Jean Todt & Bernie Ecclestone

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed his opposition to the new-for-2013 engine rules being mooted by FIA President Jean Todt, with the sport’s commercial boss arguing that the new small-capacity turbocharged engines will damage the sport.

Todt recently announced the introduction of new 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines for the 2013 season regulations – ostensibly with the hope that it will reduce costs, make the sport more environmentally relevant, and encourage new manufacturers to get involved in the series.

But Ecclestone believes that two crucial elements of the sport’s appeal would be significantly compromised, according to Australia’s AAP news agency: one “is Ferrari and second is the noise” of the current engines, which can rev up to an ear-splitting 19,000rpm.

Ecclestone fears that quieter smaller-capacity engines will harm the sport’s huge TV audience.

“I’m anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small-turbo-four formula,” he is quoted as saying.

“We don’t need it and if it’s so important it’s the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing. The rest of it is basically PR – it’s nothing in the world to do with Formula 1.

“These changes are going to be terribly costly to the sport. I’m sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I’m quite sure we’ll lose TV,” he added.

Todt, meanwhile, believes that the sport will eventually ditch petrol power altogether in favour of hydrogen-powered engines.

The former Ferrari team principal expressed his belief that alternative fuels will power racing cars in the future, and argues that motorsport is the ideal platform to promote their use.

“If you take racing FIA championships at the highest level, and if you claim new technologies, definitely people will take that more into consideration,” the Frenchman told Drive in an interview. “That will help facilitate the commercial side for the users.

“Formula one has to be taken a sport but it has to be a pinnacle of technology, so in this respect it has a strong link with what is happening in modern society. I must say I am quite pleased with the work that has been done… You cannot be blind and simply think about the show, think about the championship, without considering what is happening around you in the world.”

[Original image via BBC]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.