Ecclestone: The whole thing with the new F1 engines is totally absurd

Bernie Ecclestone not happy

Bernie Ecclestone not happy

Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, a long time opponent of F1 returning to turbo power, has blasted the sport’s brave new era, saying that the Jerez test this week “proves” that the radical 2014 rules have produced a total farce.

Ecclestone told Sportsmail, “The whole thing with the new engines is totally absurd. People want noise – something special, that’s what F1 is all about – and now we have quiet engines and nobody on the track.”

Ecclestone, who railed against the introduction of the complex Power Units, said that he isn’t taking the blame.

“Look at the last few days. I said it was going to be like this – a total farce. They (the FIA and the teams) insisted on these new engines. If they wanted to race like this they should go to Le Mans,” he declared angrily.

Red Bull ERb10 delivered to the pit garage

Red Bull ERb10 delivered to the pit garage

Ecclestone said that the arguments about saving fuel, with each driver now limited to just 100 kilos of fuel per race, don’t even stack up.

“They talk about saving fuel. They don’t need these new engines to achieve that. They should get smaller motorhomes. Then they wouldn’t need so many trucks going all round Europe. Mercedes are taking 23 trucks with them everywhere. If they really wanted to save fuel they should stop that,” insisted the man who was instrumental in making Formula 1 the mega-sport that it is today.

The 83-year-old campaigned fiercely against the beginning of the new era, arguing that the loss of the roaring naturally-aspirated engines would turn fans off. (GP247-GMM)

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  • Abhinav

    He is not wrong……its all farce in name of saving fuel……..Merc trucks consuming Tons of fuel in transit and saving 40 ltrs in race weekend…….sounds total bullshit

  • Dr. Azlan

    Bernie is missing the biggest point. It is not the 23 trucks Mercedes bringing to races, it is the millions of vehicles Mercedes sells worldwide.

    There’s where the fuel savings takes place, in those millions of vehicles.

  • Frank Burns

    I am confused here by what you are saying, @Dr.Azian – you realize that the millions of vehicles worldwide that Mercedes is selling are not using F1 engines, right?

    So it doesn’t matter for fuel savings if the F1 team is running the V8, V6 or old V10s for that matter, no?

    Regardless, I am really disappointed that we not gonna have a race here in Thailand. PHuket would have been ideal venue – moreso even than Bangkok.

  • Boycottthebull

    Bernie isnt taking the blame? Surprise surprise, he never does! He likes to see which way the wind is blowing and if it looks like its not a success he suddenly claims he is against it. He was the one that put Pirelli in the thick of it forcing them to make High Wear tyres and then slammed them when there was a backlash. I dont remember the teams EVER being in favour of the new engines and in turn doubling their engine costs. So thats pure BS spin from Bernie. If he wanted the engines stopped he would have. Just like everyone is against his lame double points rule, which he pushed through because no one is bold enough to challenge him on it. I wonder when that turns into another farce who is Bernie going to blame then?

  • mcneil

    you are all dumb including Mr Bennie himself, mercedes and also ferrari want something they willl transfere to their road cars otherwise you would still have toyota and Bmw in the sport but no you don’t because all you care about is F***** ng sound… a real fan cares about racing and mark my words there will be racing even if we had 3 cylider engines and as long as people had the chance to over take we will still watch it……

  • Serpo

    Formula 1 was a series that was always about the best teams getting the best sponsors, building the best cars, having the best drivers and therefor winning races and then championships. The system worked for a long time as long as it was left alone. There is a lot of other series out there where a back marker can win races, or manufacturers can develop road relevant technologies so people that want to see that should just watch those series , leave f1 to be what it always was the best of the best driven by the best not those who can conserve fuel or tyres or bring in money. Loud screaming engines , speeds that make the hair on your neck stand on end, tracks that challenge the best and scare the weak back to go karting. If I wanted to see a spoilt rich kid in a turbo charged piece of crap I can go to any Mc Donald’s in the world and see that .

