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Ecclestone to stick with V6s... if the price is right

NEWS STORY
20/04/2015

Bernie Ecclestone and the manufacturers appear to be finding some common ground, providing the price is right.

Never happy with the new hybrid formula, having initially delayed its introduction, ever since it did finally appear, Ecclestone has been its fiercest critic.

His call that the formula be scrapped and the sport return to V8s was never going to happen as it would drive some manufacturers out and prevent others from entering.

Meeting in Bahrain ahead of yesterday's race, representatives of the engine manufacturers agreed to stick with the V6 units introduced only last year but make changes that would spice up the sport.

"If it's going to be the current engine, upgraded to 1,000hp, good," said Ecclestone following the meeting. "But they need to supply them at a price that the teams can afford to pay.

"We also need to make the cars more difficult to drive," he added.

Mercedes, which, as a result of its stance on refusing to revert to an older formula, has been accused of "killing" the sport by Ecclestone, has already said that it would walk away from F1 were the sport to move backwards. Honda says its entire reason for returning to F1 was the new hybrid formula, whilst Renault, previously a staunch supporter of the new formula, is now thought to be looking for a quick exit.

"The discussion about a 1,000hp engine has been around quite a while and I appreciate very well that it needs to be a spectacular formula and if that's the way forward then we should continue to work on it," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. "There are various groups coming together in terms of how the 2017 rules can look and in terms of power unit and the chassis side.

"Yesterday there was a very valuable meeting, Charlie (Whiting) was there and Bernie was there. Concepts are being put in place to make it a spectacular new formula in 2017."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 24/04/2015 20:19

"Teams will spend as much money as they can regardless if that is on engine, aero, materials, or whatever. When limits are set on engine testing and use, they spend it on something else... Usually aero which costs even more than engines."

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2. Posted by raven49, 23/04/2015 21:36

"While the current circumstance which makes it extraordinarily difficult to develop power units to lessen the Mercedes advantage, the talk of 1000 hp engines hasn't been very specific. If this means each engine may be "limited" to 1000 hp (the recent stupid moves by F1 don't leave a person feeling well), then there is no need for more than one engine manufacturer. If we're talking about a range of 1000 hp and the engine manufacturers will still compete, then things could liven up. But the current restrictions on development and future freeze will still leave someone with a permanent deficit and no reason to continue in the sport. In the recent past, their was an opportunity to move forward with design and development. Expensive, sure, but a loser (Renault for example) will find themselves and associated teams losing sponsors and prize money.
Nice going Bernie, teams et al."

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3. Posted by petes, 23/04/2015 6:22

"Hey Joop, save me having to search it myself......does any of the shifting around that Formula E does involve similar transportation by French Fry power?

I have the answer already so it's a loaded question and highlights an even greater farce.
Yet the oohhs and the ahhhs of the fans get more volume each race. Go figure....."

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4. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 21/04/2015 17:14

"Ecclestone lecturing the engine manufacturers that "they need to supply them at a price that the teams can afford to pay".
Tell that to the French, German and Italian circuit owners/organisers - and doubtless soon Silverstone - regarding the ludicrous sanction fees that he charges them: to the fans who have to pay the gate prices to attend or the Sky charges to watch.
What a hypocrite."

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5. Posted by scf1fan, 21/04/2015 13:44

"@Hondawho - In most businesses, there is, at any given moment, a succession plan; even if that's just the knowledge that the company's board of directors can step in and appoint the successor. In a well run company, that information is well known in order to minimize the turbulence during any transition, planned or otherwise. Although BE might have a plan, written or just in his mind (of which I'm certainly unaware) he is doing the sport no favors by handling things the way he's doing. Not that I would personally wish him ill, but at his age, he could be gone tomorrow. F1 needs to be able to deal with that smoothly!! Even though BE has done a lot of good for the sport, at the moment, it seems as if he's more interested in his own cult of personality."

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6. Posted by Hondawho?, 21/04/2015 8:13

"I have just watched the interview with BE by Eddie Jordan. By listening and watching him (BE) his tone of voice and the body language, my feeling, and its ONLY MY feeling is that he has had enough!

