FIA president Jean Todt insists Formula One will resist calls to bring back ten and twelve-cylinder engine formats.
Speaking to the FIA publication Auto, Todt said F1 must continue to follow the lead set by automotive industry towards smaller, lower-capacity engines such as the current V6 hybrid turbos.
Bringing back noisier and larger engines “will not be accepted by society,” said Todt.
“We have a responsibility to run an organisation monitored by global society. And global society will not accept that.”
Todt fought to introduce the current engine format in 2014 over the objections of then-commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone. He claimed going back to old engine formats would be resisted by car manufacturers.
“I’m sure if you said, ‘let’s go back to engines from ten years ago’, many manufacturers would not support such a move,” he said. “I’m convinced a minimum of three out of four would leave.”
Controlling costs was another reason to avoid a drastic change in engine format when the current regulations expire in 2020, Todt added.
“We know that stability is essential,” he said. “Firstly, to have as much competition as possible, and then to protect the investment.”
“You cannot invest in new technology every year, it is not financially sustainable, and we already complain about the cost of racing, the cost of Formula One – a cost that for me is absurd.”
However Todt admitted the current format is not “ideal”.
“It’s something we need to fight,” he said. “So far we have not managed to find the ideal solution and I’m happy to take part of the responsibility on behalf of the governing body.”
“But saying that, it is not easy because you need to find common ground. For me, I always like to achieve some kind of solidarity when you take decisions.”
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93 comments on “F1 will not bring back V10 or V12 engines – Todt”
8th March 2017, 9:29
“We have a responsibility to run an organisation monitored by global society. And global society will not accept that.”
What global society he is talking about? no-one except F1 fans cares if an engine is noisier or larger. Who will have problem with this really?
I am certain that the birds that have homes in the trees near the spa during a racing weekend will fly away during a GP weekend either if the engines produce 90 or 120 decibels.
I would had accept a sentence saying “for the next 10 years because we had push the manufacturers to spend lot of money to improve this kind of engines we cannot roll back now and we have a responsibility to them”, all the rest are excuses IMO.
8th March 2017, 10:33
Did you miss the almost yearly complaints and campaigns in Australia to ban F1 because of the noise? Did you also miss that those campaigns stopped after 2014, although people *still* complain when the race drags out Stoddart’s 2-seater on the race morning?
People wonder why F1 was thrown into backwater swamps in a lot of nations, rather than placing them in and around populated areas – there’s your answer.
8th March 2017, 14:47
Pah Australians arrest you if you spin your wheels. Hardly a baromter are they. By this philosophy we should ban the opening of any new pub/ any ICE cars/mars bars/cigarettes/single glazed windows.
8th March 2017, 15:30
Wi shiild bin thi ipining if ini niw birs!!
8th March 2017, 18:14
10th March 2017, 0:05
It’s just those Melbournites are soft!
8th March 2017, 15:44
Poor sensitive-ear Australians. Whatever will they do?
8th March 2017, 17:20
@optimaximal, I missed the complaints about the noise and the campaigns to ban F1, maybe because it is just an Australian thing and I don’t live anywhere near Australia. You need to realise that global society is not exclusive to the City of Melbourne.
And the people who were/are complaining about F1 being in “their” city are being stupid, the cars are only running 3 days out of 365, that is not even 1 percent of the whole year. If they want to avoid being around when F1 is in town they should book a weekend away like any sensible person would, it’s not difficult.
12th March 2017, 22:57
The problem is, F1 has so much downgraded it has to pray nations to organize a race, and why? because it is boring, if the australians will not have an F1 race then it s fine, there are so many country s that can host a race, and if F1 get’s intresting again (and the engine noise is a big part of it, since they sound like 125cc go-carts now, and are even worse in fun to watch) then the australians will pray to bring F1 back to melbourne.. Manufacturers like Ferrari, BMW (that left F1, guess why) Mercedes, Renault, probably Audi and VAG group, some US manufacturer maybe too, they ALL build v10 / v12 engines for commercial uses. Can you see a street Ferrari with a 1750cc engine doing farting noise?.. answer that question urself. I remember Top Gear testing the electrical version of the SLR Mercedes, it was faster then the V12 petrol driven car, but it is not a CAR!! Clarkson couldn’t describe it better.
25th March 2017, 16:36
If Melbourne don’t like it, move it to Bathurst, much better track anyway.
8th March 2017, 11:48
@bluechris It is indeed a poor way to explain it. It would have been better like this:
“Look. Oil reserve peak has been reached anyways. The crude barrel price is too high as well as dependency to the OPEC. We need to find engine alternatives and constructors found in F1 a good playground to invest and experiment. At the time it seemed a good idea and we implemented it poorly like always. Now it’s too late to go back to older petrol-only engines and i suggest you get over it. We promise we’ll make them a bit louder next year.”
