Bernie Ecclestone has once again stated he believes F1 needs to return to normally aspirated V8 engines as soon as possible, with a boost in the engines bringing their power outputs close to 1000bhp.
Ecclestone has long been critical of the current V6 turbo era, and in a recent interview with prominent Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport he affirmed these views, stating "We need to go back to engines whose costs are more reasonable, and we need to intervene with maximum urgency,Going back to a Formula 1 with naturally aspirated engines and KERS, while setting precise constraints, would drastically reduce costs and would be convenient for those already in F1 and for those would like to enter it."
Ecclestone also outlined how he believes a return to normally aspirated V8 engines should also see a boost in engine power, saying "We'd just need to take the old V8 engines and modify them by increasing displacement to bring power output near 1000bhp.People would return, the show would return, sponsors would return."
On one hand this move makes some sense, as the new F1 engine power units are ridiculously expensive, a major cause of a lot of the smaller teams financial issues recently. Replacing these power units with less sophisticated engines would significantly reduce costs, although would it also means manufactures such as Honda and Renault would leave the sport, as the engine technology no longer becomes relevant to their road car platforms.
Whilst a return to 1000bhp much like the 1980's era would be a good marketing tool for Formula One, it seems it is slightly wishful thinking for Ecclestone to think that by simply replacing the current engines with older technology this would solve F1's current problems. Whilst newer engines with 1000bhp would bring some fans back to the sport, F1 has a lot more to do in terms of enticing fans to a sport that is currently losing a lot of support.
F1 needs to do more to engage younger audiences through social media, alongside enticing causal fans and keeping them interested in a sport with increasingly complex technology. A return to V8 engines would help reduce one problem in terms of teams financial issues, and the 1000bhp power mark would be a good marketing tool for F1, however it may also create another problem with enticing manufactures to the sport, and new engines will certainly still leave some major problems in Formula One going forward in the next few years.
What are your thoughts on Ecclestone's comments? Please feel free to comment below.