Formula One’s new 2014 turbo hybrid engines are “far too expensive,” according to Patrick Head, the former long-term Williams Technical Director.
Head, who co-founded the Williams team in 1977 and led the team to nine constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles over 27 years, has spoken out against the sports new engine formula, which he believes has sent costs shooting up.
“I think the engines are fascinating pieces of kit, but I think they are far too expensive for what they are supposed to be doing,” Head told the BBC.
“You could produce 800hp for 2 million euros a team each year. I think the teams are having to pay about 10 times that amount.
“It’s a very expensive way of powering Formula One cars.”
Head, who resigned as Williams Director of Engineering in 2012, insists that the focus of the sport should remain on providing entertainment, rather than promoting hybrid technology, of which in his mind road car manufacturers already cover to a good standard.
“I think it should be more about the drivers and more about entertainment on the track, which sounds like saying the easy thing, but the road car people are doing a perfectly good job on hybrid anyway at the moment.
“I’m not sure that it needs Formula One to demonstrate hybrid technology.
“I think technically [the sport] is still as fascinating as ever, and although I’m not directly involved in Formula One now I certainly wouldn’t look back and decry it,” he added.
“But I’m not sure that really where it is, is what it is all about, because in truth, for all the talk, I think Formula One is more about entertainment.
“I think some of the way it is going is not sound, but that’s another matter.”
“It’s very good to see,” replied Head, when questioned on the topic of the Williams team’s resurgence this year, the Grove-based outfit having already scored 48 more points after six races in 2014 than it did in the entity of 2013.
“I think Pat Symonds and the other people who have come in, and the two drivers are doing a great job.
“I’m very pleased to see Williams, or at least a few of the people in Williams, albeit they know they need to do better, with a bit of a smile on their face.
“Whereas going into a Williams garage last year was no pleasure for anybody.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic