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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.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Steffen Vagt

    Come on Bernie. That doesn’t make sense. It’s just a pathetic way to try and justify your own opinions. Saving fuel by using less trucks? That’s not the point Bernie and you know that. The teams don’t want to save fuel because of economy or because their formula 1 operation are contributing too much to the global warming. The aim is to develop new fuel saving technologies and being able to transfer them to the automotive industry. That’s where fuel saving will matter. Stop trying to fool the fans of F1. Bernie should focus a bit more on being honest and truthful at the moment. He’s reputation in that area has never been good and especially not at current time. Time to step down and let a fresh mind run the game.

    • Nicko

      Well said! F1 has always been a technology leader and I applaud the move to high-powered hybrid technologies. V8’s are dinosaurs, the sport and the fans need a fresh injection of “anything can happen!” Once this tech has had the bugs run out of it, just wait and see the excitement on track and the speed! Bernie, time to buy a ranch and retire.

  • mini696

    The funny thing is he is right about a lot of that.

    “If they wanted to race like this they should go to Le Mans.”
    “They should get smaller motorhomes.”
    “Mercedes are taking 23 trucks with them everywhere. If they really wanted to save fuel they should stop that.”

    I wouldn’t go so far as saying it is absurd or a farce.

  • Tom Firth

    Most teams ran more laps than a single race by day 4 of the test , Reliability has vastly improved from day one to day 4 for the majority and the teams are improving the pace slowly but positively. I don’t think that a little reliability issue and attrition is bad at all for F1.

    Ok so the sounds different, but It still sounds very high performance compared to most engines.

    I can’t see what is actually absurd ?

  • Gord Stewart

    How old is the guy. In the picture he is pointing to his ear thinking why the hell everyone is whispering. Time to get some hearing aids. The world auto industry is going smaller displacement with turbo’s. Like Mr. Vagt said F1should be at the forefront of this. Remember what traction control sounded like. All cutting edge technologies sound cool, and F1 fans should embrace that.

  • Andrew W

    What we needed was a major mix up in the running order and I hope we’ll get that, the dominance of one team was making every race so boring and predictable.

    The sound of the V8’s was great if you were actually at the circuit but you couldn’t appreciate that at all on the tv where the vast majority of people watch the races . The introduction of the V6 and energy recovery system won’t for most make much difference at all, they aren’t exactly quiet.

    I cannot wait for the first race, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that’ll be the most eagerly awaited in years. I’ve been to Silverstone to watch the GP 7 or 8 times but not for around 5 year’s and if I needed any encouragement to go back then this is it – Bernie has got it all wrong.

  • I totally agree with Bernie, the new engines sound boring. I hope the fans protest by leaving the circuit in disgust. Bring back V12’s’ then you’ll see some excited fans. For those of you that have seen and heard the early 1990’s will know what I’m talking about.

  • grimreaper

    Bernie does not like progress, if the noise is too quiet then make the exhaust system larger to increase the note volume. Only the Renault engine is unreliable so far and Honda will be back in 2015. No new manufacturer was coming back with the 2.4 litre V8’s. Bernie is so far removed from the real world that it’s time to retire from his privileged position.

  • Paul Logan

    Aww boo fucking hoo, Bernie don’t get his own way so throws his toys out of the pram, ah well never mind, he could be in prison soon, odious little man.

    I think the new changes are good, shake things up a bit, who’s complaining ?? Red Bull ?? well fuck ’em.

    • JTW

      My sentiments exactly. Time to retire, Bernie, time to retire.

  • Heavyboots

    Mr E, I’d be careful about telling teams to go race Le Mans.

    Le Mans style racing has a rich historical history of racing on the cutting edge of technology that is as much about the engineers fighting it out as it is the drivers. It has a very direct link racing improving road cars and it doesn’t require DRS, KERS, double points or degrading tyres to make it exciting. Personally that is what I want in an F1 race and it is no wonder Le Mans style series are gaining in popularity.

    As it is there are several teams that are really struggling to keep up financially with in F1. If a Le Mans series did something like more a kin to the Australian V8’s with a mix of regular races and endurance races, lets say 12-14 regular rounds and 3-4 endurance races that traveled to the worlds most prestigious circuits, then Bernie might find teams like Lotus, Sauber, Caterham, Marussia and Force India willing to take his advice and go.

    • Amen…WEC is a terrific series and at the touch point of technology and innovation that is directly more road car relevant to manufacturers. Careful what you ask for.

  • Tony Geinzer

    I am not happy with the cheeseball gimmicks F1 has tried pulling since 2009 and KERS. And, a little bit of good people can and will help the Fan’s Experience 1 Day. And, too, I would welcome back Ford into F1 even though they have not been in F1 since 2004 and worse, the engines and the fields are just rumors and Gene Haas/Kurt Busch has helped contribute to that as F1 would be in a horrible need of Free Agents in the worst kind of way, like Andrew Bynum in the NBA.