Paul A (@paul-a)
8th March 2017, 16:26
I must be missing something. Ferrari are just now introducing their first “hybrid” road car — a 6.3 litre V12; MacLaren are introducing a 4-litre V-8 supercar. No sign whatsoever of F1, V-6 technology. So what do they know that Todt doesn’t understand? Oil has not reached a peak and at least these two manufacturers have to pay, through their road car sales, for the ludicrous cost of hauling batteries around an F1 track, bankrupting Manor and others. Ferrari are honest: emissions are “330 g/km” or about *one pound* of CO2 per mile. This is what top-end road cars are all about, not some electric gimmick that you have to plug into the wall for a few hours (and recharge from a coal-burning utility) just to get home after sixty miles…
8th March 2017, 13:18
Most of humanity has like 25 years left to live so who cares what engines they are going to use in Formula 1? When you can’t buy food, or find decent water to drink… will you really care for how a Formula 1 engine will sound? Really? I don’t think so. Formula 1 is a competition, in some time, we have far more important problems to focus on, so maybe we should enjoy Formula 1 as it is, not as each of us wants it to be. I wanna fly, I wanna visit distant stars, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t spent time with my wife and kids, or read a good book (mostly sci fi books :P). Today and now we have in Formula 1 these engines. Let’s see how it goes. Tomorrow… someday we won’t have a tomorrow.
8th March 2017, 21:31
The manufacturers are part of the global society, a HUGE part. F1 needs them. F1 also needs to appeal the the world at large, which has VERY strong interest in a healthy environment for the planet. I’m an F1 old timer and love the older engines and noise but I concede that the health of our planet is more important than my nostalgia and that I’m represent a shrinking demographic. The “old days” were great but they were also part of time in history when we weren’t as well informed about how our lifestyles were impacting the planet. We can’t and shouldn’t go back to those days. Yes, we’ll have to give up some things but we have no choice and in the grand scheme of things, hybrid turbo V6s, etc. are a small sacrifice.
9th March 2017, 3:07
Err the reduction in noise has encouraged more people to bring their kids along. My own son, the future of F1 fans loves the new engines and much prefers the lower volume.
Lets also point out that noise from an engine is wasted energy. Efficiency and less noise go hand in hand.
8th March 2017, 9:40
I find it worrying to see Todt (only) referring to public opinion and “society will not accept this” kind of arguments. Is that truly wat motivates (strategic) decisions for the FIA? What other people think of it? Talking about sustainability: this is a strategy that is not easy to sustain.
I’d rather hear Todt (the FIA) build their arguments on what they value, what they think Formula One or motorsport in general should be about, and what they want to express. Only them they are talking sense. And the public, or “society” at Todt refers to is, will then either share these values and support the strategic implications, or not.
By the way, sharing the values of a sport or brand is not the only predictor of whether one would like it, I think. I am entertained by a lot of things of which I don’t share the values. I don’t agree with everything Clarkson says, but I like Top Gear / The Grand Tour. I don’t share the value “maximum sugar, no nutrition value” of Coca Cola, but man I dig their drinks.
11th March 2017, 3:30
you have to realize that when todt says global society, hes talking about the billionaires that run around the world and are practically immune to most laws. He’s talking about the types you might find roaming around at a club or rome meeting or being appointed to run the EU. He is most certainly not talking to the average dick and jane who take the time to follow F1, of that you can be most certain.
You see, the game is a con, the sponsors are promoting their politics through the show that is F1, and the drivers are essentially highly paid escorts. The more cred the more money they get to ‘play’ the part. I used to think pro racing was cool, but then it started getting awfully predictable, and the politics is so shameless and ignorant, it really isn’t worth my time. The best thing that can happen to F1, is that people stop watching it on TV. Not saying you shouldn’t go to the race, but I would definitely tell the TV heads to shove it, and for certain, I would never, ever pay a ‘subscription’ for that political nonsense that is F1. I would rather worship some goat on Sundays than what F1 is serving up. Our lives are short enough as it is, letting them suck your time and energy, might not be worth it.
8th March 2017, 10:08
8th March 2017, 15:26
And are you trending yet?
Just checked it: 16 mentions in 3 years – 14 of these by you.
Not really at the level of #InternationalWomensDay with 1.1M+ mentions just today :p
8th March 2017, 10:13
Blah blah… My girlfriends 1.4 turbo has more torque, more power and consumes less fuel than my nice sounding 2.0 NA,… Her car Accelerates better. The end.
Sound is nice to have, but the goal here is doing 300km fastest. V6 turbos have more power, more torque and consume less fuel.
People did not build jets because old planes had poor sound.
8th March 2017, 10:41
Maybe this is why they still to beat lap times from 2004, set on 1800mm wide cars with grooved tyres. I’ll calculate this for you – it was 13 (thirteen) years ago. Expect it this year though, thanks to wider slick tyres / aero.
8th March 2017, 11:18
I’m pretty sure that this has more to do with the fuel flow requirements than with 2004 having better engines.
8th March 2017, 13:15
Not to mention aero restrictions.
