Watson: No merit in regulation overhaul

Watson: No merit in regulation overhaul

2 September 2013 – Five-time Grand Prix winner John Watson says there is "no merit" in the significant regulation changes that are to be introduced for the 2014 campaign, with the current V8 engines moving aside in favour of 1.6-litre, turbocharged V6 units.

The Briton, who raced during the first turbo era in the 1970s and '80s, believes not only the sport's less established teams, but also those with larger operating budgets, will struggle to cope due to the increased costs of the new powertrain technology.

"I think it’s a big folly," Watson explained during an interview with GPUpdate.net. "I just hope it isn’t the first step to taking the key brick out of a building and having Formula 1 collapse. The uplift in cost is going to be very significant indeed. It’s going to hurt the teams at the bottom end of the scale very much, and even some of the teams that are currently fairly well funded.

"I can’t honestly see any specific merit in the regulation change. In conjunction with the aerodynamic [modifications], every element of a car next year will have no resemblance to what we’ve got this year – other than it will have four wheels!"

Watson added that he also holds concerns over reliability, with the new engines – set at a season-long allocation of five per driver – yet to be trialled away from test beds.

"Another part of it is, will the engines be as reliable? There will only be five of them per season," he went on to explain. "They may not be as highly stressed in terms of the mechanical aspects, but these are highly complex power units with KERS and turbos. You’re putting together an awful lot of new technology and, while it might be working on an engine test bench, you [then have to] put it into a race car with the constrictions of cooling around that, plus the whole aerodynamics and dynamics of the cars.

"And, in my opinion, there will not be enough pre-season testing to give teams the opportunity to develop these products to a level that they would like. I suspect the restriction on testing, although it has been relaxed, is going to be an issue. And as a by-product, there will be even less time available for test drivers and third drivers."

Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are the three engine suppliers available for 2014, with Honda returning the following year as part of a McLaren tie-up. But although Watson views the Japanese manufacturer's comeback as a positive for Formula 1, he says a better response was needed to warrant the overhaul.

"Honda is coming back in 2015 and that’s good news," he said. "But if maybe three manufacturers were coming in, then I’d say at least the cost of this adventure can be spread around them. Maybe three years down the road its value will be proven."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 23 April 2014

  2. McLaren confident over victory chances 13:19

    McLaren confident over victory chances

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier is confident that McLaren will be able to win races this season. Although the team...

    F1
  3. Boullier: Magnussen on normal rookie path 12:36

    Boullier: Magnussen on normal rookie path

    Kevin Magnussen's challenging run of races since recording a podium finish on his Formula 1 debut is nothing for McLaren to...

    F1
  4. Castroneves placed on probation over tweet 10:37

    Castroneves placed on probation over tweet

    Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Hélio Castroneves has been placed on probation until the end of June, after a tweet...

    Indy
  5. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - China 08:59

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - China

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  6. Ferrari will not give up, Fry insists 08:00

    Ferrari will not give up, Fry insists

    Ferrari engineering guru Pat Fry has said the Scuderia has no intention of giving up, although he concedes Mercedes does...

    F1
  7. Pedrosa: I've tried to do some homework 07:00

    Pedrosa: I've tried to do some homework

    Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa has been doing his 'homework' ahead of the inaugural MotoGP event at Argentina's...

    MotoGP
  8. Hamilton not thinking about title 06:30

    Hamilton not thinking about title

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has insisted he is not 'wasting a thought on the championship' at the moment, even though his...

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: A to Z of F1 – Part 6 (V to Z) 05:00

    Video of the Day: A to Z of F1 – Part 6 (V to Z)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 6 - the final one - looks at V to Z.

    F1
  10. Tuesday 22 April 2014

  11. Alonso: No promises for Barcelona 17:55

    Alonso: No promises for Barcelona

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has said he 'cannot promise anything' for the Spanish Grand Prix next month. Alonso took his...

    F1
  12. Force India 'pretty satisfied' with Shanghai result 17:03

    Force India 'pretty satisfied' with Shanghai result

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has said he was 'pretty satisfied' after seeing Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio...

    F1
  13. Boullier: No reason for McLaren to panic 16:14

    Boullier: No reason for McLaren to panic

    McLaren Sporting Director Eric Boullier has said there is no reason for the team to go into 'panic mode' in the wake of...

    F1
  14. Times are tough, admits Kaltenborn 15:25

    Times are tough, admits Kaltenborn

    Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has admitted the Swiss squad is going through a 'tough time', although she insists...

    F1
  15. Red Bull hits back at Mercedes over ban call 13:36

    Red Bull hits back at Mercedes over ban call

    Red Bull have hit back at Mercedes after calls from their rival that Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian GP was...

    F1
  16. Zanardi denied points by clutch problems 12:43

    Zanardi denied points by clutch problems

    Alex Zanardi was philosophical after clutch problems cost him points during the opening round of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint...

    Misc
  17. Márquez going for hat-trick in Argentina 11:41

    Márquez going for hat-trick in Argentina

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez will be out to make it a hat-trick of victories this weekend when he tackles the...

