The sport’s big boss Bernie Ecclestone is worried Formula 1 cars will be around five seconds per lap slower next year compared to 2013, meaning they will only be a tad faster than the current GP2 series cars.
That is the claim of Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt, who said Formula 1’s chief executive is also pushing to increase the likely revs of the radical new turbo V6s next year from just 12,000rpm to 15,000.
The extra revs would alleviate some of Ecclestone’s fears about the tamer tones of the V6s compared to this year’s howling V8s, but Schmidt said the change is actually unlikely.
That is because of the current rules limiting the engines’ flow rate to 100 kilograms per hour, and each car to just 135 litres of fuel per race.
The amount of fuel allocated to each car would be easy to adjust, but the engine manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are reportedly too far advanced with their V6 designs to now alter the maximum flow rate.
Ecclestone has another problem. Coupled with aerodynamic changes next year, experts are predicting a laptime drop of up to five seconds in 2014.
“Formula 1 will be not far ahead of GP2 and the Renault World Series,” wrote Schmidt.
The small teams are also worried. Currently, they pay around EUR 10 million per year for a customer engine supply, but next year’s V6s are expected to cost between EUR 20 and 23 million.
Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda insists: “The longer the contract period, the less it will cost our customers in the long run. In the end, (it will cost them) no more than today.”
Therefore, Force India has reportedly extended its Mercedes deal for five years.
Sauber, however, could be looking for a new solution, having hinted in Shanghai a week ago that it can not afford to pay Ferrari’s price-tag around the 20 million mark.
“It is rumoured Sauber will have Honda power, alongside McLaren in 2015,” Schmidt reported.
“Honda would have preferred to focus on just one team, but FIA president Jean Todt apparently intends to make the manufacturers share the customers fairly amongst themselves.”