Bernie Ecclestone wants V8s and less engineer influence for 2016 Formula One season
Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone has expressed a desire for the world-renowned championship to shift back to V8 engines for the 2016 season — even if it goes against the wishes of the teams, and the contract they signed for engine regulations to be secure until the year 2020.
“I don’t think we should get consent from the teams. I think we should just do it and say to them, ‘If you don’t like it you can go to arbitration’. We could get the V8s back next year. People can build them in no time so we ought to do it,” Ecclestone recently told The Independent.
Formula One fans worldwide widely panned the category’s adoption of turbocharged-V6 engines for the 2014 season, due to the supposed loss of noise and theatre traditionally associated with the historically loud and brash engine platforms the series has utilized in the past.
While a move to V8s would undoubtedly be popular among racing fans, such a move would render the massive financial investments teams have injected into the current engines redundant.
A new engine format for 2016 could form a positive for certain teams, including Red Bull and Torro Rosso, who to date are without an engine supplier for 2016 following ongoing issues with current supplier Renault, and after the international diesel scandal recently hobbled their rumoured back-up options at Volkswagen and Audi.
The shuffling of engine suppliers may also help wrestle the balance of power away from Mercedes and Ferrari, who supply the majority of the Formula 1 grid with engines with the exceptions of McLaren, Red Bull, and Torro Rosso.
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It is the second time Ecclestone has appeared critical of the series’ direction in recent days, with the Formula One supremo recently telling the German ZDF television network that the series has become an “engineers’ championship.”
“It is an engineers' championship more or less. I am not saying Lewis [Hamilton] is not a super driver, but he is given a hell of a lot of help. I would like to see him in a GP2 car with the GP2 drivers ... I am not saying he would not win, but it would be interesting,” he said.
“When people say to me who do I think was the best driver, the name I come up with, and most people don't agree with me, I say Alain Prost. [He] had to look after his brakes, gearbox, everything — and he did a good job. So he finished more races and finished in a better position, whereas today they don't have that.
“They sit there on the starting grid and there is an engineer who starts the race, it is just not on. It should be when the lights go off they are on their own. They don't need somebody telling them your [team-mate] is using that through this corner. It is just not on.
Round 17 of the 19-round 2015 Formula One championship takes place this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.