V6s being introduced too soon - Montezemolo
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines for 2014 are being introduced at the wrong time and could result in teams dropping out of Formula One.
At the end of next season F1 is set to ditch the current 2.4-litre V8 engines and adopt V6 turbos combined with more sophisticated Energy Recovery Systems [ERS]. The costs of the new units are initially expected to be higher than the current engines while teams have had to start from scratch with chassis designs to accommodate the new drivetrains.
Montezemolo said he did not have anything against the V6 engines per se, but warned that they could result in the grid slimming down to less cars.
"We now have to do the six cylinder engine," Montezemolo said on Saturday at Monza. "I'm not against the six cylinders, I'm against the timing. I think that at this moment that if we continued with this engine [the V8] for a couple more years, I don't think it would be a disaster. Anyway, now we have [the new engine] this means costs and this also means innovation. I'm an engine manufacturer but I need science, so my worry is that if we don't capture the cost with determination, in two or three years there won't be enough teams."
His comments came against a background of renewed concerns about costs, with FIA president Jean Todt also warning that F1 is too expensive for smaller teams. Montezemolo said one possible solution would be to have smaller teams run customer cars from the likes of Ferrari.
"This is one of the reasons why I said two years ago maybe it is better if Ferrari or McLaren or Red Bull supplied one car to a small team. A small team today has to project develop the car from grass, and it's not easy for us so can you imagine for a small team. Because if you are a small team I give you a Ferrari, I put a young driver in the car and you have less cost than if you are obliged to develop your own car."
But Montezemolo made clear that he is against a budget cap and said the rules must change so that the teams can spend less.
"I am the first person to say the priority is less cost," he said. "But this doesn't mean we should all be the same and spend exactly the same. I want to have rules that permit us to spend less because I don't think if you have a limit ... how can you control this? In the recent past somebody cheated on this, so I prefer to have clear rules that allow us to spend less. Particularly on things that are not crucial for the spectators or for the competition.
And he reiterated his view that Formula One should be more relevant to road cars and allow more testing.
"It is important for me as Ferrari to maintain the possibility to transfer technology from Formula One to road cars. This is not the case of today. We also have to recuperate some tests because we used to do too many tests and now we have zero. If I want to give a chance to a young driver how can I do it? I would never put a young driver in a Ferrari without the possibility to test. Altogether we have to look ahead, starting from the point of view that we have an economic crisis in the world and the world is different from ten years ago."