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Ecclestone calls for electric F1

NEWS STORY
25/02/2018

A year out of the limelight has clearly done nothing to diminish Bernie Ecclestone's ability to stir things up.

The sage of smoke and mirrors, the duke of divide and conquer is at it again, and much like Toto Wolff opined last year, has managed to lob a grenade into the F1 paddock just as pre-season testing gets underway.

Speaking to reporters in London - or holding court as it was known in days gone by - the sport's former supremo suggested that F1 should go electric.

"We still own the name Formula One, we still have contracts with promoters, let's make different types of cars, let's speak to the manufacturers and start a new all-electric F1, a Formula One for the future," said the man who fought tooth and nail against the introduction of the Hybrid formula.

Ecclestone's comment comes at a time manufacturers are forsaking other series for Formula E, the all-electric series which, though it has yet to convince the fans, appears to be the blueprint for the long-term future of motorsport.

However, rather than moving to Formula E, Ecclestone believes that Formula One should itself be considering an all-electric future. Furthermore, suggesting he has learned the lessons of the past, as Liberty Media faces not only its full season in control of the sport but also a fierce battle with the teams and manufacturers over the engine rules and prize money from 2020, the Briton suggests an entirely new commercial model for the sport moving forward.

"Can't we do this?," he ponders. "The manufacturers provide the cars themselves but we aren't going to pay them because they get massive worldwide publicity," he suggested.

"It would be a super Formula E, if you like," he added. "You can make cars be like an F1 car and the only thing you would miss would be the noise and I do not believe that people could not come up with something to make more or less the old F1 noise.

"They would need to have the balls to do it today," he said of Liberty. "I think they will have to do it."

Of course, should Liberty opt to follow his advice and go all-electric, it would never occur to Bernie to start his own series featuring gas-guzzling, noisy V8s or V10s.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Red Baron, 02/03/2018 23:00

"I believe that most hardcore F1 fans are petrol heads who are hardwired to get excited over the roar of an internal combustion engine. It's in our DNA to get goosebumps when we hear a Spitfire fly-over even though we were born years after the war, so electric is never going to cut it, nor will any fake sound.

I released an interactive engine sound App a few years ago called RevHeadz, which has core audience demographic of 10-20 year old's, and the most popular engine sound pack is called “V8 Thunder” ...averaging 10,000 installs per day I've never had a single request for an electric engine sound and I can't imagine that I ever will, nuff said!"

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2. Posted by Toffeecup0, 27/02/2018 17:25

"Thought we had seen the last of him e t go home he was nearly always making wrong decisions when he was in f1."

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 26/02/2018 3:22

"Bernie still seems mildly pissed off about something."

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4. Posted by ZJAY, 26/02/2018 1:59

"@Stitch431
Shhhhh we can't say "Electrical cars have big batteries, and when these are finished it is still a huge amount of toxic waste ..." or that they are charged using electricity generated from fossil fuel...

Did you know there is a direct electrical supply to charge the batteries from the wind farm? Didn't you know the batteries are 100% percent degradable in 1 million years? "

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5. Posted by Stitch431, 25/02/2018 23:37

"Well if you want the newest technology then don't go electric. Hydrozine is the stuff that is CO2 neutral and there are already buses running on it. If the car manufacturers would help develop this technology further, That would be something that would really help the environment. Electrical cars have big batteries, and when these are finished it is still a huge amount of toxic waste ..."

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6. Posted by mzso, 25/02/2018 19:57

"@Uffen
There are many brand new battery tech under development, also so far undeveloped SiC, GaN power electronics.
As for electric motors. High performance and low weight motors are a rather new thing with much left unexplored and untried.
The most significant "development" to ICE's in the near past was adding an electric motor to increase efficiency..."

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7. Posted by F One, 25/02/2018 19:11

"No one cares what Bernie thinks."

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8. Posted by Ro, 25/02/2018 17:47

"Oh please! Formula E is a joke....F1 is getting there. MOTOGP for me from now on. WHY? Cos the FIA havnt got anything to do with it."

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9. Posted by Uffen, 25/02/2018 17:38

"mzmo, ICEs are ancient tech but batteries, electric motors, regenerative braking, etc. are not? I don't know where you've been but both sides of these technologies are "ancient" on one hand, and capable of improvement on the other.
I don't recall when F1 was much of a test bed for modern technology. Teams have used tried and true technology for ever (sure, maybe some was first use in a car, but that's not the same) because they want reliable, understood technology so they can finish races, and hopefully win. "

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10. Posted by Young Slinger, 25/02/2018 15:33

"It is bad enough as it is without being electric!"

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11. Posted by mzso, 25/02/2018 11:38

"Not an original idea, but when Ross Brawn said it, it gained little attention.

Despite making noise, which is stupid, I wholeheartedly agree. Formula 1 used to be a testebed for modern technology, but for a long while now it's just over-controlled ancient tech. The worst being the clunky obsolescent internal combustion engine.
Going electric would open huge new area of tech to improve and experiment with to get the best performance. The many kinds of electric motors, batteries, power electronics, regenerative braking, maybe recuperative active suspension.

Batteries are unsuitable for F1, and hydrogen tanks would probably be way to bulky and dangerous with their extreme pressures. But I'm sure solid-oxide fuel cells could be made to work well at F1 level power requirements (750kW or more). The fuel could be bio-fuel. (Ideally bio-butane, if possible)"

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