Formula One To Launch 'Green' Range Of Cars; Change Risks Alienating Fans
F1 "drives into the unknown" on Tuesday, "launching a phalanx of cars that risk alienating and bewildering millions of fans around the world," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. The "fear is that it will turn out to be a technical jungle that baffles fans and underwhelms the generations used to listening to the scream of high-power engines." Instead of "thunderous V8 engines that shatter eardrums, this season cars will have tiny 1.6-litre V6 engines equipped with turbochargers and linked to complex battery systems to provide electrical power." It is "all so very expensive for a sport that has spent the past few months bleating about how hard up it is." It is an "expensive leap into the technological dark for F1." CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has voiced his fears that the engines will be too quiet and the sport too complicated for fans." Broadcasters, including the BBC and Sky Sports, "have met F1 executives to draw up new graphics that they hope will explain to fans how the new technology will shape the nature of racing." The Jerez circuit "tucked away in the south of Spain will provide the first view of the new cars in action" on Tuesday when preseason tests get underway. No one "knows what to expect, with many believing that the engine manufacturer that finds reliability and fuel economy from the start will be in pole position for success" (LONDON TIMES, 1/27).