Formula 1 has had two different engine formats in the past. Turbo’s running against normally aspirated engines for example. The WEC at Le Mans has multiple types from hybrid to normally aspirated as well and that is gauged by the Balance of Power restrictions the sport establishes.
According to a report at Motorsport, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone may be trying to force an engine change for as early as 2016 as he attempts to solve the Red Bull Racing (RBR) situation. It seems that Ecclestone, who has never been a fan of the current hybrid engine format, is seeking another engine alternative for RBR. Something akin to the Cosworth engine supply and possible a V8 or another 3.5 V6 turbo with a more traditional KERS component.
The article goes on to suggest that it could simply be a ploy to get Ferrari to supply RBR because neither they nor Mercedes would want some teams to run a much cheaper alternative having spent millions and millions on their hybrid power units. Now would the FIA support any move because they are not about to admit they got it all wrong with the turbo hybrid format (so their pride is killing F1 then?).
Why not have a multi-format series? If teams can’t afford these flatulent hybrid power units, why not allow Sauber, Force India and Manor to engage a V8 restricted or a V6 turbo with simple KERS to compete? Oh…and that would bring the “noise” back to F1 too.
That is one element of WEC that I do like and while the Balance of Power (BoP) is not perfect, it is really good and I like the race-what-you-brung sort of vibe of the series. Even their hybrid systems have seen three different approaches to the technology with Toyota, Porsche and Audi. It seems like F1 could determine a similar system.
I’m sure it would be challenging but hell I’d piss on a spark plug at this point if it could get F1 back to competitiveness and real racing. The elephant in the room are these new engines. They’ve killed teams, costs jobs and I say let the alternative engine market flourish in F1 so privateers can compete with manufacturers who spend millions on their road-relevant hybrid tech. The privateers have no road cars to build and have no interest in road relevance so let them have a format that is 100% focused on racing at an affordable price. Far easier to allow an alternative engine format than re-negotiate all those contracts in order to give the small teams more of the prize money.
Hat Tip: Motorsport