9th March 2017, 3:09
And sticker tyres
8th March 2017, 10:16
I agree with him, but for different reasons. The V10 era, for me personally, was the greatest era in F1. Despite restrictions on tyres, downforce and certain engine restrictions, the cars were phenomenal and got quicker and quicker every year; and I know not everyone will agree with me, but I loved the racing back then too.
Every overtake made, meant something. The drivers were truly gladiators, cornering speeds were high. There was freedom enough in the regulations to allow for very different car solutions eg the Renault mass damper, the Williams platypus nose; and of course the big noisy engines which were beginning to become outdated even then, were a big part of the spectacle.
To go back to the V10’s/V12’s would kind of be tainting my memory of that era. It’s the same thing if the FIA made regulations to enforce front engine cars to mimic the cars of the ‘50s. Those glorious eras belong in history, and we should let them stay there.
8th March 2017, 10:43
Todt makes the mistake which Steve Jobs always avoided; letting the public tell you what your product should be, rather than you telling (and amazing) them. I find it frustrating that Todt insists manufactures would leave the sport, but doesn’t quote them; he characterizes it as his impression. Why don’t we ask them? Ross Braun has a very different opinion. Why doesn’t Formula One just open up the formula itself: create a more open, CAN-AM type rules structure — hybrid engines within certain perimeters, and an allowance, if anyone wants to go there, for equivalent (in power) normally aspirated and turbocharged V-10 and 12 fuel engines. Let the manufactures decide which direction, and gamble, they’d like to take for ultimate performance within the broad structure of the rules. Then we’d have great, exciting tech races and debates. It seems foolish to try to conform F-1 to the opinions of global society — most of global society thing motor racing is a foolish waste no matter how you power the cars! Allow us SOMETHING that is exciting and thrilling and about the past as well as the future — some indulgence, for Christ sakes. Let’s not take all the fun out of the world. Global sustainability and the fight against climate change and pollution will forge on with or without spectacles like motor sport. And car manufactures like McLaren and Ferrari — do you really think the business of their cars, which are manufactured for the .001 percent of the population who can afford them, are focused on global social opinion. Come on, Jean; motor racing is and always will be an anomaly of indulgence and excess. If you normalize it, it will die. There is nothing like the scream of those V-10’s; let them come back IF they can compete.
8th March 2017, 15:03
I think you are making some big assumptions here. Where is Todt letting the public tell him what to do in this? Isn’t he telling the public what F1 will be doing going forward, which is standing pat? Why do you assume he hasn’t spoken to the manufacturers about this issue, which has resulted in his opinion that they would leave? Let the manufacturers decide? They did…and they chose and agreed to these exotic expensive current PUs. How is that ‘normalizing’ F1?
What an ordeal of debate and conversation over a few extra decibels that weren’t even always there, that in their absence never stopped F1 from growing in the 50’s thru to the 80’s.
8th March 2017, 10:44
If Manor or Jordan, (or indeed Mclaren) had access to an engine alternative like an off the shelf V10 OR V12, they might be able to compete more affordably. This would make things more interesting for the public also, as you would have a more interesting range of engines. To encourage teams to use hybrid technology (if that is what’s deemed preferable) partial, or half points could be allocated to teams using these engines.
Variety is the spice of life!!!
9th March 2017, 7:08
Until they would retire on lap 25, having burnt through their 100 kilos of fuel. How exciting!
9th March 2017, 10:39
then allow them extra fuel! jeez, do i have to spell it out! at least then we might have a few scraps between cars, and if they end up pitting early, who cares?
9th March 2017, 10:43
the point i am making is that there are more ways than one to skin a cat (and that’s coming from hello kitty!).
one guy can have a hybrid v6, another guy could have a v10 with an extra allocation of tyres etc. etc.
that way, we could have williams strongest at fast tracks, mercedes at slower tighter tracks etc. etc.
8th March 2017, 11:06
F1 is toast. The regulations have went backwards in respect to the physics of racing. Say hi to FE.
8th March 2017, 11:09
People complain whenever there are changes, it’s inevitable. More freedom in the format , give teams a fuel limit and a weight limit, let them do what they want with it. I don’t believe anyone would go back to the V10s or V12s if they had the freedom to design the engine/PU as they see fit.
Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
8th March 2017, 11:17
Yes I miss the noise, but I also like the fact I can hear more of what’s going on now. And F1 needs to be at the forefront of technology and pushing the hybrid tech past the limit and establishing new boundaries. F1 can then still claim to have some sort of green credential and remains more relevant to engine manufacturers like Mercedes and (dare I say it?) Honda.
8th March 2017, 11:34
This is silly.
Formula 1 inherently is completely und utterly pointless, useless sport (if you want to skip my comment, my bottom line is, that I love it this way).
