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Ecclestone calls for return to V8 engines

Jun 27, 2014

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.

Dan Allen

I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.
Dec 29, 2013
I fully support Bernie on this one. Would even go a step further and bring back the V10 or V12 engines. Now that would boost the interest when the cars no long sound like vacuumcleaners.
Beat me to the punch. Why have V8's when you could have this

But yes, I agree with Bernie on this... Bring back the screaming banshees!
Jun 27, 2014
haha yeah there needs to be a balance between keeping the fans and the engine manufactures happy seems this would be a possible step in the right direction however


Nov 10, 2012
I fully support Bernie on this one. Would even go a step further and bring back the V10 or V12 engines. Now that would boost the interest when the cars no long sound like vacuumcleaners.
I agree 100%. When most fans think of "pinnacle" they don't think of "expensive" they think loud and fast. Bernie is right on this one. The manufacturers will come back regardless.


I hate VR. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Oct 2, 2010
I normally think Bernie is F1's worst enemy from within. But I am with him on this. We want loud, we want fast and we want powerful. Bring it all back Bernie.


Jan 20, 2014
am I the only one that loves the torque of these cars and the fact that they're harder to drive then the previous generation V8? Not inlcuding mercedes last season it was really close racing most of the races and it seems like teams are catching the mercs now.


Apr 1, 2011
I personally really like this new Formula One era. Whilst the engines may not be as loud, they sound like bloody futuristic spaceships, it's awesome!

Also, the cars may be less physical to drive, but in terms of skill, they're as difficult as ever because of all that torque, and then on top of that the drivers have huge amounts of settings to deal with on the steering wheel. It's pretty cool to watch I think.

Loved the old sound of the V10's, but these new ones are nice because they're different.

Andrew Harper

Dec 1, 2014
Well I think the current power units are here to stay, like @Jordan Wilkins mentions they tie up perfectly with car manufacturers and their marketing plans.

I do wonder if this has been triggered a little by the recent LMP1 cars. They are amazing to look at, each top team has a completely different engine and energy setup, and there is the small matter of the Toyota having over 1000bhp (sound familiar?) Not to mention the Nissan which if reports are true has nearly 1200bhp with it's power unit. I know that's not all the time but that's the same with the F1 power units as well.

Each car sounds very different. The Porsche's high pitched V4, the rumble from the V8 Toyota and the almost silent Diesel Audi makes all of them unique and from a fan point of view a treat for the ear drums! :laugh:

I would love the V12's, V10's and V8's to come back but I don't think so, not for a few years anyway.

I'm travelling to the British GP this year and this will be my first experience of the hearing the new engines "live", will be interesting to compare.
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Sep 23, 2013
If we had V10's back, Renault might have a chance of building a decent engine.


May 8, 2014
Bernie might have a weird opinion from time to time, but he is absolutely right here. The V6 is killing the sport.

V6 pros:
-Interesting for V6 engine development for road cars.
-Keeps Mercedes interested in F1

V6 cons:
-Incredibly expensive, causing smaller teams to disappear (this is very, very bad)
-Unreliable, engine manufacturers have trouble getting them to work properly, Red Bull might even leave because of this
-Not delivering the sound F1 is known for
-Lack of "drama"
-Fuel restrictions that come with this engine make no sense, instead discarding this engine would -save teams much more.
-Fuel restrictions kill full power racing

V8 pros:
-More power
-Much better sound, much more sensation
-Less complicated, more reliability, more racing
-Cheaper to run, as Bernie said
-Might make others such as Cosworth interested to rejoin F1 and supply engines to smaller teams (this is speculation, but they have the engines.)

V8 cons:
-No high tech hybrid stuff (but I think this does not belong in F1 TBH).
-Doesn't keep Mercedes and Honda interested in F1 (this is the main problem we have now)

I think this basically sums it up...
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Deleted member 130869

Hey Bernie, how about you do a representational distribution of revenue to the teams so they can work on the engine side, eh? You want them to put even more money in investment without reducing FOM's intake. Take away 1/4 of that special Ferrari fund too and spread the wealth a bit better.
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Dec 6, 2013
Much rather the old engines still. Maybe there's a way that both types of engines could be run by competing teams; wouldn't be the first time different engine configurations were lined up on the f1 grid.
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