  • Life blogger

    Reading this article and the comments after I am surprised at the amount of disapproval there is to the new era. Surely f1 is moving towards a more environmentally sound future for the sport. What goes on track will be transferred to the cars of tomorrow. I remember being told that f1 needed to be more in tune with every day cars.
    If BE did make these comments surely he more than anyone knows that this is testing. In his era of running a team did he not go testing!
    I’m loving this new era, can’t wait for the season to start

  • Karlich

    mcneil… I take it you also some sort of Renault Clio cup? No? How about a Prius trophy? No? And yet you think you’d watch 3 cylinder engines crawl around race tracks? Right!

  • mcneil

    i love racing man i do watch everything from go carts to v8s to DTM to f3 to GP2 to f1 and to be honest i am glad formula one is moving away from the Newey (era aerodynamics) because f1 must know what it should be. either it is about cars or aeroplanes and judging from what Mercedes has built this season it seems to come back to where its supposed to be, which is cars.. and by the way the sound of AMG is always nice whether its AMG, AMG Black or AMG F1 i will always dig it!!!!!!

  • Karlich

    Life blogger – the cars of tomorrow are powered by natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, axial flux motors. They rely on networks of charging stations, shared ownership and other means to radically reduce the impact of congestion and environmental impact. Various hybrid series and the new Formula E address these needs. Formula 1 still contributes knowledge transfer towards the automotive industry through innovation in metalurgy, composites, transmission and what not. Personally, I don’t see any need for Formula 1 to be the sole pinnacle of automotive innovation as latter moves towards completely new power units – even if that means it will one day become a dinosaur reminding us of the internal combustion engine glory days, it will, and should remain a glorious, loud, nay obscenely loud, bone shattering, mind numbing, genital arousing sport of and for petrol heads … at least that’s what I’d have hoped for :-)

  • earlcee7

    If the sacrifice of having more fuel-efficient Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and soon Honda engines on our roads in the near future is sound then I think it’s worth it…
    For years most of the technology in F1 was not directly transferable to road cars but this time these engines actually are. Never mind the 23 trucks Mercedes are using its part of the research cost and ultimately the technology will also get to those trucks and hundreds of thousand others.

  • Karlich

    mcneil – well it’s not as if Newey is to blame for the era of aerodynamics. I think the introduction of that era can be safely attributed to Colin Chapman and the Lotus 79 :-) As for sound… well… opinions may diverge here. Personally, I don’t like the turbo sound whether in an F1 car or road going car. Nothing screams “brutal” as a gutsy naturally aspired engine does.

  • mcneil

    so does that mean you wont watch formula one this season coz turbo engines dont scream as much?

  • captain tortuga

    personally i like the new sound a lot, i love the way you can hear the engine struggle on acceleration , and the wooly sound of the turbo is also nice. It is a bit soft.. i get a feeling even some GT-2 cars are louder, but they are not running at full RPM yet, so the sound might improve over time.

    Further On Bernie.. he is right about the teams, or more the engine suppliers, they pushed for a new engine.

    I do think that all these hightech-solutions will find their way into roadcars. or at least a part of them. Problem of course is that developing an engine is still prohibited unless it is for reliability issues. But looking at how inefficient current roadcars are (the hybrids and stuff) this might put them on the right track.

    Although it has been PROVEN that buying a Prius produces more CO2 than driving an V8 for 4 decades. Just because the parts have to flown from all over the world, and not to mention the manufacturing of those batteries.

    The whole fuel-consumption thing is one big hoax btw.. i have an old Merc (W123) its a 2,8liter straight six with mechanical injection (bosch K-jet) and it makes around 10KM to 1 liter on Cruise control.

    I had a Passat (VW) 1.9 TDI (130BHP) i drove 1:20 that was 2001/2002 car.. in the ‘mix’ i managed like 1:15 (50MPG) now almost 15years later i have an insignia 1,6Turbo. 1:10 if i drive very quietly, before this one i drove a new Merc (W204 200kompressor) and it made just 1:9 mybe 1:10 on the highways. horrible.