Custom-made, insanely expensive, purpose-built cars drive around the same path, exposing drives to life threatening dangers (marshalls, spectators too). They are only used on non-accessible roads (called circuits), burning depletable natural resource (fuel), fighting for no great higher purpose, using up material, resources, money, talent for no reason. Nobody learns anything. There is no wisdom in cornering speeds. No epiphany in a controlled slide. No souls are redeemed in the tow of another car. No great car setup brings peace to the world. No chassis design solves any environmental crisis. No pole position is a great step in human progress. No super-safe cockpit cures diseases.
Masses of people watch them on TV or live (paying stupid ticket prices) and learn about life nothing at all, spending a portion of their limited lifetime.
The sport excludes almost everybody from the game, allowing some 20+ people from 7.5 billion to participate in a given year, allowing only a handful of people to win and shine. Those very few get to be rewarded a ridiculous amount of money, just because they managed to win the gene lottery by having exceptional nervous system, as the top dogs of eye-hand coordination pyramid.
They do it over and over again. Lap by lap, race by race, season by season. The same thing.
Stop organizing races, and the universe wouldn’t notice. Let alone civilization, I’m wondering.
And now there’s the talk that a slightly bigger engine displacement makes no sense! I must laugh!
Hey F1, focus on the ethos of this marvellously decadent craziness, and make us lose our minds while being entertained. Make noise, burn fuel, smoke tires, bang wheels, crash cars. Put drivers on collision course, let the put their lives on the line. There’s no point being reasonable. In fact, it’s the very thing that would kill “the sport”.
8th March 2017, 11:44
I’m almost certain that if cheaper V10’ss were available & say Sauber or McLaren bought the,. They’d be an immediate fan favorite at almost every GP.
It’s ridiculous they have forced us to accept these engines & people make up excuses of why they think these engines are the right engines to use (seems like some people are easily comvinced by marketing & engine manufacturers) . It’s NOT what the overwhelming majority of people I’ve asked want.
8th March 2017, 12:00
Amen to that. To have normal road cars with more advanced units than F1 would be very bad for the sport, and to just get up the noise for the sake of noise is practically a child’s argument. Besides, when one considers the proportion of people listening on TV vs the track and the argument is simply a non-starter.
8th March 2017, 18:44
@balue, perhaps the reason why you have an argument that, as you put it, is virtually a child’s argument is because a number of those who seem to want to go back to V10’s are pushing for them because it is what they witnessed when they were a child.
You can see that there seems to be a lag of about 25-30 years in what era is the most fashionable to make a comparison with when discussing the current state of the sport, which basically seems to be when most posters were a child and first encountered the sport (leading to it making a lasting impression).
Go back about 15 years, and most figures then held up the 1970’s as being the halcyon days of the sport – now, as the conversation is being dominated by those who grew up with the sport in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, people seem to want the sport to revert to how it was back then in their childhood, hence the calls for a return to the V10’s and V12’s which were in use at the time. It feels like an attempt by many to recapture a childhood that has vanished, and the sport will forever be lambasted by those wanting to recreate an idealised vision that cannot exist in an attempt to recapture that idealisation of the past.
8th March 2017, 21:46
8th March 2017, 12:07
PP…I have never read a more accurate, more honest post, about any subject, on any forum, than that post you just made. End of argument if you ask me. F1 is pointless in everyway. Why do it? Because we are human and we can. For no other reason than having crazy amounts of fun. There is no reasonable explanation for it….that’s why us F1 fans love it….or at least used too. ( I still do, but not as much as I used to)
8th March 2017, 12:27
Call me a heretic, I dare say an Inline 4 or V4 Turbo Hybrid with an external wastegate would sound pretty bada$$. Moto GP is inline or V4 and they sound amazing. My old I4 Kawi and other street bikes sound amazing wide open – revving to 10k or higher (16? 17? 18?). As obnoxious as they are, when I hear them, I think of the F1 race I went to, with the sound reverberating thru valleys, off of buildings, etc.
9th March 2017, 4:09
I think they have changed where the waste gate expels to so it produces more noise under braking. The cars are louder this year i believe.
8th March 2017, 12:29
Maybe .. just maybe, if you allowed to rev up current engine to 18,000-20,000 rpm just like old days .. the engine sound, turbo sound and lag will be better
8th March 2017, 13:08
They are already allowed to rev up to 15000 rpm but the teams don’t because its mechanically a disadvantage. The engines produce their peak power at around 10000 or 11000 rpm (I think). And hence they shift up after that because there’s no need to rev any higher. Revving higher than that is a disadvantage. Raising the maximum rpm to 18000 would do absolutely nothing
14th March 2017, 9:20
but nowdays they are limited to max fuel flow 100 kg/h and max fuel on board 105 kg. if regulation changes how max fuel flow and max refueling (or max fuel on board) – in example unlimited I’am very sure it can rev up to 20,000 .. megaa
8th March 2017, 12:58
I’m glad someone finally openly stated that. We’re not going back, end of the story.
Progress must not stop just because someone is nostalgic about 90s or 00s. All these talks from F1 officials about the sound and engines only fueled this nostalgia and whining. They should make an emphasis on how cool the engines are and create a positive vibe around them instead of bashing their own product.