  • Tim

    I for one am getting kinda tired of hearing all the complaints about the new engine formula. I like the sound of a V8 engine as much as anyone. I had a 5.0 litter V8 engine in my last Ford Mustang. I also had a 3.0 litter V6 in another Ford Mustang I owned. Both had their on unique engine rumble and both sounded good. There’s much more to Formula 1 than the sound of an engine.

    Sure there have been some engine issues. I think that’s to be expected given the major regulation changes. But isn’t testing about running the car, uncovering issues, and finding solutions?

    I think Bernie’s just stirring up the pot which he’s been known to do in the past. The more he stirs the more media attention he gets.

  • j

    Good old whining Bernie. I’m still very disappointed he suggested the ridiculous double points race for this yr. and 90% of F1 fans agree with me. Talk about totally absurd, take that stupid double points race out.

    • Craig Sipple

      If the title is effected due to the double points system it will cause nothing but drama. It will cast a shadow over the title holder and discreit the sport.
      Bernie has done a lot for the sport but its time to go.

  • Tom

    Well, first of all, he’s right that the sound isn’t as cool as it used to be. But it’s not that bad. We’ll get used to it. What really is a farce are the double points…and Bernie wants even more of those. His cronies want something in return for the bribes they paid him, so now he’s sacrificing what’s left of the sport…

    On a different note, about 15 years ago, I went to see a Mercedes racing event, where they showed off all of their racing cars. It was around their old Museum which was within their factory in Stuttgart. They built a track, most of which could not be seen as it went around behind the various production halls. Therefore, before you saw a car, you heard it. They had everything, their DTM cars, their LeMans prototypes, their Indy Cars, their F1 cars, everything, it was very, very cool. But then there came an earth shattering sound, the audience went all silent…and around the corner came this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2KJCd_VvRU

    The engine’s deep sound felt like an earthquake while the howling of the compressor sounded like a Stuka.
    So yeah, if you want to bring back a classic, earth shattering, life changing, intestines melting sound, that’s the one…

    • Tom

      Did I mention that the sound of this engine could simultaneously cause existential fear and a smile on your face? No? Well, there you go. If you ever get the chance to see one in real life, definitely go do it. :)

      • Curbn

        Fear? Well ya. It sounds like an inbound Stuka!

      • Curbn

        Ooops, you already said that. I missed the the bit after the link.

  • Kenny

    It’s a pity that this tedious, pathetic, lying and cheating little scumbag will not go away and skulk in some corner were we the fans of F1 would neither have to look at him and or listen to his stupid, hypocritical and biased rantings especially about Red Bullshit and his and Horner’s illegitimate love child backstabber Vettel. It’s just a pity the muggers in Brazil did not do a proper job a few years back and cut his tongue or do something to shut him up at least then we would not have had to listen to the bullshit this vile, evil little poison dwarf comes out with. He should listen to the fans instead of constantly line his pockets because without us he would just be a bum on a street corner.

    • Joc_the_man

      The level of intelligence in this comment is striking.
      Low mark

      • dude

        Actually it’s just the ghost writer for The Horse Whisperer (Luca) being drunk again.

      • Kenny

        @”Joc_the_man February 2, 2014 at 9:29 am
        The level of intelligence in this comment is striking.
        Low mark”
        I think before you criticise anyone elses level of intelligence you should look at the grammer and text of your own that you posted below.

    • dude

      I think you qualify for a job writing for Spanish tabloids.

  • @_canuck_

    Haha ” evil little poison dwarf “

  • Craig Sipple

    Its been boring lately, now things are interesting so what’s the problem?

    I remember the bizaar picture of Bernie and the team principle of Red Bull enjoying their 2013 holiday together and wonder if its the suffering of his best friends that has him so worked up.

  • Joc_the_man

    Bernie is sooo right.
    F1 is supposed to be ball to the wall performance & tecnology & loud. We want to see the very best drivers putting it on the edge. That is why the sport have millions of fans paying loads of money to experience.
    The 2014 F1 – I agree upon the farce word. I mean, how cool is electric motor racing, tiny low rev turbos and the noice ( people stating these new cars sounds cool must never been to a race feeling/ enjoying a screaming V10 or V8 reving 18000+) and eco-drive?? Don’t get me going on the looks of the new cars. COME ON. FIA heads really pulled it together this time!
    I have been a fan for 25+ years and have had magical moments with F1. Ends now, not interesting anylonger. I know there are thousands like me. FIA heads sit in their ivory towers don’t even think abt the fan…the people actually paying for everything. Less fans, less money, less sponsors, less interest from manufacturers…death spiral. I can give two more examples..WRC (no interest at all and never in media these days) and le-mans (diesel racing…soooo booring and only an audi show).
    Sorry to say, quite negative situation for the F1. Re-think needed but it is “10 past 12″…. and the FIA heads needs to get the sack for starters.
    Sad times :-(

  • Schmorbraten

    The Lotus is missing from the F1B poll about the cars’ looks – maybe restart the poll with all 11 cars?

  • JasonI

    Bernie gets more right than wrong. And he’s right here. The last thing race fans give 2 shits about is the “road car relevance” of the engines being raced.