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2013 engine regs vital for F1 - Parr

ESPNF1 Staff
April 19, 2011 « Upgrades will provide bigger boost in Turkey - Liuzzi | »
Adam Parr: "The people who don't want things to change are the people who for whatever reason feel they have an incumbent advantage by not changing things" © Sutton Images

Williams chairman Adam Parr believes the introduction of new engine regulations in 2013 is vital to keep the sport relevant and encourage investment in teams.

Last December the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) agreed that the current V8 engines will be replaced by four-cylinder turbo units in two years' time. Since then, however, Bernie Ecclestone has criticised the changes, which he believes "are going to be terribly costly to the sport". His concern is that the muted sound of the new engines, which will be running on half the cylinders and peaking at 6,000rpm less than the current V8s, will attract smaller audiences at both the circuit and via TV.

And Ecclestone is not alone, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes the cut in engine size goes too far. "A four-cylinder Ferrari seems absurd to me," he said. "We've not even built a ten-cylinder Ferrari and I'm still thinking that a six-cylinder would have been more in line with the Formula One positioning on the market."

But Parr believes such arguments are fuelled by individual interests rather than the overall good of the sport.

"Formula One is ultimately defined by its technology and Formula One's constant reinvention of itself, whether it's on the chassis side or the engine side, is fundamental to the nature of the sport," he told Reuters. "The people who don't want things to change are the people who for whatever reason feel they have an incumbent advantage by not changing things. The problem with that is the sport will lose its interest very quickly if people think that it is standing still."

Parr believes F1 engines have to remain at the cutting edge of technology in order to keep sponsorship money rolling in.

"Why do we need a new engine? Well, we've got this V8 which essentially in one shape or another...has been going for years. The technology is dated, it's not what's going on out in the real world and I think it's a major, major barrier to bringing in new partners and growing the sport.

"It will have one fan generating electricity to super-charge the engine, another fan to recover energy from the exhausts which will recharge a battery and then be usable. You are going to have a powertrain generating well over 800bhp from four cylinders. I think it's going to sound fantastic. It's going to run on pure electric in the pitlane."

According to Reuters, Mercedes and Renault, who supply half the grid's engines between them, are both in support of the switch.