    Then now they all claim their cars can do like 33Km on 1 liter of fuel… they just forget to mention that is only feasible if you drive 50Miles an hour, behind a truck, so close on the bumper that for the truckdriver you dont even exist, you need a backwind, and to be on cruisecontrol, and fuel up the most expensive fuel. And even then they will not make it.

    Taurusfeces thats what it is. Also Racing is not about fueleconomy.. if i wanted that there are other races for that..

    Like the frigging “solar chalange” they do every year. xD

  • Mick

    Give the new engines a chance!! If it makes the racing closer can only be a gud thing, but they def don’t sound as good

  • Karlich

    mcneil – of course I’ll be watching. Been watching F1 for some 25 years now and have no intentions to stop following my favorite motorsport even though they’ve repeatedly introduced several changes that I don’t agree with. All I am saying is that I hope F1 returns to its roots in future which to me means larger displacement naturally aspirated engines, fewer regulations acting as aerodynamic crutches, fewer regulations that (mis)manage race incidents, proper tyres, no DRS, no (K)ERS and less Hermann Tilke generic circuits. That’s not to say I wish Formula 1 return to some form of racing governed by nostalgia – quite on the contrary. I wish they had fewer regulations, whose management, interpretation and compliance cost the sport and teams far more than a more open class – if you’re forced to innovate year after year on tight, yet ever changing rules, costs rise as teams seek to eek out the last bit of performance in a very narrow search space. Widen that space and teams will have the opportunity to do truly groundbreaking innovation based on entirely new concepts. Cars like the Lotus 25, the Lotus 79, the Tyrell P34, the Brabham BT46, the Ferrari 312T or Williams FW14. I wish they’d not have an army of inspectors and whistle blowers for each and every maneuver on track or off track who punish race driving and competing yet applaud artificial, Wipeout inspired (nothing against the game, it was awesome) power-ups such as DRS, KERS and the lot. I wish they’d get rid of the crutches that force teams in to strategic racing (boring racing) – yeah, looking at you tyres, Q3 tyre lock-in, fuel limits, fuel flow limits and the lot.

    Could go on much longer, but you catch my drift.

    I wish… :-)

  • Karlich

    captain tortuga – the solar challenge is quite a hoot actually. try following the Shell eco marathon… that’s what happens to racing when fuel efficiency is the top priority… it’s worse than watching paint dry :p but to give it some credit, it is awesome as an innovation challenge within a competitive context.

  • MikeR

    There is NOTHING in the world that upsets people so much as change…!
    Doesn’t matter if it is for better or worse – people generally mistrust change of any sort. We may or may not, rue the way things are looking right now, but it’s going to be what it’s going to be.
    The FIA have decreed, with the teams, that this is what it should (rightly or wrongly) and we would do best to embrace the concept and at least give it a chance – or walk away.
    F1 will still be F1, the King is dead, Long live the King!

  • mcneil

    well i feel your pain dawg but the world changes every day am sure ther are some who watched fangio and still wish to see his cars race to-date but we cant always dwell on the past sometimes you have to look at the future and prepare engine manufactures are all moving away from naturally aspirated engines to turbo charged engines thats a fact again a company like mercedes is only in formula to research not to make noise in circles am sure thats why BMW and Toyota left because they were losing millions with nothing to gain…
    bottom line is we have to give these engines a chance its early days i mean do you remmber the sound mercedes released last year and the sound they released of rosberg at Silverstone last week same engine 2 different sounds so again give it time you will learn to love it as much as the v12 v10 and v8 sounds…

  • Bernie needs to return to the home, The Retirement Home

    I am so tired of Bernie, all he does is piss, bitch and moan about everything. I hope he gets his rear end locked up for the rest of his life from the court case against him. Sadly he will just buy his way out for 400 million dollars and we will all be stuck listening to him continue to ruin Formula One with his never ending bad mouthing everything.

