As much as I don’t want to see it happen, Formula One cant continue to claim that it has a role to play in future car design if its engines are so far from what are used by the majority of cars with no scope for innovation. BMW have said that a high percentage of the engines they make in future will be small capacity and turbo charged and even Ferrari are showing a willingness to use smaller engines in their road cars, remember they are backed by FIAT who make ‘regular cars’. the Turbo engines that could be bought in will by no means be short on power, in the 80s turbo cars where producing 900bhp in race trim 20 years ago so even with the reliability regulations in place the performance shouldn’t differ drastically.
The best situation for me would be very restrictive fuel limits on the cars with less restrictive controls on capacity etc, allowing much more scope for innovation and development of fuel saving technology’s. This wouldn’t be as beneficial in cost cutting terms but surely there must be a way of controlling the money spent by manufacturers.
In an ideal world I think almost everyone would like to see engine regulations completely opened up with only a limit of capacity. However with the current cost cutting initiative in F1 and a drive to improve its environmental credentials I cant see anything other than small capacity, turbo charged engines being used. F1 should be try to set apart from other engine design it can still have a degree of the ‘awesome’. The wailing sound of the current V8s will be missed but is the rumble of a turbo all that bad?