The world of Formula One racing is being torn in two. On one side are forces like Renault and the FIA who want to see F1 moving towards more environmentally conscious means of propulsion. On the other are parties like Ferrari, the race promoters and Bernie Ecclestone that are more concerned about abandoning the elements that make grands prix the spectacle that they are.

The FIA recently approved a new engine formula that will see the sport switching from its current V8 engines to V6 turbos, which will also cut the rev limiter from 18,000 rpm down to 15,000. As a result, the commercial side of the sport is growing concerned that the screeching noise that has become associated with F1 racing will mean lower ticket sales. And ticket sales are the only way for local racers promoters to raise the millions demanded by Bernie Ecclestone for the right to host a grand prix.

In fact, according to ESPN, some of the race promoters are threatening to jump ship and hold IndyCar racers instead. With the series once again reunited and new engine suppliers expected to move in, Indy is hoping it can retake its place as the next viable alternative to F1.

For his part, Ecclestone can hardly blame them, and says that if the new engine regulations result in a drop in ticket sales, he could hardly hold the race promoters at fault. So what recourse would he have? Sue the FIA for loss of revenue. At this point, it could prove little more than saber-rattling – particularly since this isn't the first time the sport has gone with turbocharged V6 engines – but then again, F1 is a bigger spectacle these days than it was in the past.


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  • 44 Comments
      rocketmoose
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm okay with a drop to Turbo V6s. Not so much for the changes to the rev limiter. Those wailing engines are part of the life and soul of F1. Nixing it is a travesty.
      Jeff Naylor
      • 3 Years Ago
      The promoters want V8s and loud, screeching engines, so they're going to jump to IndyCar and their new 4 bangers? If this is their bargaining position, I wouldn't worry too much if I were Jean Todt.
      George Cc
      • 3 Years Ago
      F1 shouldn't be bullied around by some tree hugging hippies. F*** that sh*t up.
      P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Utter nonsense. The worst bluff in the history of sports. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows Indy is hanging by a tiny thread and couldn't begin to replace a fraction of the attention (and dollars) F1 commands. Besides, what is Bernie going to sue for, rejection of reality? Political pressures and motorsport culture are embracing efficiency. Deal with it. Turbo V6's will be relevant, awesome and sound just fine. Quit whining and race.
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would really really really like to see fewer regulations in general. For instance, if you want a greener race, then limit the amount of fuel used!!!! It might take a while to get it right, but there will be a point when you can only engineer an engine to put out so much power per amount of fuel burned. This would allow diversity of engines...
      Pandamasque
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pure an utter BS. What's the point in publishing completely unfounded rumours WEEKS after they've become yesterdays news?
      Mike McDonald
      • 3 Years Ago
      All this nonsense could be avoided if the new engines produce over 1,000 hp.
        Chris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike McDonald
        The reduction of power was a call for safety, cars became way too fast. Even so, the current formula is setting laptimes very close to the time when they had 250 more hp and roughly an extra 100 ft-lbs^2 of torque which wasn't long ago, including the greater downforce restrictions we have now.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about Bernie work on ways of making the race's a bit more exciting first? Encourage ways to make passing happen more frequently perhaps? As for the Promoters I understand their fear of losing money. Last thing anyone would want is investing a few million and only get back what you put in and a few bucks to line their pockets instead of a massive payday.
        Jonathan Arena
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        Trust me, the races are one of the most exciting specticals on the face of the earth. If you're bored, it's because you don't understand what is going on, and THAT is the problem with F1- the rules are SO complicated and ever changing that you need a degree to appreciate it.
          musikhut
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jonathan Arena
          Your statement is not entirely true. I've followed F1 and understand it quite well. So well, in fact, that I recognize poor track designs (like Valencia) hurts the excitement factor more than any engine change will. Yes, a road course needs twists and turns, but not to the point where they hamper the drivers by restricting passing to about 30% of the course length. That, to me, makes for a boring race.
        Redline
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        They have been doing that with KERS and the movable rear wing.
      Evan McMiller
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow 15,000? Come one that's not fair. These V8s are bad enough being limited to 18 when they're capable of 23k+ I think they should stay at 18, or even go back up to 20, like in the V10 days.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      I suggest Bernie and crew focus on the actual racing if they are concerned about ticket sales. There are few things more boring than a F1 parade ("race"). When the most exciting event of the weekend is the 3rd round knockout during qualifing, you have a problem.
        xxxZOMBIExxx
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        I'd rather watch F1 than the boring spectacle of professional left turning that some Americans seems to think is a form of racing...
        Smitty_Smithenson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        If you truly think races like the Canadian GP this year are boring...then I feel truly sorry for you
          throwback
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Smitty_Smithenson
          perhaps the answer is more races in the rain then. There have been 8 F1 races this year, only Canada can even remotely be called exciting, and it was because of the weather. F1 is about the spectacle these days and very little about the racing. There are perhaps 3 teams that can win at any given race and they rarely pass one another on the track, the rest are just backmarkers. Sadly that includes great names like Williams and Mercedes.
        Narom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Then you clearly haven't watch a race this year then. Qualifying has been boring due to people saving tyres, and apart from Valencia every race this year has been brilliant.
          throwback
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          I didn't say qualifing was exciting, It is simply the MOST exciting part of the weekend. Which speaks volumes about the racing. When was the last time a pass was made for the lead outside of the first 2 laps?
          Glynn Hadskey
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          Hey throwback, That would be about three weeks ago at the Canadian Grand Prix when Button passed Vettel on the last lap for the win.
      Mike Pulsifer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I usually won't make comments like this, but is there even a proof-reading policy at autoblog? This post is a mess.
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