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Ecclestone happy to keep V6 engines if costs kept down

SPORTS By Reuters | April 19th 2015

Manama, Bahrain: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who has been critical of the sport's V6 turbo hybrid power units since their debut last year, said on Sunday he would be happy to keep them if they became more powerful for less money.

Engine manufacturers held talks in the Bahrain Grand Prix paddock on Friday about plans to introduce 1,000 horsepower V6 units from 2017, which would make cars louder and more of a handful.

Asked whether he would be happy to continue with the V6, or still wanted to go back to the old V8s, Ecclestone told reporters: "If it's going to be the current engine, upgraded to 1,000hp, good. And they need to supply them at a price that the teams can afford to pay.

"We need to make the cars more difficult to drive," added the 84-year-old.

Formula One currently has four engine makers -- Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari and Honda -- and Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said they all wanted to retain the hybrid element.

"The discussion about a 1,000 hp engine has been around quite a while and I appreciate very well that it needs to be a spectacular formula and if that's the way forward then we should continue to work on it," he told reporters on Saturday.

"There are various groups coming together in terms of how the 2017 rules can look like and in terms of power unit and the chassis side.

"Yesterday there was a very valuable meeting, (FIA race director) Charlie (Whiting) was there and Bernie was there. Concepts are being put in place to make it a spectacular new formula in 2017."

Wolff said one way to boost horsepower, and noise, would be to increase the fuel flow rate but that would also bring additional costs.

"We are pretty easy on the fuel flow," he said of the Mercedes stance. "But clearly increasing the fuel flow means redesigning crucial and major bits and pieces of the engine. So we need to know earlier than later."

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