    The only thing wrong with Formula One today is Bernie is still around to have his hands in it.

  • Max

    Sour grapes if ya ask me he’s on his way out the door so slags F1 off put ya dummy back in Bernie

  • Hugo

    He is right on all counts, and these have been my exact words this year, and last year as well about the gian hypocrisy that are these new engines, all while the FIA is adding races outside Europe, in enviro-unfriendly shitholes, where teams use jumbo jets to get to.

    And now, as expected, the cars sound like lawnmowers and are on par with GP2s.

    Wow. Some pinnacle of motorports we got there…

  • tscotom

    Ol’ Bernie has a point, and maybe he ought to dump F1 together with Ferrari and then start another Formula series.
    Dust off the GP1 initiative when F1 was almost a goner and …
    maybe put in the A1GP ‘Nations’ concept into that new Formula and call it AGP1 ?
    Real racing, real motors, real engine noise manned by real racers of the Senna, Villeneuve lineage !

    The only one to bankroll this concept is of the Sheikh Makhtoum (A1GP anybody?) Middle Eastern oil variety. Big Oil still has a few more decades in it and with fracking technilogy etc., even one or two more decades.

    This is a Global Warning, … there is (not yet!) a Global Warming !

    “Gentlemen, for the pride of your Nation, start your engines!”

  • haha

    Hahaha, have to love Bernie despite what evreybody thinks of him. Give him another 100 years, without him F1 is dead. He made it big, and I didn’t always agree myself with his ideas but I doubt there would still be F1 after the crisis of 2008 without Mr. Berns :) at the helm.

  • Gambrinus

    I’m not against fuel saving per se in F1 but where things did go wrong with these new rules is that it will happen in cruise mode. That’s not F1 anymore in my opinion. I don’t see why they couldn’t develop this technology with the cars and engines being closer to the limit.

  • Sad F1 Fan

    A fan for 30 years, using my holidays to follow F1 around the world. I have cancelled my flight to Singapore. What is the point. Ugly cars, crap sound, fuel saving, if this has what it’s come to then why don’t they put everyone out of there misery and close F1 series altogether. To me the sound is everything. What planet are these so called intelligent people on, come on, Grand Prix Racing with fuel saving.

  • grat

    “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
    ? Niccolò Machiavelli

    The problem for F1 is that 18,000 RPM screaming banshee V8’s have no application in modern cars. Smaller displacement, fewer cylinders, backed up by turbos and energy recovery systems, THAT has application. You think Honda would be coming back to F1 to build a naturally aspirated V8? No way.

    The lack of innovation in F1 engines in the past 10 years has been truly mind-numbing. My car’s engine may not be able to spin at 18k RPM and produce 300 BHP/L, but in every other way, it’s more sophisticated than the V8’s.

    And let’s not forget that terribly boring McLaren-Honda MP4-4… that car sounded horrible. 😉

  • Hugo

    Everyone is saying turbos are the future; this is not inaccurate. However, Mazda went the other way their Skyactive technology, small displacement, hig-revving, high compression engines. Ring a bell?

    Both are not mutually exclusive. F1 needs to be a testbed for innovation, yes, but it needs to provide excitement, and needs to be governed logically.

    If they push ludicrously expensive 1.6 V6 engines on the teams using the «green» justification, it falls flat, because it isn’t true. And while no road car will use screaming 2.4 V8s, they won’t use 1.6 V6s either with a gazillion electronic gizmos such as push to pass and stuff.

  • Maccafan

    I think this comment comes purely from his “golden team” Red Bull having so many problems and not being the showcase team so far.

    Renault isn’t completely to blame, the designers pack the power unit into the car and for whatever reason, push the boundaries of all the variables that provide an optimal operating environment.

    I honestly hope we see the return of “reliability issues” in the races. F1 has been cars on the extreme edge of technology often not fully understood. Parts fail and often at the worst possible times.