8th March 2017, 20:14
So you’ll be fascinated by a silent driverless car on the track in 2035 because that’s progress?
You think you’ll be watching or that the sport will be as popular as it has been over the last 40 years if u just keep allowing natural progression?
The tech needs to be limited somewhere to preserve the dna of the sport. Guess you either dont understand that or you’ll be happy watching a silent driverless car on a hot lap.
9th March 2017, 7:19
Now look at 67 world Championship winning Cars and tell me what on earth makes screaching v10s of all Things Part of f1’s DNA
8th March 2017, 12:58
I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but debating going back to those sonically-glorious, normally-aspirated V10s and V12s, or even V8s, is fighting the “Last War”, one that proponents of those great engines have already lost.
The 2020 engine regulations are going to push the hybrid-electric concept much further because that is the focus of technology development in the automobile industry. I would look for the next-gen F1 cars to be a PHEV, with a much larger battery pack, charged offline hence “plug-in”, electric drive motors on at least the two front wheels, and far more reliant on regenerative braking than today’s car. And for 2027, I expect the regulations to go full BEV (battery electric) with no internal combustion engine at all. The fact that “Formula e” is already there only adds gravity to this inevitability.
I’m not saying “I like it”, I’m just saying that’s the way it’s going to be.
8th March 2017, 17:26
And please tell me, oh great oracle who knows all about the future, what are next weeks lottery numbers going to be?
9th March 2017, 0:26
The lottery numbers are drawn at random, and current events don’t help you predict what they’ll be as they don’t influence the draw.
Future regulations are influenced by current events, and you don’t need to be an automotive industry insider to see the shift in focus towards hybrid and electric technology within the industry. Manufacturers are spending huge amounts of money on these systems, and they’ll want to use F1 to showcase them to the public.
8th March 2017, 13:00
I never got all the hate towards there engine’s to be honest, Yes fine there not as loud as what F1 ran before but so what? Noise & Volume should not be the determining factor in what engines are used, In fact I think the sound/volume should be at the bottom of the pile when determining engine format.
Let’s take the sound out of the equation & look at it from this perspective. The current power units are already producing more power than the V8’s & are about on-par with the V10/V12’s & are doing that despite been of a smaller capacity, Having less cylinders & using significantly less fuel, I just don’t see why everyone is so against that or simply opting to ignore that just because there so fixated on noise which has no bearing at all on anything that should matter (i.e. Performance).
F1 has to move forward, It can’t be stuck in the past with engine formats & somewhat outdated engine tech just because they are loud. The motor industry, The technology within it & society as a whole have moved on & it’s right for F1 to look forward & move on with it. Smaller capacity turbo’s with hybrid technology is the way the motor industry seems to be going, F1 can’t ignore that & I don’t think it’s fans should either.
Mark Thomson (@melthom)
8th March 2017, 13:03
What he says is simply that Merc et al will pull out if they can’t use commerciely applicable technology.
Mark Thomson (@melthom)
8th March 2017, 13:06
What he says is also that F1 only has a limited time left before it becomes Formula E and that will spell the end of it. The car industry is going electric, the last company to reject it, Toyota has now decided to go electric as well.
8th March 2017, 13:20
I definitely don’t want the super noisy cars of old to be back. What I want is more beastly machines and noise is only a small part of it. I actually like how the new cars sound and I can hear the bottom of the cars scrape and the tires squealing and the whoosh of the air over the bodywork and hear the turbine like sound etc. I think broadcast cameras and microphones need to get better to capture the sound and the speed of the cars better. That said yes I do like watching the older cars zoom along with their V10 howl and I love that sound but I know it’s so much more fatiguing to watch a full near 2 hour race on TV with the sound cranked up like that.
8th March 2017, 13:24
Question behind these commentaries: what is F1 ? Is it about pure technology ? Is it about pure driving ? Or a mix of the two ?
For me, F1 must be the pinnacle of driving. Brutal cars, insanely fast and hard to drive, and drivers fighting. In the end of the year, I want to see who is the best driver (not constructor).
Current V6 are awesome technology, I admire it, but I don’t care that much. I would prefer noisy V8-10-12 atmos: because they were frightening, and that’s what I want. I want to be scared when I’m on track. I want to feel my stomach vibrating. Sound, like speed and danger, is part of the show.
If you want technology, hybrid engines, electronics, etc… fine. WEC is there for you.
8th March 2017, 14:25
@bebilou “If you want technology, hybrid engines, electronics, etc… fine. WEC is there for you.”
Not if your not a fan of that type of racing (As i’m not) it isn’t.
If you want to be scarred or whatever nonsence your on about then maybe go to the haunted house of a fun fair. I personally never found those super loud V10/V8 engines that scary, frightening or whatever, I just found them kind of irritating after a while. Having to wear ear plugs, not been able to hear anyone around you & not been able to take your daughter to the races because of the loud noise hurting her ears was not fun & part of why we stopped going to races.
