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. Monday 28 July 2014

  2. Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction 15:00

    Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction

    South Africa's Kyalami circuit, which hosted F1 for almost two decades, has been bought by Porsche. The 72-hectare...

    F1
  3. Post-race penalties hand Marciello point 14:32

    Post-race penalties hand Marciello point

    Racing Engineering driver and Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello has moved into the points for the second Hungaroring GP2...

    GP2
  4. Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo 13:31

    Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo

    Christian Horner has heaped praise on Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "truly sensational"...

    F1
  5. Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves 12:39

    Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves

    Marco Mattiacci says Ferrari must keep its feet firmly on the ground after claiming a sizeable points haul at the Hungarian...

    F1
  6. Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP 11:07

    Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix, which included a costly Safety Car period, a team...

    F1
  7. Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race 10:47

    Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race

    Jacques Villeneuve believes that Nico Rosberg tried to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg was...

    F1
  8. Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff 10:10

    Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff

    The Caterham F1 team is facing legal action from around 40 former employees, laid off earlier this month. Since Tony...

    F1
  9. Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point 09:32

    Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point

    Adrian Sutil extracted the positives after narrowly missing out on his and Sauber's first point of the season at the...

    F1
  10. Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders 09:02

    Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton was completely within his rights to ignore instructions to...

    F1
  11. Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result 07:23

    Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result

    Kimi Räikkönen says finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix was the most he could have hoped for after a disastrous q...

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic 05:14

    Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic

    Neil Trundle, former Chief Mechanic to Ayrton Senna, discusses his time working with a legend of the sport.

    F1
  13. 03:06

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  14. Sunday 27 July 2014

  15. Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot 19:54

    Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas reckons he could have been in the podium fight in Hungary if he had chosen a better tyre...

    F1
  16. Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders 18:18

    Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders

    Mercedes says it will hold internal discussions with its drivers after the outfit issued team orders during the Hungarian...

    F1
  17. Force India drivers apologetic after incidents 17:56

    Force India drivers apologetic after incidents

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez have both apologised to their team after retiring from the Hungarian G...

    F1
  18. Button laments misleading weather forecast 17:14

    Button laments misleading weather forecast

    Jenson Button was left to lament a missed opportunity after getting caught out by false rain predictions in the Hungarian...

    F1
  19. Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race 16:57

    Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race

    Nico Rosberg says the timing of the first Safety Car period ruined his chances of winning Sunday afternoon's Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  20. 16:40

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  21. 'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari 16:39

    'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso says finishing on the Hungarian Grand Prix podium came as a "nice surprise" to himself and his Ferrari...

    F1
  22. Hamilton grateful to recover to podium 16:28

    Hamilton grateful to recover to podium

    Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was grateful to recover to the podium after a first lap error during the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  23. Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win 16:00

    Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win

    Daniel Ricciardo says he was made to work for his Hungarian Grand Prix victory, playing down the role of two Safety Car...

    F1
  24. 15:25

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  25. Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix 15:03

    Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed the second victory of his Formula 1 career during an incident-packed Hungarian Grand Prix. The Red...

    F1
  26. 13:40

    Follow the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  27. Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium 11:37

    Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium

    Jenson Button has tipped Lewis Hamilton to recover from his qualifying woes and finish on the Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  28. 10:29

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  29. Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory 10:28

    Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory

    McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne came out on top in the GP2 Sprint Race at the Hungaroring after taking the lead at...

    GP2
  30. 09:05

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  31. Niederhauser controls second GP3 race 09:04

    Niederhauser controls second GP3 race

    Arden driver Patric Niederhauser claimed his first GP3 victory since 2012 in the second race of the weekend at the...

    GP3
  32. Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive 07:00

    Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive

    Ex-Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore is set to be involved in a new working group being put together by Bernie Ecclestone...

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6 05:00

    Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6

    Sauber's Head of Aerodynamics, Willem Toet, continues his talk on the science of F1 wind tunnel design.

    F1
  34. 03:00

    Revised starting grid for the Hungarian GP

    F1
  35. Saturday 26 July 2014

  36. Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire 20:06

    Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire

    Mercedes has apologised to Lewis Hamilton after he suffered another technical problem during Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  37. Coletti stripped of podium, Marciello loses pole 19:42

    Coletti stripped of podium, Marciello loses pole

    Racing Engineering drivers Stefano Coletti and Raffaele Marciello have been given post-race time penalties as a result of...

    GP2
  38. 17:09

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  39. Stanaway holds on for Race 1 victory 17:08

    Stanaway holds on for Race 1 victory

    Richie Stanaway held off the advances of Robert Vișoiu to claim victory in the opening GP3 race of the weekend in...

    GP3
  40. Kvyat vows to learn from qualifying error 16:52

    Kvyat vows to learn from qualifying error

    Daniil Kvyat has vowed to learn from the mistake that prevented him from progressing to the final phase of qualifying in...

    F1
  41. Bianchi delighted with Q2 appearance 16:27

    Bianchi delighted with Q2 appearance

    Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was overjoyed after reaching Q2 for the second time this season during Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  42. 16:03

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  43. Pic claims maiden GP2 win in Hungary thriller 16:02

    Pic claims maiden GP2 win in Hungary thriller

    Arthur Pic claimed his maiden GP2 victory for Campos during a thrilling Feature Race at the Hungaroring, ahead of Stefano...

    GP2
more news