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Ecclestone “anti, anti, anti, anti” 2013 engine rules

2013 F1 season

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Ferrari 056
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Bernie Ecclestone says he does not agree with F1’s planned change of engine formula in 2013.

He told journalists in Australia he is “anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula.”

F1 is moving to 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engines in 2013.

Ecclestone added: “We don’t need it and if it’s so important it’s the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing.”

According to Ecclestone only two thing are important in F1: “One is Ferrari and second is the noise.”

He said: “The rest of it is basically PR – it’s nothing in the world to do with Formula One. These changes are going to be terribly costly to the sport.

“I’m sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I’m quite sure we’ll lose TV.

Ecclestone said he and FIA president Jean Todt were “at loggerheads” over the planned changes, saying:

“He’s not a promoter and he’s not selling Formula One to be honest.

“Jean and I are a little bit at loggerheads over this engine. I don’t see the reason for it.

“We had the KERS and this was supposed to solve the problem that Formula One is not green and now we’ve got something else.”

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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169 comments on “Ecclestone “anti, anti, anti, anti” 2013 engine rules”

  1. Quardruple negative? So I g

    1. a double, double negative. Which means, I assume that he agrees with them!

      I completely disagree with Bernie. F1 should be a turbo formula in my opinion, preferably with a fixed amount of fuel. Who needs DRS and KERS when you can choose to turn the boost up/down etc?

      1. Yes, a double double negative, which means he is actually in favor of the 2013 rules. He is getting a little old isn’t him?

        1. Getting a bit on uncertainty in it will never hurt, just to make backing down a bit easier.

          I guess Bernie is gradually pulling all tricks to get FIA and FOTA seperated and fractioned before they jointly push down CVCs earnings next year.

    2. Yeah. That was supposed to say “So I guess he agrees?” I’m not sure what happened.

  2. Sp he’s for the 2013 rules?

  3. I think Bernie should stop hiding what he really thinks and actually open up :P

    1. I agree with Bernie on this one. F1 is not the place to go green. Smaller engines are not going to save the world.

  4. I think (as always) he paints a bit of an overly dramatic picture. As stated before, I’m not a fan of the new engines, but its not like this is the first engine regulation change and F1 is still here. I love the sound of the old Ferrari V12s, but its not like I stopped watching F1 when they were discontinued. If the racing is good, the brands are big, the drivers stay the stars and there is enough action, I doubt many casual viewers would even notice (the commentary on tv is louder anyway).

    Seems like Mr E and Mr T don’t get back to being friends anymore ..

    1. Of course he overdramaticizes it, but seeing how many other people make a dramatic point out of F1 having to be “green” I’m completely on his side.

      The sound IS important if you’ve ever been at a racetrack. I’ve been to the Oldtimer GP at the Nurburgring several times, and when they roll out the late 70’s F1 cars it melts your brain with joy.

      The racing action in WTCC is brilliant now and then as well. Still nobody gives a hoop.

      The attraction of Formula 1 to the broad audience has always been the speed and glamour. If F1 cars use souped up Miata engines, then a big portion of that goes missing.

      1. I agree Dennis. The sound of the cars is the thing that keeps you watching when we have races like Bahrain, Germany and Abu Dhabi 2010. And I don’t think you need to be at the circuit to enjoy the sound. I’ve been before and it’s absolutely amazing, but even on TV the sound of 24 screaming Formula 1 cars flying past the camera is like my ecstasy! Some people don’t like the noise, but Bernie has a point. Everyone associates Formula 1 with extremely loud and high revving engines. There are only three things that I think are absolutely imperative in F1’s survival, and those are the sound, the sight and the speed.

        I can’t imagine hearing an F1 car with only 4 cylinders, and I’m not sure I ever want to. For me, this is one of the worst things that can possibly happen to the sport. :(

        1. It depends. The old 1500hp BMW turbos were four cylinder 1.5 litre engines, based on BMW 2002 blocks if I remember correctly! The cylinder number is not the problem here. I said months ago that F1 would be better off simply allowing 1.5 or 1.6 litre turbos of any cylinder number, restricting power through boost pressure or fuel flow. Even Ferrari were excited by turbos when they were first used, so a V6, or even V8 turbo would work well.

          But to say a 4 cylinder engine would be rubbish is to ignore the fire-breathing BMWs – they were anything but boring…

          1. I will have to find a video of this BMW you speak of. But will the 2013 cars sound like this?

          2. I’ll have to find a video of one of this BMW engine you speak of. But will the 2013 F1 cars sound like this, do you know?

          3. I wonder where people get the idea from, that these new engines will be anything like the BMW engines of the past. Those were not built with the environment in mind.

            The new cars won’t rev as high, won’t spit flames, won’t have NEARLY as much power and will have to last longer than just one race distance.

