New engines a ‘disgrace’ – Walker


Ron Walker, the promoter of the Australian Grand Prix, claims that several of the current venues on the Formula One calendar will walk away from the sport due to the quiet new engines.

The 1.6-litre V6 turbo era started in Australia last week and although the new power units produce a number of different sounds to their predecessors, they are much quieter than the shrill-sounding V8s of 2013.

Walker, however, is of the opinion that the sounds the V6s produce “is a disgrace” that will lead to mass withdrawals from the sport.

“The sound is a disgrace,” Walker, who doubles as the chairman of the Formula One Promoters’ Association, told The Independent.

“When the car comes down the straight you can’t even hear it. Now you have got every promoter worried that it’s going to turn fans away. You will find promoters dropping out. They will go and get an IndyCar race or something like that to keep the fans.

“We can’t just sit back and wait. There’s a strong wind blowing here. Legal action would not be very difficult. Bernie [Ecclestone] is clearly in breach of his contract because this is not what we bought. I didn’t buy a wimp. Originally, I bought a giant with noise. Bernie even suggested in a meeting a few years ago in Geneva the promoter would have the right to sue him.

“There will be a meeting of all of the promoters and you will find that an enormous voice will come out of that… to say ‘Bernie enough is enough. This is not what we bought.'”

Amidst threats of withdrawing the Australian Grand Prix from the calendar, Walker added that he doesn’t blame F1 supremo Ecclestone for the debacle. Instead, he believes FIA President Jean Todt is culpable for ruining “the sport that Bernie built”.

“We haven’t signed a new contract with Bernie, so this is going to put a lot of pressure on the FIA,” Walker continued.

“It doesn’t have the right to destroy this sport. It will ruin the sport that Bernie built over this. Out of any single problem, this is the one that will kill the golden goose. It is hard enough to sell tickets now but this is arrogance at the worst from Jean Todt.”