Ecclestone’s call to ‘get rid of bloody silly engines’

Mark Scott
Bernie Ecclestone would have buried Formula E.

Bernie Ecclestone would have buried Formula E.

Ex-Formula 1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, has called on Liberty Media and the FIA to “get rid of these bloody silly engines” – also known as 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrids.

Formula 1 has used this engine specification since 2014 and look set to continue to do so until at least 2024 or 2025, depending on what compromises teams can make in their continued discussion over an engine freeze in the wake of Honda’s upcoming exit at the end of the 2021 season.

The sport has been hit by two strong waves of nostalgia over the course of the 2020 season as Mick Schumacher blasted his father’s V10-powered Ferrari F2004 at Mugello and Fernando Alonso blew the cobwebs off his title-winning Renault R245, also powered by a V10 in Abu Dhabi.

Drivers, team members and fans alike all fell in love with the screaming sound again and it led to the inevitable lament of how the current generation of Formula 1 engines do not provide that same level of excitement.

The ex-boss is firmly in that camp, with V8 engines also held in high regard.

“I’ll be in trouble for this, but let’s dig out all the old normally aspirated engines,” Ecclestone told Motorsport Magazine.

“Everybody’s got them, the costs go right down, the noise will be back, and we can use them for five years while we sort out an engine for the future.

“Formula 1 doesn’t have to be relevant to the car industry.

“People forget, Formula 1 is in the entertainment business and when you stop entertaining you haven’t got a business.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes [in the world].

“Everyone will have electric cars, the politicians will see to that, you won’t be able to take a petrol car into a city.

“People will say, ‘Hang about, all these F1 cars charging round – why aren’t they electric?’ and the manufacturers are going to stop making petrol or diesel cars within a few years.”

While some do disagree, Ecclestone still believes that noise is everything, especially to the fans watching on from the stands.

He continued: “Honda is going. Red Bull will take the engine but that will only work if the others agree to freeze, otherwise they’ll just go on spending God knows what to stay ahead. Let’s get rid of these bloody silly engines they have now.

“The people in the grandstands aren’t interested in how super-efficient they are, how much fuel they use, how powerful they are. Max [Mosley] said the noise doesn’t matter but I think it does, always have done.”

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