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Ecclestone calls for return to V8s

NEWS STORY
16/04/2015

Bernie Ecclestone claims that a return to a V8 formula would bring back the fans and the sponsors.

Just four races into the new season, and twenty-three into the new (for 2014) formula, Bernie Ecclestone remains unhappy with the new, greener F1.

Whilst it might be what the engine manufacturers want it has not proved popular with the fans and though the debate over the sport's new sound might have gone quiet, the fact that the new formula has only seen Mercedes get it entirely right has led to many races becoming a two-horse race.

Ecclestone has never been a fan of the new rules, having stalled the introduction of the new formula for as long as he could. Whilst he initially complained that the sound of the power units was the biggest blow to the sport he now claims that Mercedes domination coupled with the high costs of the units, which has pushed more teams to the brink of bankruptcy, is damaging the sport, having turned off the fans and thereby sponsors.

However, his latest suggestion is the most radical of them all and will not go down well with the manufacturers, he wants F1 to return to V8 engines.

"We need to go back to engines whose costs are more reasonable, and we need to intervene with maximum urgency," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Going back to a Formula One with naturally aspirated engines and KERS, while setting precise constraints, would drastically reduce costs," he continued, "and would be convenient for those already in F1 and for those would like to enter it.

"We'd just need to take the old V8 engines and modify them by increasing displacement to bring power output near 1000bhp," he added. "People would return, the show would return, sponsors would return.

"F1 isn't just about technology, but enjoyment too," he insisted. "We need to think about who buys a ticket, goes in the grandstands and wants to see a great sporting spectacle. It's money doing the rounds; the public pays for tickets, the organisers cash in and pay us, who then forward the money to the teams together with TV rights. But if TV audiences shrink and the public at GPs do too, then it becomes a problem."

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1. Posted by F1 Yank, 04/05/2015 22:01

"Not sure of this one. Why would they approve the V6 hybrid in the first place if they were aware of the R&D costs? The transition back to V8s would cost a bundle as well if they were to modify the configuration to get 1k bhp out of them. They should simplify the chassis/engine/transmission design which would lower costs. I remember the inline four cylinder turbo configuration at 1k bhp in the 80s. Those were awesome!! The name says everything. "Formula One" = Designing potential performance and then squeezing it out of every part on the car. Before it was Red Bull Renault winning every race, before that it was Ferrari. Now it is Mercedes. I don't see much of a difference from ten years ago. "

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2. Posted by Tweek, 17/04/2015 9:00

"I am sick of watching "managed racing". The W.E.C. race at Silverstone displayed fantastic all out running from lights to checkers. Formula one hasent provided that kind of show in more than a generation.
It's boring watching passing at only 1 or 2 corners on a race track. It shouldn't require a P.H.D. or law degree to comprehend the regulations. The technology showcased by the cars needs to be understandable by the fans watching. And if this is the premier Motorsport on the planet why does the technology stop at the cars? I wanna watch the race from over my favorite driver's shoulder, I want telemetry and that cool thermal tire shot made available in the app....in real time...at every race.... For myself and every other rabid fan worldwide!
I don't care how much fuel the cars use. Whatever happened to the gas pump in the pits?I don't care how many tires get used in a weekend. Every time a driver gripes about tire management in race my soul dies a little bit. I don't care how many engines/ transmissions, batteries/ turbos/ any and everything else each team gets. Does anyone else remember qualifying grenade engines?
I don't mind K.E.R.S. I don't mind a "push to pass button". I don't have any problems with D.R.S. I like the idea of an over boost feature, it makes driving my car a lot more fun! I don't care weather the car is v6, v8, v10, turbocharged, supercharged, naturally aspirated, hybrid, or if it runs on diced whale..... In fact these very differences are what makes sports car racing so interesting...... Or am I just ranting?"

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3. Posted by Darvi, 17/04/2015 6:59

"I never saw the need to change to V6 Turbos...... but equally, change is expensive and favours the larger teams so, while reducing the cost of engines would be good, the cost of changing to V8s would need to be considered.

There is a more fundamental problem though which is that I'm not losing interest with F1 because of the engines and the racing is actually better than when Red Bull were dominating everything - the issue is the politics, marketing and the lack of development of the race coverage. MOTOGP has made a great job of introducing new graphics and other tools to make the coverage more interesting. F1 hasn't, its the same stuff as we've had for the last 10 years. Also, the increase in subscription viewing has reduced audiences.

So, going back to V8s will not solve all the issues, but it will take pressure off Bernie for a while and, when it isn't adopted, give him an excuse for falling support."

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4. Posted by SideGlance, 17/04/2015 5:17

"I like it, but then NEVER wanted the current engine solution, but why not any # of cylinders for some specific CC size, stop stifling the engineers - aero is hard to see, engine sound is hard NOT to hear - if NOT muffled by a TURBO.

Turbos great for street cars, but why the need for a racing series - its NOTHING but entertainment, 'any' tech advancement can be had from cheaper development than F1 !!!!!!!

Funny, my street car has no fuel/min/hr limit (except for tank size), nor # of engines/trans/diffs I can insert into car (my wallet does the limiting!!), etc, so why F1 ?

Yes current engines are non-trivial, VERY hard to work on (SILLY!!!) a great engineering challenge - better entertainment - NOT AT ALL FOR ME !!! Hate the sound, hate the non competitiveness, actually usually just fast-forward through the races this season, sadly, not much interesting to 'look at or hear' !!

Like Aesop's fable of Man, son & donkey - I am sure you have diff opinions !!! ;)"

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5. Posted by Paul C, 17/04/2015 0:42

"WOW! Bernie made sense here. An NA V8 with KERS makes more economic sense than the current hybrids. Isn't one silent series like Formula E enough?"

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6. Posted by Red Baron, 17/04/2015 0:27

"I believe that Bernie is 100% right in this instance. "

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7. Posted by vins0n, 17/04/2015 0:23

"If you get the chance point him to Max Noble's article."

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