8th March 2017, 16:35
@bebilou Sorry, but how is managing an over-engineered naturally aspirated engine with a butter-smooth torque curve anything approaching ‘the pinnacle of driving’?
Everything you *want* was being delivered by the ’14-’16 regulations – it was just all derailed because 3 of the 4 engine manufacturer’s buggered up their original design concepts and let Mercedes run away with the championship 3 years in a row.
I’ll admit the V12 & V10 engines had the power to shock the unprepared, but the V8’s were just awful one-tone noise (which got worse when they were off-throttle blowing).
Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
8th March 2017, 13:30
“Global society” is demonstrably not accepting the current engines either. So the FIA has two choices – find an engine type that “global society” can accept or opt to ignore it. I see nothing in Jean’s comments that shows he is seriously considering either path, which worries me.
8th March 2017, 13:57
I started watching F1 in the late 70’s and at that time, the technology of the cars was often gradually filtered down into road cars (power, handling, weight reduction, ABS, Traction Control, etc). The same is true today, aspects benefitting F1 today will eventually filter down to road cars (although has been a bit of a 2 way street in recent years). Nowadays, V10 and V12 engines are virtually no existant in all but high end luxury or hyper cars. V8’s are a littlest more common, but, generally engine size is being reduced to make cars more fuel efficient and less polluting.
I do miss the roar of the V8, V10 and V12’s, but, this current era is producing PU’s that are almost as powerful (if not more powerful) than some of these engines and far more efficient in both lifespan and fuel. Where F1 went wrong was effectively stopping developing of the PU’s at the start of the season (none allowed 2014 during season and limited from 2015 onwards), which meant if the manufacturers got it wrong, they were mostly stuck with the same PU model.
8th March 2017, 16:58
I think it has been both ways @maddme, street car technology has also (tried) to filter down into f1 cars. 4WD was a established technology when F1 decided to implement it.
Michael Brown (@)
8th March 2017, 14:42
Global society? Who’s that, exactly?
8th March 2017, 14:48
I think there is great beauty in these pu’s in being able to do more with less…less noise and less fuel. I don’t see them spending the hundreds of millions if not billions it would take to revert back to previous engines and the resultant total redesign again of the chassis to accommodate said previous engines. By the time they could even feasibly and affordably devolve back to the way it was, another several years will have gone by and the loud gas guzzlers will be even more irrelevant. And this all just to please the portion of folks that miss the screaming that wasn’t even always there as F1 was growing up, when just as many are fine without the screaming.
8th March 2017, 14:49
I thought he was talking about his nose! No, we could definitely do with noisier bigger engines. You run F1 based on manufacturers whims and you lose.
8th March 2017, 15:51
Typical Whiney Todt. He does not speak for me.
Mangy Black Sheep (@mangyblacksheep)
8th March 2017, 16:01
Guys, give it up. Technology and the Auto Industry have spoken, we’re never going back to V10s and V12s, and I’m saying all this as someone who grew up in the V10 era and deeply loved it.
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)
8th March 2017, 16:12
We should look forward, not backward.
Anyhow, who would even build V10s or V12s for F1 now let alone conceive the thought of running factory teams with them?
Djangles LeVaughn (@royal-spark)
8th March 2017, 16:13
F1 engines are like pop songs or musical movements from certain eras. The style becomes the norm for a few years, maybe a bit longer. Noise/sound defines the era; flat 12 for 70s, TTV6 for 80s, mid-high revving V10s/V8s for 90s and onwards. Then afterwards society moves on, new tastes or styles are developed, accepted, made mainstream and then we get used to it.
And much like old pop songs, the sounds of old F1 engines are looked back at with great nostalgia and bias. Often overlooking and dismissing what’s currently in fashion as inferior or rubbish.
Trying to bring something old back into mainstream attention won’t work if current generations’ taste or attitudes are polar opposite to what older generations deem as ‘good’.
8th March 2017, 16:22
If both the Renault and Honda engines turn out to be duds this season then F1 is in serious trouble, especially if both suppliers pull the plug in supplying engines.
For without the four? teams that run those engines, F1 would collapse. I’m suprised that F1 don’t have a plan B in regards maintaining full grids. To have just two remaining engine suppliers is not a viable option and may well force a return to V8/10/12 engines.
Whilst it is easy to mock a team like McLaren and engine supplier Honda, the situation in regards engine supply overall is a disaster for F1.
If the only supply option for non Mercedes or Ferrari F1 teams is to run de-tuned customer engines from their competitors, will the likes of Red Bull stay in F1?
8th March 2017, 16:47
Given how Red Bull have threatened to torpedo the series if they’ve not got their way in the past, I have no love for them staying or not.
8th March 2017, 18:04
Without the 4 Red Bull cars, without Renault or McLaren there would be a grid of 12 cars. That is not a viable option for F1.
Irrespective of what one thinks of Red Bull, without them or the other non Mercedes or Renault teams, F1 is going nowhere.
