Ecclestone wary of new V6 engines

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Bernie Ecclestone has revealed in an interview that he is unsure that the new V6 turbo engines will have a positive impact on Formula One.

The new engines are set to be used from 2014 onwards in an attempt to reduce costs, but Ecclestone fears it could have the opposite effect.

“What I tried to say to them [the teams] the other day is that they will have to spend a lot more money if they get it wrong,” Ecclestone told Autoweek. “The danger is that what will happen is what always happens with the manufacturers, which is that if it doesn’t work they will stop.”

Ecclestone was also worried that fans would not go to the grand prix live if the sound of the engines was not the same.

“There is a danger that the public may not visit the races because the sound isn’t what it was. I absolutely think it is a real possibility. People like what we have got. They like everything about it.

“Maybe we can make them sound like the current engines.”

The F1 supremo did however rule out a last-minute change in the rules for next season.

“The regulations have been passed and approved.”

Ecclestone’s comments will cause some concern for the engine manufacturers who have already spent so much money on developing the new engines. Quite whether his predictions materialize will be revealed next season, but fans of the V12 and V10 era will be dismayed by the switch to V6 engines.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.