user icon

If V8 engines return, Mercedes will be gone - Lauda

  • Published on 10 Nov 2014 15:15
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Mercedes has warned it will quit formula one if moves to revive the old V8 era are successful. Amid the debate about costs driving small teams out of F1, and the separate argument about an engine development 'unfreeze', Bernie Ecclestone showed his hand by reiterating he is staunchly opposed to the new V6s.

"We need to change the regulations," the F1 chief executive told Sky television a week ago. "We're going to try to get rid of these (V6) engines. They don't do anything for anybody. They're not formula one," he insisted.

The 84-year-old Briton most certainly has some allies. Some of them are fans who miss the normally-aspirated V8 scream. And Ecclestone also has many race promoters on side. "I don't think there's any problem with the number of cars," said Austin promoter Bobby Epstein, who welcomed an 18-car grid to the US GP a week ago. "If the competition up front is good, the total number doesn't matter. But it would be great to hear them," he added.

It is at this point that the back-and-forth 'unfreeze' debate comes into play. Although Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been wheel-to-wheel in 2014, Mercedes was utterly dominant and rival engine suppliers Renault and Ferrari are desperate for the rules to be relaxed so they can catch up.

Mercedes, having mastered the start of the new turbo era, is understandably reluctant. "We were slowed down for five years running with aerodynamic restrictions," said Dr Helmut Marko, of F1's formerly-dominant force Red Bull. "All we're asking of Mercedes is that they give us the chance to get closer," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Mercedes has offered a slight compromise, but not all of what Renault and Ferrari are demanding. Now, Ferrari, Renault and perhaps even Honda are threatening that if Mercedes continues to refuse, they will push through a total opening up of engine development for 2016 with the power of their majority vote.

That will send costs through the roof and almost certainly drive more teams out of business. The golden solution to that might be to go down Ecclestone's road of reviving the cheaper and fan-pleasing V8 engines. "No one likes to take a step backwards," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said, "but sometimes you have to realise when something has gone wrong."

Indeed, struggling small teams like Lotus, Sauber and Force India would be much happier with an old, V8-style engine bill. "None of us wanted the new engines," said Lotus owner Gerard Lopez, speaking for the struggling trio. "They were forced upon us."

He indicated he would not be opposed to another engine type being introduced, particularly if it was much cheaper. "If I told Pastor or Romain that next year they're pedalling their car, they're not going to be particularly excited. But it would be way cheaper for us and I might actually make money," Lopez smiled.

Honda, however, is only returning to F1 next year because of the new, modern and more road-relevant engine formula. And Niki Lauda, Mercedes' team chairman, warned that bringing back the V8s would have other drastic consequences. "If V8 comes back," the F1 legend said, "Mercedes will be gone." (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 2,850
  • Podiums 118
  • Grand Prix 157
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (37)
  • Place of b. Tewin, United Kingdom
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
United States of America
20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
Monaco
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan
17 - Jun 19
Canada
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom
8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
France
29 - Jul 31
Hungary
26 - Aug 28
Belgium
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands
9 - Sep 11
Italy
30 - Oct 2
Singapore
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Aug 28
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
9 - Sep 11
Italy Monza
30 - Oct 2
See full schedule
show sidebar