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. Saturday 19 April 2014

  2. 05:04

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 3 results

    F1
  3. Ricciardo quickest in rain-hit final practice 05:03

    Ricciardo quickest in rain-hit final practice

    Daniel Ricciardo set the pace during Saturday morning's rain-affected final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  4. 04:35

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Shanghai

    F1
  5. 03:52

    Follow final practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  6. Video of the Day: Honda duo at petrol station 02:00

    Video of the Day: Honda duo at petrol station

    Find out what happened when Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa worked at a Repsol service station.

    MotoGP
  7. Friday 18 April 2014

  8. Mattiacci thought Ferrari job offer was a joke 13:32

    Mattiacci thought Ferrari job offer was a joke

    Newly appointed Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci says he thought President Luca di Montezemolo was joking when he gave...

    F1
  9. Honda: No plans to supply second team in 2015 11:56

    Honda: No plans to supply second team in 2015

    Honda's Yasuhisa Arai says that the Japanese manufacturer has no plans to supply power units to a second team when they...

    F1
  10. Maldonado accepts blame for pit entry accident 11:45

    Maldonado accepts blame for pit entry accident

    Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has accepted the blame for a mistake during the second practice session in China which...

    F1
  11. Alonso encouraged by Ferrari updates 11:40

    Alonso encouraged by Ferrari updates

    Fernando Alonso says that he is encouraged by the upgrades which Ferrari has applied to the F14 T ahead of this weekend's...

    F1
  12. Minor problems hampering Marussia progress 11:27

    Minor problems hampering Marussia progress

    Marussia drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton admitted it was difficult to get into a rhythm during practice for the...

    F1
  13. Magnussen baffled by McLaren's uncompetitiveness 11:08

    Magnussen baffled by McLaren's uncompetitiveness

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen says he is perplexed by his team's lack of competitiveness in China compared to the opening...

    F1
  14. Pérez targets improvements to balance 11:02

    Pérez targets improvements to balance

    Force India racer Sergio Pérez says he needs to improve the balance of the VJM07 ahead of qualifying for the Chinese Grand...

    F1
  15. Sutil downbeat after difficult practice session 10:56

    Sutil downbeat after difficult practice session

    Adrian Sutil says that Sauber faces a lot of work in order to improve the C33 and provide the team a with a chance of...

    F1
  16. Williams package 'better than in Bahrain' 10:48

    Williams package 'better than in Bahrain'

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas says that the team has a better package in China than they did at the last round two weeks...

    F1
  17. Vettel still searching for engine improvement 10:30

    Vettel still searching for engine improvement

    Sebastian Vettel says he and Red Bull are still searching for improvements with Renault's new turbocharged power...

    F1
  18. Rosberg anticipating battle with Hamilton 10:27

    Rosberg anticipating battle with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg expects the greatest challenge to his chance of victory at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix to come from...

    F1
  19. 10:15

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Shanghai

    F1
  20. Hamilton: No discussion with Rosberg 10:03

    Hamilton: No discussion with Rosberg

    Lewis Hamilton has denied taking part in 'clear the air' talks with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg said in the...

    F1
  21. Hamilton learns little from opening day 09:42

    Hamilton learns little from opening day

    Lewis Hamilton says he learned little from the opening day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, despite setting the...

    F1
  22. Video: Maldonado crashes at Shanghai 09:16

    Video: Maldonado crashes at Shanghai

    Relive Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado's crash during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

    F1
  23. 08:33

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  24. Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2 08:32

    Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

    Lewis Hamilton returned Mercedes to the top of the timesheets during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday...

    F1
  25. 06:56

    Follow second practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  26. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 5 (R to U) 06:52

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 5 (R to U)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 5 looks at R to U.

    F1
  27. 04:33

    Chinese GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  28. Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice 04:32

    Alonso fastest in first Shanghai practice

    Fernando Alonso set the standard during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  29. McLaren running special livery in China 03:31

    McLaren running special livery in China

    McLaren will race with a modified, one-off car livery at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. As it did to celebrate its...

    F1
  30. 03:00

    Follow first practice for the Chinese GP!

    F1
  31. Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide 01:30

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's China guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  32. Thursday 17 April 2014

  33. Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP 16:00

    Video: Rosberg previews the Chinese GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg looks ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    F1
  34. Hamilton tipped to triumph in China 15:07

    Hamilton tipped to triumph in China

    GPUpdate.net readers have backed Lewis Hamilton to claim victory at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. The former World...

    F1
  35. Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai 14:31

    Vettel targets top five finish at Shanghai

    Sebastian Vettel says he would see a top five finish at the Chinese Grand Prix as a good result. The German, who won the...

    F1
  36. Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises 14:08

    Video: DJ mixes Formula 1 car noises

    This May, Mobil 1 engine oil turns Jenson Button's McLaren MP4-29 into a musical instrument like no other.

    F1
  37. Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton 13:43

    Rosberg set to 'clear the air' with Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg has revealed that he plans to clear the air with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton ahead of this weekend's...

    F1
  38. Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant 12:57

    Button expects Mercedes to stay dominant

    Jenson Button expects Mercedes to continue its dominance of the 2014 season for the foreseeable future, admitting that it...

    F1
  39. Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q) 12:00

    Video: A to Z of Formula 1 – Part 4 (M to Q)

    Red Bull presents 'The A to Z of Formula 1' and in Part 4 looks at M to Q.

    F1
  40. Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit 11:53

    Räikkönen surprised by Domenicali exit

    Kimi Räikkönen says Stefano Domenicali's resignation as Ferrari team boss came as a surprise to him. Domenicali, who had b...

    F1
  41. Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on 11:09

    Ricciardo over appeal: I had moved on

    Despite admitting to disappointment after Red Bull's failed appeal over his exclusion from the season-opening Australian...

    F1
  42. Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time 10:09

    Alonso: New boss Mattiacci needs time

    Fernando Alonso is hoping that Marco Mattiacci will be given sufficient time to adapt to his new role as Team Principal of...

    F1
  43. Marko expecting Red Bull improvement 09:54

    Marko expecting Red Bull improvement

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is expecting the team to edge towards the front of the field in coming races. Despite...

    F1