Without more competitive engine suppliers F1 is going nowhere. That is the conundrum.
How to get more engine suppliers into F1 may well dictate the configuration of future F1 engines.
Anything from an normally aspirated alloy 8 litre V8 to a dual turbo rotary engine may need to be considered.
Personally would have no engine rules. Run what you like.
8th March 2017, 18:05
Not Renault should read non Mercedes or Ferrari teams.
8th March 2017, 16:56
Caution: monster is at the wheel
8th March 2017, 17:07
Bring V16 then!)
8th March 2017, 17:16
Nah the H16 BRM
8th March 2017, 17:58
It’s simple, if the Aussies prefer their peace and quiet we can quite easily find another circuit to race on.
I can understand cost reasoning but any other excuse is complete rubbish!
8th March 2017, 18:05
F1 is then dead as we know it if we follow todt’s logic of progressing technology ever forward. In a few short years AI could replace drivers as well as half the team. Why not just race virtually in a sim and spit the results out on Sunday afternoon? No one will know or care.
8th March 2017, 18:13
Nobody is saying that Formula 1 has to revert to the engines from the past but the current ones are a disaster, and this has got absolutely nothing to do with the noise they make but the costs and complexity of them and the restrictiveness of the regulations. How can manufacturers be attracted to Formula 1 when the rule makers dictate that the engine must be such a specific design AND last for multiple races that means they become extraordinarily expensive to design and manufacture and extremely complicated to work properly?
There were many more than just the 4 manufacturers we see now back when they were allowed V10 and V12 engines with much more freedom to develop them, those engines were relatively simple designs and were a lot cheaper compared with the engines they have now. Not even the great specialists Cosworth are supplying teams in Formula 1 anymore, and they almost always used to be involved at a competitive level.
It does not make for a good spectacle when the number of prospective competitors is reduced because they are forced into jumping through so many hoops just to even get in the event to start with. It needs to be much simpler and much more cost effective, like it used to be before 2014, otherwise in the future there won’t be a Formula 1 because nobody will be prepared to spend so much money just to end up struggling to compete against a dominant Mercedes.
8th March 2017, 21:24
@rob91 “There were many more than just the 4 manufacturers we see now back when they were allowed V10 and V12 engines with much more freedom to develop them”
Not as if F1 switched to this formula causing all those other manufacturer’s to leave, They left while F1 was still a V8 or V10 formula. And let us not ignore that this new formula encouraged one of them (Honda) to come back.
And as to Cosworth, Lets also not ignore that there V8 engine wasn’t especially good & nobody actually wanted to use it. The 3 2010 teams that were initially forced to run it abandoned it as soon as they were able & the 1 year Williams used it was the worst season they went through in recent memory.
8th March 2017, 22:48
RogerA, the manufacturers that left at the end of the 2000’s did so in part because they weren’t winning and were not allowed to improve their engines because of the freeze on development deployed at the end of the first year of mandatory V8’s in 2006, had they been allowed to develop them and become winners they may well have stuck around. And it was McLaren that convinced Honda to come back, not the change of engine regulations, and their struggles with it are advertising perfectly to other manufacturers exactly why they should stay well away from Formula 1.
Also, the Cosworth V8 engine was fine, Williams scored plenty of points and a pole position with it, and out of the 3 new entrants from 2010 it was only Caterham that dropped Cosworth before the engine regulations changed from V8 to V6 hybrids in 2014 and it is because of this regulation change that Cosworth are not there anymore. They can never take on the might of the big manufacturers with such expensive and complicated systems being forced upon the sport, making it simpler will mean the likes of Cosworth can return with much cheaper engines.
9th March 2017, 19:37
@rob91 The Cosworth wasn’t fine, It was by far the worst engine in that formula.
Rubens Barrichello said in 2010 when Williams moved to it that it was less drivable, less fuel efficient & was producing less power.
Williams used it for 1 year despite having a longer term deal because it wasn’t working for them, Caterham moved away from it as soon as they were able to because they wanted a better engine & Manor/Marussia wanted to but couldn’t afford an alternative until they got the Ferrari discount due to signing Bianchi.
13th March 2017, 13:02
RogerA, the Cosworth V8 was good enough for Williams to use it for 2 years in 2010 and 2011, NOT one year, and with reasonable success as I have already stated.
Also, Jules Bianchi joined Marussia after Luiz Razia had his contract terminated in 2013, whilst the team were still with Cosworth. Their switch to Ferrari came a year later when the engine regulations changed in 2014 and that is not a coincidence, Cosworth had decided not to make their own version of the V6 hybrid because it was (and still is) too expensive, and it is this which forced Marussia to find a new supplier.
And if Marussia really did get a discount from Ferrari because of Bianchi, which I very much doubt is true, it can’t have been much of a discount because don’t forget that they weren’t able to complete the 2014 season and were forced to use old engines in 2015. You could very much argue that it was the new engine regulations that killed this team, certainly the biggest contributor to their demise at least.
