SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Red Bull master designer Adrian Newey has mocked Formula One's new engine rules, claiming they have produced slower cars without achieving the intended green goals.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, Newey — who designed the cars that won Red Bull the past four drivers' championships — said the new 1.6 liter V6 turbo hybrid engines have increased costs and slowed down the cars for little benefit.
He said the environmental aims of the hybrid engine could have been more efficiently met by reducing the cars' weight without compromising speed, and that there were more ways to be relevant to commercial car production than fuel efficiency alone.
"The cost has gone up hugely to create this," Newey said. "If you put that cost into weight saving, you might be better off in many cases, so to automatically say that this is some huge benefit for mankind is taking a bit of a big leap.
"There is a relationship between cost, weight, aerodynamics . all sorts of factors, if you're going to go into road relevance. How you weigh that, how you proportion it, is impossible for an open-wheeled single-seater. It's a very different beast."
The new engines have been criticized both for creating a muted sound, and also for producing a processional style of racing as cars circulate in fuel saving mode to stay under the 100 kilogram per race limit.
"Formula One should be about excitement," Newey said. "It should be about man and machine performing at its maximum every single lap.
"OK, they're using 50 kilos less fuel (per race) but they're going a lot slower to achieve that."
However, rival engineers disagreed with Newey, saying the sport had risked becoming too far removed from normal commercial engines and that the technological innovation should be celebrated rather than criticized.