LONDON (Reuters) - A new Formula One engine being designed for 2013 will sound fantastic and be good for the sport however much Bernie Ecclestone dislikes it, according to Williams chairman Adam Parr.
Speaking to Reuters at the Chinese Grand Prix at the weekend, Parr made clear he was a big supporter of the technology despite increasing opposition in certain quarters.
Formula One’s commercial supremo Ecclestone has used recent interviews to criticise the smaller ‘greener’ 1.6 litre four cylinder hybrid engine, expressing concern that it will sound ‘terrible’ and alienate fans.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, whose company’s luxury sportscars use V8 or V12 engines, has also called for a rethink about ditching the current V8s.
Parr, whose British-based team are nine times world champions but have yet to score a point in three races so far this season, said he had a very strong view on the matter and felt it was time to speak out.
“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 said.
“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,” added the Briton, whose team use engines provided by independent manufacturer Cosworth.
“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.”
Parr said the new engine would be turbocharged and turbo-compounded. The KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) will be four times as powerful.
“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,” he said.
“You are going to have a powertrain generating well over 800hp from four cylinders. I think its going to sound fantastic. It’s going to run on pure electric in the pitlane.
“You’ve got cutting edge technology, I mean really the future of road cars, you’re going to have a very powerful message about environmental performance and what technology can do. And the racing will be just as exciting, if not more.”
Parr said Renault, who currently provide engines to three of the 12 teams, wanted the new technology while Mercedes, who supply another three, were also positive.
“I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I remember Ferrari chairing the FOTA (teams association) executive committee meeting at the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Luca saying we must have a new engine and saying I want it if possible in 2012 and not 2013,” he added.
“There are people who fiercely opposed KERS who are now big supporters of it, including Ferrari. The world is changing, we have to change.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Justin Palmer; To query or comment on this story firstname.lastname@example.org