Bernie Ecclestone has reignited the debate about turbo engines by suggesting that the changeover from V8s should be postponed or even abandoned.
The new formula is due to start in 2014, having already been postponed once. Although Jean Todt has insisted that won’t happen again Ecclestone has suggested that the FIA president might change his mind.
Ecclestone has made no secret of his opposition to the turbo rules, but his latest statement will cause considerable confusion given that we are only 18 months away from the first race of the new era.
“I listened to the noise of the engines in Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn’t like it,” Ecclestone told the Hindustan Times.
He added that Todt “will get rid of it. I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years. I think it is sensible to get rid of it and stick with what we have got. It is much cheaper than the new one. It probably could be 30% of the price.”
Meanwhile Australian GP boss Ron Walker, a long time ally of Bernie, said: “The circuits would be appalled if they went ahead with that new engine now, particularly if there is no guarantee the sound will be the same. The circuits will all support Bernie in his quest to keep the same engine because it will mean great savings in the cost burden of running the sport.”
The three engine manufacturers – Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes – are gradually switching their dynos over from V8 use. The consensus is that postponing the turbo formula will still be expensive as the companies will continue to spend on development during the interim.