F1 team principals said the 2014 engine rules were designed to attract new car manufacturers to the sport and would make engine development important again.
Speaking at the FOTA Fans Forum at the McLaren Technology Centre, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said there was no interest among car manufacturers to enter F1 under the present engine rules.
“The new engine creates a fresh opportunity for manufactures to come in,” said Brawn.
He added: “I think one of the exciting things for the future is the engine are going to come back into the equation.
“The engines have been sterilised, in a way. They’re all very similar, they’re all homologated, no-one really talks about the engines any more.
“We want to get that back in because there’s a lot of exciting technology coming through with engines. I’m really excited that engines are now going to be part of the equation and not just the spacer between the chassis and the gearbox.
“They’re going to be an exciting bit that we can put back in and talk about and we can create relevance, again, for manufacturers and transport.”
Team will have to use 1.6-litre V6 engines from 2014. The FIA released further details of the units today, saying they would be limited to a maximum of 15,000rpm with direct fuel injection up to 500bar and a single turbocharger.
According to the FIA, five manufacturers were developing four-cylinder engines under the original regulations announced for 2013 – believed to be the four current F1 engine manufacturers plus Craig Pollock’s new company PURE.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the teams had pushed for a single engine formula to make it more attractive to engine manufacturers:
“I’ve certainly argued for diversity myself in the past but I think the danger is that automotive manufacturers become inhibited of entering the sport if there’s just too great a variety.
“Typically, the regulations, although they’re fixed, they in truth evolve. And what would happen if you had a range of engines, after a year probably it would be clear that either a V6 or a straight four or one solution was right. At which point, the manufacturer that’s developed the alternate configuration has to reinvest all that money.
“So I think it’s about reducing the risk so that in future we can have four or five automotive manufacturers in Formula 1 at any time. They’re always going to come in and out as it suits them and works for their marketing programme, but I think we’ve got to create an environment that is attractive to those companies being in Formula 1.”
Whitmarsh said it was important to keep F1 at the cutting edge of car design: “Formula 1 has to be the absolute pinnacle of motor sport.
“It’s the bit that differentiates it from the other branches of motorsport. We have to have that balance, all the time.
“We have to have the most advanced vehicles in the world, in motorsport. We have to balance and control performance – the circuits that we race on have to be safe.
“The technologies that we develop have to be relevant, they can’t be completely irrelevant. I think on too many occasions – and I’ve certainly been guilty of it – we’ve pursued things that we’ve found passionately interesting and exciting, but they really weren’t relevant to anyone else and I think people will question that.”
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