There have been a lot of complaints lately about the 1.6 liter V6 that is entering the second year of its Formula 1 lifespan. Many have complained about the lack of power, the lack of good sound, and the overall paltriness of a V6 power-plant. It seems a few scattered bundles of disgruntled fans are not alone; Bernie Eccelstone is right there with them.
Eccelstone wants to raise the power on F1 engines to at least 1,000 horsepower and also implies that the current power unit is not sufficient for that purpose, or even if it is, is not worthy as an F1 power unit. Eccelstone stated in an interview,
“It’s a good power unit and a wonderful bit of engineering but not designed for Formula One.”
There are some who are bound to disagree with Ecclestone, however. Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell states that the current formula is well suited for producing much higher power, saying,
“The maximum power output of the V6 turbos, if we reach 100 per cent thermal efficiency, is 1,630hp. That would be perfection, and perfect is what we strive for,”
There have been murmurings for quite a while now that a power unit change was being considered, but they have never amounted to anything substantial. Bernie reportedly told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview that he is in favor of a change to 2.2 liter bi-turbo V8s. Rumor has it that Ferrari backs this idea, and many F1 teams are calling for engine changes.
As it stands, Bernie is slated to meet with FIA management this week to discuss the future of Formula 1 power-trains. But any changes to the engine formula won’t come easily and without much consideration. FIA president Jean Todt expressed reservation, commenting,
“Personally, I am open to any constructive suggestions, but on the condition that we ensure the stability of the technical regulations. If it is possible to increase engine power under the current rules, then it can be considered a normal evolution.”