            Comparing these new engine rules with the powertrains from the 80’s is a disgrace.

          4. Comparing these new engine rules with the powertrains from the 80′s is a disgrace.

            That’s not what I wanted to read. Now I have basically no faith whatsoever in this new four cylinder formula.

          5. That’s exactly right. The number of cylinders doesn’t have that much to do with how cool something sounds. Often it’s to do with the interaction of different elements running at different rates, in particular the firing order and the offset.

            A Renault R22 for example sounds ‘better’ (or more interesting) than other contemporary V10s because of it’s 113 degree offset instead of the standard 72. The 72s have a two tone sound because the firing order relative to other cycles in the engine is a direct multiple, whereas the 113 in order to fudge good balance has some unusual cycles which you can hear as three tones with the lower two at 2/5 and 3/5 the firing rate.

            Add a turbo and you have a whole stack of extra complexity to the sound being added. I think you have to wait and see… the straight 4s may very well sound thinner than the v8’s, but they might end up sounding more interesting.

        2. ‘but even on TV the sound of 24 screaming Formula 1 cars flying past the camera is like my ecstasy!’
          Couldn’t agree more! i’m quite dissapointed when it changed from V10 to V8 but V4??

          1. @llama You sound like the sort of person that could explain to me why the pre-2002 V10s seemed to have an unusual wailing sound as they drove off into the distance. It almost sounded like a cry or something! But the 2002-2005 engines were the best sounding things I think I’ve ever heard in my life.

        3. Exactly.

          I can’t overstate the danger of going to a low-revving 4 cylinder turbo OR anything else that compromises the sound. I’ve taken people to live GP’s who couldn’t stand 5 minutes of F1 on TV, but after hearing F1 V8′s and V10′S live their eyes BULGED and they immediately became giddy like little children…it transformed them from indifferent to real fans in an INSTANT. It’s funny, when people hear the engines fire-up they instinctively break out into a little run before realizing they’re running and then slow to a self-conscious power walk. It’s hilarious. Trying to explain the experience of an F1 powerplant’s sound is futile. It must be experienced to be understood.

          Also, I cannot fully express how misguided this whole green craze is. What’s the point? Will ANYONE ever buy a car because a team improves it F1 mpg’s from 5mpg to 10mpg? Sorry, but those people aren’t F1 fans to begin with. It’s not F1′s job to promote green consciousness among the public either. It’s a fricking sport. Sure, be responsible and try to be environmentally friend where possible, but risk the character of the sport? No. Do you see the NFL or Manchester United risking their sport to promote green agendas? No!!!!!!!!!

          1. Joey Zyla (@)
            7th December 2012, 8:04

            It’s sound. It’s not important. Why do you even care?

    2. speed deamon
      19th March 2011, 17:42

      The whole point here is you are talking of the pinnacle of motorsports you dont want to put in 4 cylinder engines in these machines i dont know how it will sound but i have a very good feeling it’s not going to sound like the older ones.
      The FIA is only a governing body and they are suppose to make sure that all of them are within the rules that is their real job why the h*** do they have to go reducing engine size trying to make it a more greener sport i mean please so what next we run around with electric engines which make no noise at all…
      this is also going to considrably increase costs as evry time you change rules money has to be spent reseaching and developing a cutting edge component they have been tightening the rules so much that this is becoming horrible to say the least please leave the rules the way they are for god’s sake…

  5. I might for the first time ever agree with him. V12’s please!

    1. V12 engines are impractical. They’re heavy and they’re excessive when teams are trying to cut down weight. They’re also notoriously fiddly and prone to breakages.

      1. You forgot awesome.

        1. You don’t just bolt four extra cylinders on and go faster. It doesn’t work that way. There’s a reason why teams ran V8 engines when they were given the choice between V8s and V10s.

          V12s are not awesome. They’re excessive and they’re heavy and the power gained is not worth the increase in weight or difficulty.

          1. Oh yes they are. The very definition of awesomness! And if they are trickier to get right, so what? F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport can deal with it. They were more prone to breakages only because there was just 1 team(Ferrari) actively developing them. But make them mandatory for all teams and you’ll see the problems ironed out in no time. After all, every supercar manufacturer on the planet has V12 engines that do not pose any problems, so why can’t it be done in F1?

            And you cannot substitute the V12 F1 engine noise for anything. I know it sounds like a cliche, but V12 shriek reverbates inside your very bones, it shudders the essense of your being, touches your soul, etc-all is true. It’s the sound of pure extacy. The V8 sound is pale in comparison, and the very notion of the pinnacle of motorsport running on straight-4 engines of essentially the same type as the engine in the Fiat Bravo or VW Golf makes my heart sink. It also offends me deeply. And somehow I’m sure it’s not just me…

          2. Completely starting from 0 with small displacement turbo engines is not worth it either. So there.

            I rather have V12’s for the sake of sound, than an upscale Miata engine with a turbo.

