F1 ‘risked losing manufacturers’ without new engines

2014 F1 season

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says Formula One’s new engine formula was necessary to prevent engine manufacturers from leaving the sport.

“With this new power unit we have developed is a completely industry-relevant engine formula,” he said. “This is why actually we could attract some new engine manufacturers – and keep some of them on board, actually.”

Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari are the only engine manufacturers competing in Formula One following the loss of Cosworth over the winter. FIA president Jean Todt credited the new rules for encouraging Honda to plan for a return to the sport with McLaren next year.

The quieter sound of the new V6 turbo engines provoked some criticism following the first race weekend of the season.

“With every big change there is always some problem comes,” said Boullier. “It’s true that we cannot dismiss the fans’ complaints.”

“But we are also seeing some positives and we need to not focus only on the noise.”

Boullier said the increased torque of the engines and reduction in downforce on the cars made them more challenging to drive.

“It is more of a driver formula and you could see that this weekend, there were a lot of small mistakes,” he said. “And even if there is a need to manage and save fuel and energy, it was still interesting to see some overtaking, however, and it was really a challenge for the drivers.”

“It’s true the engine sound is different but that is not very different from the turbo engines we had in the seventies. I think it needs a little bit of time to see what is going on and how it develops.”

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72 comments on F1 ‘risked losing manufacturers’ without new engines

  1. ChuckL8 said on 20th March 2014, 17:49

    “It’s true the engine sound is different but that is not very different from the turbo engines we had in the seventies.”

    Baloney! F1 turbo engines in the seventies were LOUD! And they sounded great. The new engines just sound weak.

  2. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 20th March 2014, 20:21


    The quieter sound of the new V6 turbo engines provoked some criticism following the first race weekend of the season.

    I can’t go against the numbers, but I have the feeling that other factors influenced the results. The sound the V6 engines produce may seem trivial at that stage, seeing at what kind of exciting challenges the teams are facing. What they achieved so far is incredible, but in the end, there is this small part of what made F1 which disappear.
    A new direction that has been taken with the electrical power units, not an insignificant one, and Formula E is another example. Those power units are much more efficient than classic engines, we saw that at the first race, it was thrilling, but the sound was missing somehow. There is no real replacement for that screaming madness, it’s just gone, a bit more. In a sense, it’s the nature of the sport to evolve, but I will miss this one.
    I couldn’t even give an even worse note to the poll, should it be renewed. There is so much exciting challenges with a new era, and maybe I am not the only one to have voted with that in mind?

  3. GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 20th March 2014, 20:31

    With the Old V8’s the only area the engine makers were learning anything from was the lubricants & fuels which is why most teamed up with companies working in those areas (McLaren/Mercedes with Mobil1 & Ferrari with Shell for example).

    With the new V6’s & all the ERS technology involved the engine makers are working with components & technologies which is way more relevant to what they do outside of F1 because what goes into the engines, The hybrid systems & turbo’s is much closer to what they use elsewhere & thats where it becomes more relevant to them.

    Fans may not like the ‘relevance’ argument, They may think its nonsense but the guys working on designing the power units do not & they have far more information on how relevant or not everything is.

    The sort of formula F1 has adopted for this year is the sort of thing I expect other manufacturer backed categories to be moving towards over the next few years.

  4. Chuck Lantz said on 20th March 2014, 23:22

    When I mentioned missing the noise of previous F1 cars, I should have qualified that a bit. It’s not the loudness, but the quality of engine noise that I miss. I agree that pure loudness can harm the eardrums (anyone remember the F1 Matra from the late 1970s? Now THAT was painful), but a car can be quieter and still sound racy. The new V6 simply sounds flat and weak.

  5. PeterG said on 21st March 2014, 0:25

    Honda are coming back.
    Cosworth have an engine ready but need cash to develop it further.
    Pure have an engine design but again need funding.
    Zytek have expressed a serious interest in F1 thanks to the new formula.
    BMW have spoke of a return because of the new formula.
    Porsche said they woudl have entered F1 under the new formula had there Le Mans program not been green-lit.

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