Mat Coch writes:
There is growing debate surrounding the 2014 engine regulations after Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone suggested the rules need to change. The introduction of electric motors has split opinion, with Mercedes boss Ross Brawn not sharing Ecclestone's apprehension, instead believing it is the way forward for the sport.
Coupled with a more powerful KERS system, the electric motor is a cornerstone of the FIA's 'green' initiative for Formula One come 2014. The intention is to promote a more environmentally aware and relevant sport, though many pundits have suggested it's little more than window dressing. "It is true that if you look at the whole carbon footprint of Formula One the actual cars themselves are a relatively small part, but they're the part that can send a really strong message," Brawn contends.
"I saw some stuff lately that the sales of electric cars have declined because people have kind of got used to them," he continued. "The importance of people wanting to have cleaner cars and so on perhaps faded a bit. These sorts of initiatives can re-energise them, if you'll excuse the pun."
Much of the current anxiety has surrounded the noise, or rather the lack of it, produced by the cars while in the pit lane. Powered by electric motors some paddock insiders have concerns over safety while others feel it will hurt the 'show' and drive away the paying public.
Brawn however is more optimistic and believes a solution could be easily found to solve the unrest. "That's an issue even with road cars. Electric road cars make a lot of noise, they're creating false noise to make noise for people to know that the cars there, and we could do that," he argued. "I think it's very easy for us to make noise. When I was a kid we used to have a lollipop stick on the bicycles."