            And the reason F1 has to decide how many cylinders the engines HAVE to have is beyond me, anyway.

          3. The teams were forced to run V8s instead of V10s because Mosley thought ghey could just slice off 2 cylinders making the engines cheaper. For your information a V8 is much more difficult to balance than a V10 and the engines are also forced to use a smaller v angle which further worsens the balance problem.

          4. the problem here is that becoause the limited number of engines, they don’t rev as high, and they lack in power.
            If they allowed the turbos to rev, and produce power like in the old days, i wouldn’t mind. The sound was good then, and it would be good in 2013.

          5. @Montreal95 and others.
            PM is perfectly right here. Ferrari went from V12 to V10 because it offered them a better, faster solution. Their V12 offered better power, but was also heavier and guzzled fuel, so the car was heavier and needed a bigger fuel tank. When they were running V10, Ford (cosworth) was already changing to a better optimized V8.

            Those in line 4 cylinder engines will be pretty far from production engines. Them producing about 500-650 hp will make them quite something to behold and they will sound pretty good i would expect.

            Certainly better than the farthing Renault we got on track now, and the coughing McLaren.

          6. DeadManWoking
            18th March 2011, 10:08

            The new cars won’t rev as high

            If they allowed the turbos to rev, and produce power like in the old days

            The 1980’s BMW turbos only revved to 11-12,000 rpm just as the 2013 engines will.

          7. Just repeating the phrase ‘souped up Miata engine’ over and over doesn’t mean you ‘win’ the argument. If the more cylinders an engine has means it is ‘better’, why is everyone saying that V12’s are the ideal? Why not V16’s or W16’s?

            I suspect the answer is “because I remember V12’s and through my rose-tinted glasses they were much better than any new suggestion someone else comes up with”.

            A genuine question; is it an American thing to be obsessed with cylinder numbers? I don’t know anyone in Britain who is so hung up on this and thinks that people won’t watch a formula with fewer cylinders – it isn’t like the cars have it written on the side.

            And the noise thing can be easily remedied for those too fickle to enjoy watching something that sounds different to what they are used to. My grandfather was deaf but it didn’t stop him loving watching F1.

          8. There’s nothing wrong with souped-up Miata engines – I own one. :D

            But I happen to think that a small V6 is the right way to go…

          9. @ BasCB: Ferrari were forced to go from V12 to V10 engines, because of the rule change between 1994 and 1995 that banned 3.5 litre engines. In 1994 Ferrari engine was by far the most powerful in F1. However the cut down to 3 litre took off some of the power while doing nothing for the V12’s bigger fuel consumption, so at the moment of the rule change, the Renault became the unqestionably the best engine, while nbefore they were tied overall. IN THOSE CONDITIONS there was no point with continuing with V12, but I’m sure that after 16 years there is a solution to make 3-litre V12 more economical and reliable.

            And I cant understand why they must be inline four turbos. Why don’t have V6 turbos? I don’t want F1 to be as close as they can be to the car I drive at home(of course with 600bhp +150hp KERS is not the same, thats why I’ve added “as close as”, so what’s the point?). In fact I want F1 to be as far from my day to day experience as possible, it’s part of what makes F1 exciting.

            Now, I don’t know when you last attended a Grand Prix, but I was at Spa 2009 and I thought the Renault, and espesially Mercedes sounded great! The only engine I didn’t like was the Toyota(by far the most quiet) and they’re gone now.

          10. Dear Rob,

            I’m neither american, nor am I obsessed with many cylinders. And the problem is not the 4-banger itself, but that F1 is basically running engines small displacement engines that could come from an F3 car.

            I also don’t want to “win” an argument. I would like to state my opinion. Thank you very much. Also, I own an MX-5 myself, among other cars… Just to get things into perspective.

            Limiting the engines to a certain point was necessary to cut costs. But we arrived at a point, where these new engine rules will cost a bunchload of money so that the treehuggers can calm down.

            You are right, that the average viewer will probably see no difference. So why change the engines at all? I am also puzzled by this sudden interest in the fuel consumption of F1 cars. I want to bet that 99 of 100 people have no idea about the fuel consumption of an F1, or of a race car in general for that matter.

          11. Why specify the engine configuration at all if you are genuinely interested in *developing* a more environmentally friendly formula.

            The real solution would be to limit the amount of fuel that could be used in a race to something small, and let the teams work out how to use that to complete the race as fast as possible.

            And for goodness sake, take the limits on KERS off. Let the teams develop that to the nth degree.

            If they want to run solar panels then let them do that too. Let them do anything they like to get the car going fast without consuming much fuel.

