Former three-time Formula 1 world champion Jackie Stewart has stated that a poor global economy could put a strain on F1 teams when the sport's governing body, the FIA, enforces its revamped technical regulations in 2014.
The introduction of more fuel-efficient 1.6-litre, single-turbo, V-6 engines along with advanced forms of energy recovery to retain current power levels already have F1's three major engine suppliers testing units on dynamometers. Changes are expected to the chassis of an F1 car as well.
"I would have waited until the economy was in better shape," Stewart told HT during a telephone interview. "It will put a strain on the team but I understand the need for F1 to think about the future and develop new technology."
Stewart recalled the effect of the 1973 oil crisis on motorsport after OPEC nations proclaimed an oil embargo. The Canadian American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) series featured F1 drivers including Stewart in outrageously powerful cars with engines ranging from 7.5-litre, V-8s to 5.4-litre, flat-12s.
The cars looked and sounded spectacular due to the engines pumping out close to and in excess of 1,000 horsepower but the oil crisis caused the series to fold up and come back with more economical engines due to the high cost of competing.