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F1 should have done more to reduce 2014 engine costs – Whitmarsh

Jun 5, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Japan F1 Honda AP

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says Formula One should have gone further when defining the specification of the 2014 engines to ensure costs did not spiral out of control.

F1’s smallest teams have warned that engine costs could soar to $30 million for a single season from next year due to the introduction of new V6 engines featuring sophisticated energy recovery systems.

Whitmarsh told Autosport that “the overall thrust” of the regulations had been correct. “Downsizing, direct injection, turbocharging, those are road relevant technologies and are good. Energy recovery is good.”

“Whether the high-speed motors that are necessary to be driven by exhaust turbines in excess of 100,000rpm are road relevant, I suspect not,” he added. “They are pretty exotic.”

“Conceptually, it was good but we perhaps didn’t control some of the exotic aspects of it which ultimately are going to be less relevant.”

McLaren will remain Mercedes engine customers in 2014 but have a factory engine supply deal with Honda in place for 2015 and beyond.

Whitmarsh said it was down to the teams to ensure more cost-effective rules are introduced in future: “We have got to be a bit more diligent in how we pull things together, recognise the implications and work harder at cost saving in F1.”

  1. wallio - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    The So-Cal Speed Shop used to have a saying, one I still have hanging in my own race shop:

    “Horsepower is expensive, how fast do you want to go?”

    This is F1, the pinnacle of motorsports, man up and deal with it. if you can’t afford it, there’s the door.

    • apexassassin - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Just saying changing the engines for lure back manufactures is well and good, but if it chases out the privateers then F1 has failed it’s fans massively.

      And Mclaren… well they chose to burn their bridges with Mercedes, I bet that will prove to be the wrong decision is the coming seasons.

      But regardless of them specifically, the whole “Pinnacle of Motorsports” tag hangs in the balance with the LMP1 cars being so fast and F1 slowing down sooo much and using inferior suppliers.

      • indycarseries500 - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        You can’t really blame them for wanting to ramp up their road car division, and with Mercedes starting their own Grand Prix team I don’t think they’d want to play second fiddle.

        Due to Bernie Eccelstone and Ferrari Formula 1 could switch to a GP3 formula and still be the “Pinnacle of Motorsports” because that’s what they’ve created it’s in everyone’s mind, so it’s where drivers want to be.

        As far as actual car design/development and relevance to road cars, sports cars have the title by miles.

      • purplesectornet - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        What a bunch of BS from the same person. Inferior suppliers? You really do not have one clue…

  2. wallio - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    I’d say LMP1s are the pinnacle right now. We’ll see if F1 improves in the next few years.

  3. needmoretorque1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I subscribe to the school of thought that McLaren are complaining simply because 2014 is an inefficient gap year before their engine supply from Honda begins in 2015. I think they got caught in a bad spot and are leveraging politics.

    As for the criticism that Formula 1 is no longer the pinnacle of motorsports, I disagree. I think this takes a short view of the sport. I take the long view, as I often discuss over at To explain, I think you have to consider that the regulations between the two are apples and oranges. Nobody has presented evidence that LMP1 is quicker, but assuming this is true (which I highly doubt), the rate of innovation on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis –*within the regulations*–is still faster in Formula 1.

    And as a follow up point, who drive LMP1 cars on the fastest teams? F1 washouts.

    • needmoretorque1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Before I hear responses, consider this contemporaneous article:

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        One final follow-up…none of them are active race drivers.

      • indycarseries500 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Haha they’re not all “wash outs” most of them are very fine racecar drivers who got sick of the politics, pushed out or never got the opportunity, Max Chilton isn’t even good enough to carry any of their helmet bags. Just because they’re not in F1 doesn’t mean they couldn’t still out drive half the grid.

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        The real shame is the non-compete clauses. Damn, I’d sure love to see Vettell and Alonso going toe-to-toe with the likes of Wurz, Kristensen, and McNish at Le Mans.

    • purplesectornet - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      exactly needmoretorque…the in season development race in F1 is unrivaled…its by far the pinnacle…i have no idea what these other guys are talking about…Le Mans is an event…

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Boom. Well said. Thank you!

      • purplesectornet - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        you know torque I’m readling this story

        and thinking of the comments in this thread…about LMP1 and sportscars being the real pinnacle and i can almost guarantee these are american race fans making this claim and its just the same old same old ive seen for years…F1 is the clear head of the class and these comments are driven by pure american bs…2014 is a HUGE challenge at the TOP of this sport we all love and you know frankly most american race fans just cant handle the reality that F1 is the undisputed top of the sport…so that is why is post after post after post of trying to tear down the sport and claim it isn’t what it is…its tiring to read…the whole america is the best no matter what get so damn old…

  4. wallio - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    ^This. Nothing was better than when Four, Andreotti, Clark, Hill, Stewart, etc ran F1 plus the two 24 Hour races and the Indy 500. Too bad we’ll never see that again.

  5. purplesectornet - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    No one can use the “the politics pushed me out” argument ala Michael Andretti or Juan Montoya. You can’t withdraw from the US Open cause you don’t like the politics…its the world championship you are there to win it…no excuses…

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