8th March 2017, 19:17
I hate to burst the Frenchman’s bubble but there are less car manufacturers in F1 than ever before, and I’m struggling to actually think of a series that has less manufacturers than F1. Even Aussie V8s have more manufacturers despite being ‘ancient’ technology-wise if we were to take Todts perspective.
8th March 2017, 20:32
Fine with me. I like the V6 engines, the associated technology and the sound. V8, V10 and V12 are a thing of the past on both road and racing car, the question is not “if” but “when” for all series.
As for the number of manufacturer, its not the technology but the cost and associated control that is killing it. If Honda/McLaren had the opportunity to rent a circuit for themselves and 10 hours a day all winter, they would not be where they are now. In my opinion reducing the testing did nothing to control the cost, instead it forced the team to invest in very expensive simulation technologies… Reducing the cost is an utopia, if a team has a budget of $300mn they will find a way or another to spend it to get an edge.
They should make the serie more appealing to constructor (easier to get in: free testing) and more rewarding to small structures (not rocket science).
8th March 2017, 21:27
@fletchuk Same amount of manufacturer’s are in F1 now that were in F1 towards the end of the V8 formula (4).
It’s also not accurate to say there are less than ever before as during the 70’s there were years where it was basically only 2 (Ferrari & Cosworth).
8th March 2017, 21:25
F1 is spectacle. Not politics.
Investment in F1 is driven by one factor: How many people are watching. It’s simple. Manufacturers/sponsors/money will gravitate towards the sport if more people watch.
More people watched louder, far more dangerous cars. Less people watch today’s sanitized cars. For example, F1 has lost one-third of its TV audience since 2008: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/04/20/f1-has-lost-one-third-of-its-tv-audience-since-2008/
Honda doesn’t care about strapping an F1 hybrid V6 into a Civic. Honda wants more people exposed to its brand. Every single [fill in the blank company involved in F1] wants more people exposed to its brand.
Creating a globally/socially/conscious/politically correct car will not attract more $$$ unless that also increases the spectacle of the racing. So far, that has not happened. The reverse has happened. Each step towards Todt’s dream has diminished the spectacle of F1.
Sorry everyone, the spectacle of motor racing is noise and danger. And guess what, F1 was better 30 years ago. It quite simply was. It’s not about going backwards, or addressing nostalgia. Like any business, it’s about tapping into what has worked in the past, and repeating it. We know people want to watch loud and dangerous cars. Give them what they want.
Todt should be focused on one thing: Get more people in front of the TV watching F1, anyway, anyhow.
9th March 2017, 12:29
Just to add though, in 2008 the global economy went into a tailspin. I’m sure at least some of F1’s diminished audience must be blamed on that. Other racing series have seen declines too. Fewer companies willing to spend big marketing dollars, more people without jobs or feeling less secure in their jobs.
9th March 2017, 19:34
Since you mention Honda, Honda have been very clear that the only reason they came back to F1 was because of the current engine formula.
8th March 2017, 22:59
Its fine not going back. We understand. but don’t expect crowd numbers to grow at race events.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
9th March 2017, 0:21
This gotta be one of the stupidiest things ever said by a FIA President ever. I’ll start by pointing out the fact taht FIA themselves tried to make WRC faster and louder, without any sort of hybrid technology, and they now have 3 manufacturers competing together, and almost had a 4th one had Volkswagen not collapsed under their self-made stress per the diesel-gate.
They tried to make WRC “what it used to be”, and manufacturers joined the idea.
They are trying to build a perpetual motion machine or some sort of impossible physics experiment turning F1 into a “road relevant” show. It isn’t, and it’ll never be. Not even the hybrid technology is relevant, they are strictly regulated and it’s not like they can come up with any system they wants: that’s what Formula E and WEC is for. So? what are we doing here in the end?
And how could society turn its back about louder engines anyway? what do they care? It’s a sport, which only the fan base really cares about.
9th March 2017, 19:31
@fer-no65 The change in WRC regulations this year had zero impact on what manufacturer’s are in WRC this year.
Toyota had signed upto the WRC before the FIA decided to change the formula to what we see this year & the other manufacturer’s involved (Hyundai & Ford) as well as VW before they pulled out all entered under the previous formula & would have stayed (Or left in VW’s case) regardless of the new regulations.
9th March 2017, 6:09
That front wing on the Williams looks so basic and simple. Can’t believe in just 10 years, they have become so darn complicated.
4th April 2017, 23:43
Gotta admit, I now watch F1 more for the glamour around it and the start of the race than for anything else – on a few occasions last season I walked away to do something once the first round of pit stops were sorted between laps 11-20, came back to watch the last couple of laps.
There’s guaranteed to be almost no real overtaking – it’s now largely down to who pits when and gets to come out ahead of the other. The noise is underwhelming on TV and the gap between the top two teams and the rest of the field is so wide that no real racing happens across the gap.
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