger is all three think they've got the right engine. When reality sets in, then it will be too late."

Ecclestone will meet Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn at the 2013 season's showcase race this weekend (May 26) and the cost of the engines is likely to be discussed. Renault currently supplies four teams, including champion Red Bull, but could have five customers for its engines for the 2014 season if Toro Rosso switches from Ferrari.

Mercedes and Ferrari power three teams at present while the remaining team, Marussia, have engines provided by Cosworth which is expected to depart at the end of the 2013.

Honda will return in 2015 to power McLaren.


Ecclestone has voiced concern that the different sound of the new engines will alienate fans. He believes the extra expense being imposed on team is unnecessary.

"Some costs are costs. Nothing you can do about it. But this is unnecessary cost because what we had was perfect," he said. "What's going on now, everybody's happy - happy with the F1 noise, happy with the costs, happy with everything.

"They (the manufacturers) could produce these (current) engines and still make a profit at 25% less than they are going to charge for these other engines," said Ecclestone.

The cost of the 2014 engines has produced increasingly loud rumblings from teams fearful of a return to the days when an engine supply could cost in excess of the equivalent of R286-million a year compared to about R97-million in 2013.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner said: "It's a massive change, probably the biggest change F1's seen for the last 25 years, I would have thought."

"It's hellishly expensive, especially with trying to develop a car through 2013 and design and produce a car for next year with the changes that have been introduced, the timing of which probably isn't ideal for some of the teams further down the grid."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.


  • HJS - 2013-05-25 09:36

    Please refresh my memory, was it not the self same Bernie that started the goofy idea of the rule change on engines?

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