Four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost believes the sport’s major 2014 engine changes will restore a fundamental element of competition to grand prix racing.
F1 will usher in a new V6 turbocharged era next season, with the entire grid being supplied by engine manufacturers Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari’s respective new power units.
While Ferrari’s Pat Fry said the new regulations could open “a can of worms”, Prost feels the sport will benefit from the move to more open, and technologically current, systems.
“It is a question that is very difficult to have your own judgement: it is too much, is it too far?,” Prost said when asked whether the new rules went too far. “We come back to the essence of the competition that we have lost a little bit.
“At one stage we had four or five engine manufacturers and there was no limitation on engine/revs/power. We reached a period where it looks difficult to say who has the best engine. [In 2014] the best combination of chassis and engine will have the best result.”
Prost said the change would also tax teams and drivers and thereby highlight those with the greatest adaptability.
“To use this system for sure you will need to do something a bit different,” he added. “Pushing and driving well is always going to be the same quality anyway, but maybe we are going to ask more.
“There will be a different work, too, especially at the beginning because you need to understand.
“I never said to myself in the last few years, ‘It would be good to drive,’ but for 2014 I really said to myself I would have loved to participate. This new development is fascinating for me.
“You will find some drivers very motivated and very interested — and some much less. That is something new, something different, so I don’t think [the regulation changes] are negative.”