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.

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.