    2. I have almost never agreed with Ecclestone in the past, but this time I’m with him too,Victor. The average racing career of a driver starts with karting, and after all there is in between, he wants to get a seat in F1. But should F1 adopt the 4-cyl engines, it would almost take this driver back to where he started. If I were a car racer today, I would start looking into MotoGP, and not F1 anymore.

  6. “anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula.”

    Does that even make sense?

    1. As with much of what Mr E says; no it does not! He really is getting to old for his job, he needs to move on!

    2. Anti Engines – Against it
      Anti, anti Engines – Supports it
      Anti, anti, anti Engines – Against it
      Anti, anti, anti, anti Engines – Supports it

      So literally speaking, what Bernie said supports the proposed 4cylinder turbo engine, however, I suspect he was using the language technique of ‘repetition’ to enforce an aggressive stance on the issue.

      1. You ain’t not having no idea about no gangsta slang, yo.

      2. Maybe he was anti every one of the cylinders?

        1. yeah 4 anti for 4 cylinder does make scene :)

        2. Exactly, he would go directly to a EV series with big speaker boxes to amplify the sounds of a nice recorded V12 8)

      3. The irony of having 4 antis in there to symbolize those 4 cylinders, LOL.

  7. As has been pointed out my Mr. Saward elsewhere, F1 was hardly struggling in the 1980’s was it?

  8. Bernie must be losing his touch because he’s given away what this is really all about: politics.

    Max and Bernie were close allies, dictators from the same pod. Todt, for his few faults, is not of the same ilk. All this is pointing to some deeper issue and I suspect it’s the one of who controls F1. The negotiations over the new Concorde Agreement are expected to be quite explosive as Bernie, CVC and FOM face a tough fight to retain their share of the spoils and you can bet Todt will be on the side of F1 rather than the money.

    Bernie doesn’t really think people will turn off because there’s less noise. He’s frightened his own voice won’t make as much noise in the future of F1.

    1. Agree, this is purely yet another negotiating ploy from Ecclestone. Proof is that he says the TV companies will loose interest, which is obviously completely false because the broadcasters mute the engine sounds anyway.

      1. The sound of the engines is indeed compressed/limited and what not, to make sure it’s hearable and at the same time agreeable. If they didn’t do that, you would have a very distorted noise coming from your TV.

        That they make the sound good for your home Television set doesn’t mean that it is a very important aspect of watching a race.

        Bernie has a point, however the size and number of cylinders don’t matter so much , but the rev limit (only 12000) does.

        Having said that, it is clear that this is about politics. He only wants to echo Luca di Montezemolo, because that’s the guy he has lured with a big bag of money in the past.

        1. Yep. It’s clearly a political struggle. What I wanna know is why anyone still listens when garbage starts flowing from Bernie’s mouth like a clogged toilet. Maybe Todt will give him the giant metaphorical plunger in the next Concorde Agreement and get his pipes flowing smoothly again.

    2. Fully agree with what you say. Bernie is just trying everything he can to get to seperate the FOTA teams and the FIA and have a bargaining position.

  9. “it’s the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing.” and? you also find V8’s in saloon racing, they just have twice, maybe 3 times the seize of what the F1 engines have in displacement. F1 needs to go forward, not backwards. And i think that moving from V10, down to V8, and then a displacement seize down again (if i remember correctly). Is going backwards.

    I will even go as far as stating that in these times, any engine that is NOT turbocharged is old fashion. The only thing Turbo engines have less of compared to normally aspirated engines is noise and in some cases drive ability. I don’t like that the power will go down so much, but for me turbo engines is definitely the way forward. The only better solution, i can think of, is to move back to the V10 engines but i don’t see that happening.

  10. complete agree with him, next Todt will want them to run on electric to please the earth hugger’s. Wanted Todt get the topdog post cause he was running against that politician thwat but now getting a bit fed up with some his decisions.

  11. What was wrong with the sound of the 1.5 liter BMW 4 cylinder turbo of the eighties? I have heard it for real attending Grand Prix. And these engines gave 1000+ horsepower so I don’t see a real problem here.

    Besides, the F1 needs to go greener if it still wants to be the pinnacle of motorsports in 10+ years. The Le Mans Series is going greener (with hybrid engines) and is attracting the attention of car manufacturers which left Formula 1 (Toyota, Honda), so I think that is the way to go.

    And KERS does not make F1 greener, the way it is used. It is used as a supplement (power boost) and not as a replacement of fossil fuel. Only when it is used as a replacement (like the Toyota Prius hybrid car) it will make the F1 greener than it is today.

    1. They used 6-cylinder turbos in the 80s, not 4.

      1. And in some cases… 4. Use the googles.

      2. HounslowBusGarage
        17th March 2011, 20:26

        Brabham BT 50 in 1981 had a 4 pot BMW engine.

        1. Was Bernie running Brabham at the time?