F1 »

Prost: Being quick will no longer be enough

Alain Prost believes that the change in engine rules for 2014 will herald a new era for F1 - one in which drivers will have toi think even more about their technique.
Alain Prost has admitted that he is looking forward to engines taking on a new role in shaping F1 from the start of next season, which he believes will herald a new era for F1.

The Frenchman, who has a vested interest in the sport as an ambassador for Renault Sport, believes that the introduction of turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 powerplants from the start of 2014 will shift F1's technical focus back onto the engine and away from aerodynamics – at least in the short-term.

This year's Brazilian Grand Prix will be the last for the current breed of normally-aspirated V8 units, as F1 looks toward a 'greener' future and the return of turbocharging, as well as boosting the importance of regenerative technologies such as KERS.

“As soon as you freeze engine development, the chassis and aerodynamics become more important again,” Prost explained in a Renault Sport Q&A, “In 2014, the situation will be rebalanced, [and] there'll be a very interesting technical side to the sport, where greater emphasis will be again placed on engines.

“Whoever manages to get the various parts to gel most effectively will benefit the most and innovation will stem from good working relationships between the chassis and engine departments. And then the engines, and all the resulting energy use strategies, will be utilised by the engineers and the drivers in a variety of ways. In short, there will be new strategies that will increase the importance of the engines. On paper, it sounds perfect!

“Many people watching F1 are disappointed with the racing and the fact there are restrictions this year, even if they are subjective. The engines are all more or less the same. In the 1980s, you have to say that the turbo engine years generated interest in F1: everyone was interested in this new technical challenge. It was also a bit of an emotional journey, insofar as huge developments were expected at each race.”

The four-time world champion was at his peak during the last 'turbo era', joining technology pioneer Renault in the early years of the technology before benefiting from its development at McLaren,

“If you go back to the start of the 1980s, it was all about response time: there was a lag of two to three seconds,” he reflected, “We saw turbo engines develop every year, there were improvements between the first turbo engines in 1977 and those at the end but, throughout the period, the driving style was very different. You had to find the right moment to accelerate – and anticipate when the power would come through. Getting the timing right depended on a lot of factors: the type of corner, speed, grip, the type of tyres, how worn they were and how much the turbo had been used.

“For the drivers, there were corners where you definitely had to brake a bit earlier, so you could accelerate earlier, and therefore be able to have the required power at the right moment. That's why there could be such big gaps between the cars, as well as drivers becoming tired towards the end of the race. Your brain had to process things differently.”

Tagged as: engine , alain prost , turbo , 2014 , v6 , Renault Sport

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Renault engineers work on the new V6 2014 F1 engine [Pic credit: Renault]
Renault engineers work on the new V6 2014 F1 engine [Pic credit: Renault]
24.05.2013- Alain Prost (FRA), Renault ambassador
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


June 25, 2013 12:10 PM

I like Alain Prost. Everyone hates him because he was Senna's rival but without him Senna would have had it easy. Seems a nice bloke too - not a ex-driver who feels he needs to comment on everything just to stay in the limelight.

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.