Some of you may jump for joy when he does go, but if he does and I think its a case of when not if, we will see a different F1 thats for sure; whether it will for the better, well that is another matter."

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7. Posted by scf1fan, 21/04/2015 5:12

"And what would be the "right price" for Marussia? Or Caterham? No matter how anyone wants to slice it, MB, Ferrari, RB and McLaren will pretty much be able to afford any engine package no matter what the cost. (For today anyway.) Some of the mid field teams would certainly benefit from lower engine costs, but that would only allow them to spend more on the various aerodynamic devices sprouting from the car. (And they will still spend as much as they can to try to close the gap to the front runners!!)

The problem (still) isn't that there isn't enough money in F1, it's the distribution of it! In the US (and other places) they talk about the income differential between the "have's" and the "have not's" . . . F1 has this same problem, except that in the real world, the have not's can't quit; in F1 they can, and DO! (Then the hands begin to wring and fingers begin to point . . . )"

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8. Posted by Jonno, 20/04/2015 19:16

"The F1 Strategy Group has effective neutered Bernie. Pity it has taken so long. Bernie can huff and puff as much as he likes, the teams are pulling the strings on the technical side of F1 and he can't do a thing about it. That just leaves getting CVC out and perhaps F1 can look to a better, long term future."

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9. Posted by Joop deBruin, 20/04/2015 18:36

"Green F1 racing: 747 cargo jets burning French Fry grease... It's nothing more than a show for Prius driving old ladies."

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10. Posted by Spartacus, 20/04/2015 17:38

"The turbo V-6 is the preferred package to work with. Along with reliability and development improvements, it's the hybrid technology that is creating the enormous costs . Honda is struggling quite a bit to get their package working. I would leave this one alone and let it sort out for five years. Knee jerk reactions is what it looks like to me."

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11. Posted by givememychoice, 20/04/2015 14:32

"Its quite easy. There are complaints that F1 costs too much to get into. Then there are complaints from the rich manufacturers that its not worth spending lots of money unless it is relevant to road cars.
F1 is not road car technology.
Give an engine capacity. It has to be naturally aspirated. Now, you can choose how many cylinders etc. So, some manufacturers say "its not relevant" and leave the sport, the costs come down, so other people say "well actually a) this is now more value for money and b) there is room for our engineers to engineer"."

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12. Posted by Darvi, 20/04/2015 13:44

"What have the regulations got to do with Bernie? His job is to exploit the commercial rights that FOM has been granted - and, ideally, without all the other players (teams, circuits) going bankrupt. He should focus on improving the show, i.e. the lamentable televised coverage which has now fallen well behind where it should be for a "prestige" sport. MOTOGP and Football are both doing much better jobs than F1 which has stagnated.

Meanwhile, the FIA needs to get its act together and become much more active otherwise F1 will continue its slide to a third world sport - to use one of Bernie's favourite expressions. Is Jean Todt even still involved? It would be good to see him becoming much more dynamic and vocal."

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13. Posted by Hondawho?, 20/04/2015 12:49

"Having that sort of power and cars & tyres being so good it should certainly be fast , so you can see the reason for specially designed tracks and NOT the older ones we all love. Shame but I guess thats progress?

You wait, 2017 will arrive and the cry will be "these cars are too fast to drive for humans" and the result ? Radio control with drivers, driving the cars in simulators from the pits :-) or even hovering in a drone LOL "

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14. Posted by CL, 20/04/2015 12:48

"Ecclestone to stick with V6's if there's no other option..."

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15. Posted by Spindoctor, 20/04/2015 12:48

"It's very hard to express one's contempt for the little man without falling foul of the site's posting policies!

Having snuffled and snarled about this, to the extent he kept talking-down his own series his bluff appears to have been well & truly called. Notwithstanding how "pleased" he'd be to see Audi\VAG in F1 (snowball in Bahrain's chance!) the manufacturers who are there have obviously put their collective feet down and cried "NO MORE!"

Perhaps he'll now focus on doing his job rather than making asinine suggestions in a loud voice from the wings.... (but then again there's that metaphorical snowball)"

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