Bernie Ecclestone Doesn’t Like the Idea of F1’s Proposed 2021 Engine Changes

Go figure?

byCaleb Jacobs|
F1 photo

Ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has long been critical of the sport's direction after Liberty Media took over the reins from him in January. His criticisms of current drivers' prima donna-esque attitudes and F1 globalization have kept him relevant within the motorsport hivemind, staying true to his hard-earned persona of stubbornness. Now, in a recent interview with, the former Brabham boss and series executive gave his thoughts on the proposed engine changes in 2021 to make engines louder, simpler, and cheaper.

According to Ecclestone, these new rules will actually negate their benefits in terms of costs, first and foremost. He, much like the Maranello crew at Ferrari, believes redrawing the blueprint to be too far-fetched in efforts of lowering expenses. Instead, teams should work with the current engine setups to retool and remaster their designs to improve reliability and boost performance rather than ditch the MGU-H and similar equipment. 

"The trouble is they've all spent a fortune on these bloody engines," Ecclestone explained to "And they don't want to go back to their boards and say, 'We need another few quid because we need to modify the engines.'

"I think, honestly they should do something really different, or leave it alone.

"All they had to do was what we agreed three years ago, I think, with [FIA President] Jean Todt, which was more fuel flow, and more fuel in the car, and let them rev to another 2000 revs. That's all that was necessary."


The new engine changes in question do allow for a higher redline, 18,000 rpm compared to the current 15,000 pm, in addition to a revised MGU-K. This kinetic-energy recovery system is much like that of earlier F1 hybrids where drivers can utilize the added power at their own disposal rather than leave it up to the machine. This, as Ecclestone explains, is simply a step back in terms of advancement and technological developments.

"They shouldn't have made so many predictions, should they, as to what they could do. They should have waited to see what can be done.

"I'm sure what they had in mind and wanted to do was alright. The problem is doing it.

"All we really had to do was have a look at when was F1 really popular? Let's get the rulebook out and let's do it that way."

Ecclestone did admit that the sport's entertainment factor has gotten better in 2017, though he doesn't believe that much else has changed. Regardless of how it does it, he believes that Liberty Media and F1 as a whole should push for improved racing and bring other changes up to par with the action.

"I haven't seen any difference really. The racing's good – it's better now than it was. We've been waiting four years for this, so it's a little bit easier, when there's competition. Now Ferrari's woken up, it's good."