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'Too late' to rectify 2014 engine 'own goal' - Whitmarsh

ESPN Staff
May 28, 2013 « Lowe role still undefined - Brawn | Mallya warns leading teams to act responsibly »
Martin Whitmarsh thinks McLaren will be fine but that the engine regulations will cause "big stress" for some other teams © Getty Images
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Martin Whitmarsh believes Formula One has "scored a bit of an own goal" with regards to the 2014 engine regulations and that it's too late to rectify it.

Engine prices are set to increase dramatically as a result of the new 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines next year, with McLaren already announcing a switch to Honda engines in 2015. There's also set to be a number of smaller teams seeking a change in engine supplier in order to find the cheapest deal and Whitmarsh said the sport has done itself no favours with the new regulations.

"Frankly I think it's too late," Whitmarsh said. "We missed an opportunity and the fact is the manufacturers have and are spending a lot of money developing these engines. They've got a lot of technical freedom and engineers will try to exploit that. Engineers wrote the rules and they're now exploiting them but in order to do so it's costing a lot of money.

"I'm sure that these manufacturers have - inevitably as they're a business - they've written their budgets and they've got to amortise that development as much as possible. So we as a sport scored a bit of an own goal and I don't think you can get it out of the net right now."

Whitmarsh said the problem wasn't the introduction of new power units but the lack of restriction for the engine manufacturers when developing them.

"The opportunity was we've changed the engine to be downsized, turbocharged, direct injection, lots of clever energy recovery systems; we should have put more constraint around some of those systems rather than really some of the most open regulations we've had in Formula One for some time.

"We let the engineers of manufacturers write a set of regulations that they'd enjoy, I'm sure they're enjoying them but there's a very substantial financial cost which is something that perhaps now people realise in the long term - although I've been going on about it - isn't such a big stress for McLaren but is going to be a big stress I think for some other teams."