FIA President Jean Todt has ruled out a return to the naturally-aspirated V10 and V12 engines of the past, saying they won’t be accepted by the society.
In a bif to make F1 more road-relevant and attractive for automobile manufacturers, F1 introduced hybrid engines in 2014. The new engines, dubbed power units, produce close to 1000 bhp and achieve north of 50% thermal efficiency.
However, the move has also drawn widespread criticism from various quarters, primarily due to lack of noise and the extra cost for customer outfits.
The current engine regulations expire at the end of 2020 and negotiations between the sport’s rule-makers regarding how F1’s next engine will look (and sound) like are expected to begin shortly.
While many, include those in the sport, would like a return to noisier engines, Todt has ruled out the sport taking a ‘backward’ direction in this matter.
"It will not be accepted by society," Todt told FIA’s official magazine when asked about a return to V10 or V12 power.
"We have a responsibility to run an organisation monitored by global society. And global society will not accept that.
"Indeed, I'm sure if you said, 'let's go back to engines from 10 years ago', many manufacturers would not support such a move. I'm convinced a minimum of three out of four would leave.
"Also, we know that stability is essential – firstly, to have as much competition as possible, and then to protect the investment. You cannot invest in new technology every year, it is not financially sustainable, and we already complain about the cost of racing, the cost of Formula 1 – a cost that for me is absurd.” he added.
The heart of the sport will still be there but it has to take into consideration the evolution of society.
Although Todt admits that the carbon footprint of F1 is minimal in the wider scheme of things, he believes the sport should set an example to the public by promoting green energy.
"When you see all of the emphasis that is pit on climate change, on pollution, I feel we have the responsibility to participate.
"It is true a Formula One race will create less pollution than one plane going from Paris to New York, but we must be an example.
"And to be an example we cannot allow ourselves to create unnecessary pollution because it's the wrong image."
by Rachit Thukral