    MotoGP
  18. Anything still possible, says Vettel 11:17

    Anything still possible, says Vettel

    Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has not given up on taking his fifth Formula 1 Drivers' title this season, despite the...

    F1
  19. 'Lewis was a man on his own planet' - Wolff 10:36

    'Lewis was a man on his own planet' - Wolff

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has paid homage to Lewis Hamilton following the Briton's dominant victory in China last...

    F1
  20. Video: Rosberg reflects on China 10:19

    Video: Rosberg reflects on China

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg looks back on the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix and recalls the incident with Williams rival Valtteri...

    F1
  21. Webber begins WEC career with podium 10:09

    Webber begins WEC career with podium

    Former F1 winner Mark Webber 'dodged a few bullets' and took a podium on his debut with Porsche in the 2014 FIA World...

    F1
  22. Rosberg: Mercedes out to make biggest step in Spain 09:39

    Rosberg: Mercedes out to make biggest step in Spain

    Nico Rosberg has said Mercedes will be pushing to extend its advantage when the European season commences next month with...

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: Vettel – Are you kidding? 05:00

    Video of the Day: Vettel – Are you kidding?

    Relive Sebastian Vettel's "Are you kidding?" radio message after being passed by Kamui Kobayashi during the Chinese Grand...

    F1
  24. Monday 21 April 2014

  25. Injured Crutchlow to miss Argentina round 20:39

    Injured Crutchlow to miss Argentina round

    British rider Cal Crutchlow will miss this weekend's MotoGP round in Argentina due to a fractured finger. The Ducati...

    MotoGP
  26. Cautious Renault pleased with progress in China 17:00

    Cautious Renault pleased with progress in China

    Renault's head of track operations Rémi Taffin says that the French engine supplier still has progress to make but is...

    F1
  27. Kobayashi disappointed pass on Bianchi did not count 15:30

    Kobayashi disappointed pass on Bianchi did not count

    Kamui Kobayashi says it is unfortunate that Caterham missed out on beating Marussia at the Chinese Grand Prix through no...

    F1
  28. Horner defends Vettel after terse radio message 14:00

    Horner defends Vettel after terse radio message

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has defended the actions of World Champion Sebastian Vettel during the Chinese...

    F1
  29. Unhappy Dennis urges Red Bull talks over Fallows 11:00

    Unhappy Dennis urges Red Bull talks over Fallows

    McLaren boss Ron Dennis says he hopes his team's dispute with Red Bull over the services of aerodynamicist Dan Fallows can...

    F1
  30. Angry Räikkönen hits out at motivation questions 09:00

    Angry Räikkönen hits out at motivation questions

    An angry Kimi Räikkönen hit out at questions over his motivation after he finished in eighth place during Sunday's Chinese G...

    F1
  31. Winners and Losers at the Chinese Grand Prix 07:00

    Winners and Losers at the Chinese Grand Prix

    The Chinese Grand Prix was another race controlled by Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton, the Briton taking maximum points ahead of...

    F1
  32. Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates 1-2 05:00

    Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates 1-2

    Mercedes chiefs celebrate their third 1-2 finish of the 2014 season at the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  33. 03:00

    Championship standings after China

    F1
  34. Sunday 20 April 2014

  35. Hülkenberg hails 'very positive' team result 12:19

    Hülkenberg hails 'very positive' team result

    Nico Hülkenberg described as "very positive" Force India's double points finish in the Chinese Grand Prix, its third of the...

    F1
  36. Ricciardo: I really want that podium! 12:04

    Ricciardo: I really want that podium!

    Daniel Ricciardo joked that he 'really wants' to finish on the podium after second successive fourth place at the Chinese...

    F1
  37. 12:00

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Shanghai

    F1
  38. Third successive retirement for Sutil 11:57

    Third successive retirement for Sutil

    Adrian Sutil and Sauber's difficult start to 2014 continued as the German driver was unable to finish in China following an...

    F1
  39. Massa left frustrated by pit stop problem 11:50

    Massa left frustrated by pit stop problem

    Felipe Massa's chance of a good result at the Chinese Grand Prix disappeared after a calamatous pit stop dropped him down...

    F1
  40. Button says McLaren 'not good enough' 11:32

    Button says McLaren 'not good enough'

    Jenson Button has admitted that his McLaren team's performance level is simply "not good enough" after a lacklustre Chinese...

    F1
  41. Gearbox problem prevents first Lotus points 11:27

    Gearbox problem prevents first Lotus points

    Romain Grosjean was left frustrated after a gearbox problem with his Lotus E22 forced him into retirement at the Chinese...

    F1
  42. Kvyat 'very happy' with third points finish 11:16

    Kvyat 'very happy' with third points finish

    Daniil Kvyat was understandably elated after picking up his third points finish from four races during Sunday's Chinese...

    F1
  43. Video: Vettel's "tough luck" radio message 11:08

    Video: Vettel's "tough luck" radio message

    Sebastian Vettel was asked to let Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo through during Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix. When he...

    F1
  44. Shanghai result modified after flag error 10:58

    Shanghai result modified after flag error

    The Chinese Grand Prix has been cut short by two laps after the chequered flag was waved at Lewis Hamilton earlier than...

    F1