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. Tuesday 24 October 2017

  2. Video: Mercedes' title triumph back at base 05:34

    Video: Mercedes' title triumph back at base

    Mercedes documents the hours building up to and after securing a fourth successive Constructors' title from its factories in…

    F1
  3. Monday 23 October 2017

  4. 19:05

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  5. Opinion: Verstappen's penalty the right call 19:03

    Opinion: Verstappen's penalty the right call

    Max Verstappen's penalty for his bold overtake on Kimi Räikkönen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix was the…

    F1
  6. STR confirms Gasly, Hartley for Mexican GP 17:19

    STR confirms Gasly, Hartley for Mexican GP

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will race for the team at this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix…

    F1
  7. Wehrlein unimpressed at Magnussen move 16:52

    Wehrlein unimpressed at Magnussen move

    Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein believes it was "quite an effort" for Kevin Magnussen to crash into him on the opening lap of the…

    F1
  8. United States Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 15:32

    United States Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton put himself on the brink of a fourth world title, some midfield drivers starred, while a controversial penalty…

    F1
  9. Räikkönen 'surprised' by Verstappen attempt 14:34

    Räikkönen 'surprised' by Verstappen attempt

    Kimi Räikkönen says he was "a bit surprised" by Max Verstappen's last-lap manoeuvre through Turn 17 as the pair battled for…

    F1
  10. Viñales sets sights on Dovizioso in standings 13:42

    Viñales sets sights on Dovizioso in standings

    Yamaha's Maverick Viñales says his target for the remaining two races this season is to overhaul Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso…

    MotoGP
  11. McLaren 'deserved' Austin points - Alonso 12:56

    McLaren 'deserved' Austin points - Alonso

    Fernando Alonso hailed an "amazing performance" from McLaren at the United States Grand Prix and believes the operation deserved…

    F1
  12. Kvyat: US Grand Prix my best race in 2017 11:44

    Kvyat: US Grand Prix my best race in 2017

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat described his United States Grand Prix as the "best race of the year" as he marked his return to…

    F1
  13. Video: Haas Hill at the Circuit of the Americas 10:58

    Video: Haas Hill at the Circuit of the Americas

    Join Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen as they visit #HaasHill at the Circuit of the Americas…

    F1
  14. Ocon relieved to overcome pre-race issue 10:22

    Ocon relieved to overcome pre-race issue

    Force India's Esteban Ocon labelled his United States Grand Prix as "very satisfying", and praised his team for overcoming a…

    F1
  15. Sainz Jr. enthused by Renault debut points 09:06

    Sainz Jr. enthused by Renault debut points

    Carlos Sainz Jr. revelled in a "smooth" weekend as he followed up a Q3 spot with points on his Renault debut at the United…

    F1
  16. Wolff: Mercedes to 'keep foot on the gas' 06:32

    Wolff: Mercedes to 'keep foot on the gas'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team will "keep our foot on the gas" after completing "half of the job" by clinching the…

    F1
  17. Video: F1 goes pink for cancer awareness 04:02

    Video: F1 goes pink for cancer awareness

    McLaren highlights how Formula 1 went pink for the United States Grand Prix to raise breast cancer awareness, in conjunction…

    F1
  18. 03:16

    Championship standings after United States

    F1
  19. 01:04

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Sunday in Austin

    F1
  20. Ricciardo braced for Mexico grid demotion 01:02

    Ricciardo braced for Mexico grid demotion

    Daniel Ricciardo says he is braced for a back-of-the-grid start at the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix, following his engine failure…

    F1
  21. Bottas left to lament late-race tyre wear 00:40

    Bottas left to lament late-race tyre wear

    Valtteri Bottas conceded that it was "not possible" for him to execute a one-stop strategy, after the Finn struggled with the…

    F1
  22. Sunday 22 October 2017

  23. Hamilton: Pre-race set-up changes crucial 23:54

    Hamilton: Pre-race set-up changes crucial

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton believes set-up changes before the race were a big factor in securing victory at the United States…

    F1
  24. Vettel admits he lacked Hamilton's pace 23:01

    Vettel admits he lacked Hamilton's pace

    Sebastian Vettel has conceded that Ferrari lacked the pace to fight with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  25. 'Idiot steward killed the race' - Verstappen 22:40

    'Idiot steward killed the race' - Verstappen

    Max Verstappen has hit out at "one idiot steward", believing they "killed" the race, following his post-race penalty in Austin…

    F1
  26. Horner slams 'unbelievably harsh' penalty 22:26

    Horner slams 'unbelievably harsh' penalty

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has hit out at United States Grand Prix stewards in the wake of Max Verstappen's…

    F1
  27. Verstappen penalised, Räikkönen third 21:49

    Verstappen penalised, Räikkönen third

    Max Verstappen has been issued with a five-second time penalty after stewards at the United States Grand Prix deemed that he cut…

    F1
  28. 21:45

    In full: United States Grand Prix race results

    F1
  29. Hamilton edges closer to title with victory 21:43

    Hamilton edges closer to title with victory

    Lewis Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix to edge closer to a fourth title, regaining the lead from Sebastian Vettel after…

    F1
  30. 19:20

    Follow the United States Grand Prix live!

    F1
  31. 19:00

    Starting grid for the United States GP

    F1
  32. Vandoorne gets additional 25-place drop 17:29

    Vandoorne gets additional 25-place drop

    Stoffel Vandoorne is set to incur an additional 25-place grid penalty for taking on new power unit components, after Honda…

    F1
  33. Pirelli expects two-stop United States GP 15:32

    Pirelli expects two-stop United States GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli believes a two-stop strategy will "theoretically" be the fastest approach in dry conditions at…

    F1
  34. Hartley confident over long-run potential 14:42

    Hartley confident over long-run potential

    Brendon Hartley says he is confident over his long-run performance as he prepares to make his Formula 1 debut at the United…

    F1
  35. Van der Mark gets Sepang Tech 3 call-up 14:12

    Van der Mark gets Sepang Tech 3 call-up

    World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark has been drafted in by Tech 3 for his MotoGP debut at next weekend's Malaysian Grand…

    MotoGP
  36. Alonso: First lap crucial in points push 13:14

    Alonso: First lap crucial in points push

    Fernando Alonso is wary that McLaren could be "exposed" on the opening lap of the United States Grand Prix due to its speed…

    F1
  37. Dovizioso left to lament 'big disappointment' 12:29

    Dovizioso left to lament 'big disappointment'

    Andrea Dovizioso described his Australian Grand Prix as a "big disappointment" as he lost substantial ground in the title race…

    MotoGP
  38. Renault debutant Sainz Jr. targets top six 11:32

    Renault debutant Sainz Jr. targets top six

    Carlos Sainz Jr. believes he can capture a strong points haul on his Renault debut at the United States Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  39. Rossi prepared to play changed 'game' 11:06

    Rossi prepared to play changed 'game'

    Valentino Rossi says MotoGP tactics have become "a bit more dangerous" but insists he is prepared to match his rivals, after a…

    MotoGP
  40. Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari 10:22

    Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari

    Take another look behind-the-scenes with Ferrari during the weekend's action at the Circuit of the Americas.

    F1
  41. Márquez: Australian GP 'like a Moto3 race' 09:42

    Márquez: Australian GP 'like a Moto3 race'

    Marc Márquez labelled the Australian Grand Prix as "like a Moto3 race" after he prevailed in a thrilling scrap for victory at…

    MotoGP
  42. 06:48

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday in Australia

    MotoGP
  43. 06:46

    In full: Australian Grand Prix results

    MotoGP
more news