    Bernie likes Dietrich’s money. Dietrich likes to “own/dominate/obtain top ranking” with everything Red Bull is involved with. Money flows. Bernie is simply doing Dietrich’s will to get Red Bull “taken care of”

  • Hugo

    Bernie got rich way before Red Bull invaded the fray. He doesn’t care about Dietrich that much.

  • Badman Jose

    Again Old Bernie gets bashed..What many here over look is simple..Old Bernie knows what the score really is.
    The noise here is based on nothing but guess work and hearsay
    I’ll stand with Bernie, after all, us old Dogs are never wrong

    Old Jose

  • MP4-23

    Bernie you dinosaur this the green age how obscene it would be to have 2.8 aspirated engines slamming out how many gms/km of cO2 driving around a track at a time when the worlds industries are trying to cut c02 emissions. Get with the system you old fart.

  • Bernie does not know anything

    Bernies use by date expired about 25 years ago.

    To rest of you whiners shut the hell up. Every single one of you will glued to your TV screen watching every race and you know it.

  • Hawk

    I didn’t know Bernie could be that stupid. How could he miss the whole point? Or is he just pretending? Does he think we fans are stupid? Well some are judging from some of the comments above. Does he think the likes of Honda came back just to save 1600kg of fuel in a season?

  • Taskmaster

    Actually, I have come full circle on this one. F1 was once the proving ground for automotive technology, at its core. That has slipped over time. This new formula actually restores it as a proving ground once again, as has the changes in the Endurance racing. While there are other approaches, until the issue of hydrogen generation (expensive, uses more energy than is creates), battery technology (limiting range, poor cold weather performance) and electric power issues (grid scale and maintenance, power losses in the system, etc..) are solved, hybrids appear the best current approach. These new F1 engines combine ERS technologies the auto industry needs to see proven out. MPG in an F1 car seems ludicrous, but it makes sense. The best era in Indy 500 racing was under a 2MPG fuel restriction, so I am not seeing an issue with that. I’m not concerned about the noise issue, as its still going to be good – just different, which is not a big deal.

  • haha

    Taskmaster and Badman Jose seems to be the only ones getting it.

  • bruce

    this is the best thing bernie has had to say for a long time. totally agree. i am sick of f1. i might watch the first race, but i can’t imagine i will be glued to it for the whole season.

  • Famer

    As long as the Red Bull is not winning. I’m willing to watch this season of Formula 1 racing. Oh, and the other thing is Bernie, My fav driver still in the sport. Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton.

  • StevetheGreat

    I hate it when Bernie is the one making sense!

  • Anna

    @Frank Burns

    Yeah, just what we need, another ridiculous street circuit. Bangkok or Phuket, they should not be allowed. Singapore and Monaco are a farce too. They don’t test the drivers or the cars, they just annoy the crap out of the fans.

    Street circuits and night races should be banned forever.

  • CG

    My thoughts on a farce, is someone got out of character, Bernie Ecclestone are just doing that.

  • Paul

    It’s a part of getting old I’m afraid Bernie. At 83 you should turn up your hearing aid and they’ll sound louder.

  • A41202813GMAIL

    GO, 44 !

  • Scunnerous

    I have to agree with him and he does have experience of small engine turbos and economy-run GPs. I’m also concerned that voluntary Green-ness will only attract negative pressures from activists and ultimately govt. With a max fuel burn we’re liable to find every Green Tom, Dick and Harry poking their noses in and if you’ve noticed they are very good at regressive, creeping coercion to get their righteous ends. IOW voluntary initiatives always lead to govt. regulation.

  • andyfast

    love the torky grunty sound of turbo v6 under load…..more awesome than v8 screaming at 18 grand

  • Badman Jose

    Amazing how many posters just don’t care for us
    real ‘Old folks’ we do sometime get off the road.
    Because, as I stayed before, we know the score,
    we are never wrong!

    Old Jose

  • Glenn Watson

    After the first free practice of Australia 2014, I really miss the glorious noise emitted by 3.0 liter V12s.