Ecclestone upset by F1 engine woes

Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:51am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed the sport's new V6 turbo era as "completely unnecessary nonsense" after Renault engine woes sidelined champions Red Bull in pre-season testing.

Quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel's team completed just 14 laps in the first three days in Jerez after recurring problems. Other Renault-powered teams have also struggled to do much mileage.

The 26-year-old German left southern Spain on Wednesday with just 11 laps under his belt, having spent much of his time watching engineers working on the car.

"I am disappointed. I hate saying 'I told you so', but I'm disappointed because I did say I told you so and this is what's happened," Ecclestone told Reuters of a situation dubbed farcical by some.

Ecclestone has long been an opponent of the new and highly complex 1.6 liter power units, with energy recovery systems, which have replaced the old V8s.

The new units are more expensive, and in a bid to be greener and more road car relevant the emphasis is on fuel economy with drivers limited to 100kg of fuel compared to around 150kg previously. They also sound very different.

Ecclestone said Vettel, with whom he has a warm relationship, was no fan of the new era either.

"I know Sebastian is disappointed too because he's a racer. He likes to race," said the 83-year-old, who felt the new engine was better suited to endurance or the world touring car championship.   Continued...

Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone leaves the High Court in central London November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville