F1 Deja Vu for Ecclestone and Renault


The concept of time travel is a relatively modern notion when set against the backdrop of human philosophy. A short story by Edward Page Michael entitled, “The Clock That Went Backward”, is one of the earliest tales where the mechanics of ‘how to’ time travel were outlined

This story features a clock that, by means unspecified, allows three men to travel backward in time – something Bernie’s favoured brand is certainly no capable of delivering.

Bernie Ecclestone has been on a campaign to return to the V8 F1 engines for over a year now. However, if Mr. E had got his way – it appears the pinnacle of motorsport would still be racing with engines developed in the 1990’s.

…and now we travel back to 2006 – tick, tock.

An article published in Autosport on Sunday 19th February 2006 reported that Bernie believed the recent move to the V8 engine had proven to be a ‘costly mistake’. Ecclestone criticised the decision made by the manufacturers warning it would be one they came to regret.

“It’s a rule I don’t like,” reported Italy’s Autosprint magazine at the time. “It was not necessary either, because they could have reached the same objectives with the old 10-cylinder engines, by limiting their power.

“The new V8 engines cost a fortune, and the next step will be to limit their revs because they’ll become too powerful. So they could have done the same thing immediately, by limiting the V10s. They would have saved plenty of money.”

To be fair to Ecclestone, he predicted there would be tears following the debut of the new V6’s. Speaking in May 2013 he said, “The danger is if one of those three get it wrong it’s going to cost a fortune to catch up. And as they are catching up the other people will be going forward. At the moment, everything’s fine. There’s very little anyone can do now.

“The danger is all three think they’ve got the right engine. When reality sets in, then it will be too late.”

Of course the tantrums thrown by Red Bull could not have been foreseen, though Renault were not particularly good at hitting the ground running when the V8’s were introduced. It required action from the FIA to allow the engines to be equalised, then within a year Renault were winning everything in sight.

Both Ferrari and Mercedes remember this and vetoed Red Bull/Renault plans to change the current engine regulations. More recently Renault themselves appear to have come around to the view that they should work hard and develop their power unit order to catch up to Ferrari and Mercedes.

Red Bull may well be in for another difficult weekend as today Renault F1 CEO, Cyril Abiteboul, reveals they have not been able to resolve the problems which caused two of the four Renault powered cars to catch fire during last week’s race in China.

“We have made some real progress since Australia with regards performance and driveability and it’s frustrating that the reliability issues of Shanghai threw a cover over these”

“We don’t take the issues we have seen lightly, but we have taken genuine steps forward and need to focus on our continuing programme of improvements while addressing the reliability concerns in parallel.

“In the short time since the Chinese Grand Prix we have been checking and rechecking systems and procedures to implement fixes for the next race in Bahrain”.

Remi Taffin revealed further that the two failures in Shanghai were unrelated and one of them can only be given a sticking plaster this weekend.

“Due to logistics of the back-to-back races a complete guarantee will be difficult but we have made improvements to prevent the race stoppers we saw in China.”

We now know that the failures on Kvyat and Verstappen’s ICEs are different and unfortunately one of them was known but built in when then ICE was introduced early on.

“The other is still to be fully explained and temporary fixes will be used in Sakhir.”

Despite the Bahrain race now taking place in the cool of the evening, its seems inevitable that once again the temperature will be rising on a certain pit wall booth – which sports colourful images of rampaging bulls on the back.


8 responses to “F1 Deja Vu for Ecclestone and Renault

  1. Take all the extra crap off the power units and let them build internal combustion ENGINES. No more “harvesting”, no more fuel flow meters, no more electric generation. If they MUST reduce engine power output, remove all the technical gimmicks on the engine.

    • “remove all the technical gimmicks on the engine”

      What exactly do you mean by this? Do you think the V8 or V10 or V12 engines don’t have all those technical “gimmicks”? Last I checked no driver was moving the pistons by hand, so they DO have to rely on supremely advanced technology anyways. Maybe we should remove the gimmicks from the V8’s too, and introduce a monkey spinning the pistons?

  2. Alternatively, take off the fuel flow meters, stick on wider rear tires and let them rip! Which driver is best able to control a car producing over 1000 HP would be interesting to see. Oh and ditch the rules penalising drivers if engines blow up and they run out of their allocation. Surely that should only hurt the constructor.

  3. Out of interest, if a Renault engine blows up and torches the rear half of a Red Bull or Toro Rosso and Renault tacitly admit it was a faulty unit of some sort, who has to cover the costs of repairing/rebuilding the car?

  4. “…and now we travel back to 2006 – tick, tock.” Should have been “tock, tick” for backwards.

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