If the Formula 1 seasons tarts with a whimper and a whisper, don’t blame F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. He’s been against he engine format change since the beginning and was summarily overruled by the teams and the FIA in their effort to be green and more appealing to auto manufacturers. The new V6 turbo engine coupled to an vastly more expanded hybrid system called ERS has been at the heart of many of the issue experienced in the 2014 season’s first test last week in Jerez.
Ecclestone told Sportsmail:
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.’
Having herd the engines for the first time, some F1 fans are willing to give some space for the notion that they weren’t running at full song during the test but others have listened to the comparisons and are aghast at what F1 has become. You can hear the difference between this year’s engine note and last year’s V8 here.
Ecclestone isn’t happy about the situation at all and should the teams be unable to come to grips with the new engines, cooling and control issues and performance, we could be heading toward a serious reliability issue for 2014. How fans will react to this possibility remains to be seen but the sound of an F1 car is as different as it has ever been and while it has its detractors, others believe we will get used to it over time. I doubt Mr. Ecclestone will ever get used to it if I’m honest.