Mercedes would have walked had F1 not ditched V8 engines

Thomas Weber

Thomas Weber

Mercedes has revealed that it probably would have quit Formula 1 if the sport had stayed with the normally aspirated V8 engine formula beyond 2013.

It was believed Renault was the major driving force behind the controversial new turbo V6 regulations, but Daimler board member Dr Thomas Weber said on Wednesday that Mercedes was also keen to see the sport drive into the future.

The BBC quotes him as saying that the old V8 rules had become “hard to explain” amid the trends of downsizing and fuel efficiency within the road car market.

Asked if Mercedes would have pulled out had the rules not changed, he admitted: “I think so, yeah. We had hard discussions.”

Weber explained that the new rules now make it easy to “clearly convince” the decision-making board that Formula 1 has become relevant and worth the investment.

He said that recent comments that the rules are too complicated were “stupid”, insisting that the quieter engines are simply the sound of the future.

“Of course we can look if there is a little bit more [volume] possible,” said Weber.

“But in the meantime all the road cars are going for turbos, downsizing, so even a Porsche now sounds similar. So people learn it. That’s easy.” (GMM)

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