Prost criticises "stupid" bans on petrol/diesel hybrid vehicles

Alain Prost says "stupid" regulation changes by governments risk killing the European car industry and will leave Formula 1 facing some tough decisions in the near future

Prost criticises "stupid" bans on petrol/diesel hybrid vehicles

F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn recently labelled the plans of several governments to outlaw the sale of petrol/diesel and hybrid cars from 2040 at the latest as "crude" but four-times world champion Prost, a non-executive director for the Renault F1 team, went further in criticising the uncertainty it will produce for minimal environmental gain.

Prost expressed concern that there is no joined-up thinking in Europe regarding electric charging infrastructure and predicted that "we are not going to reduce the CO2 with these measures", citing the increased weight of cars carrying battery packs.

"I am really upset about what I can see today with the automobile industry," said Prost.

"We are going to give everything to the Chinese [automotive industry] where in 10 years' time, they are going to introduce their cars here - and that is what I don't like.

"It is stupid, stupid regulation. We're going to lose I promise you, one million people [employees] in the next 10 years in the automobile industry if we don't change that."

The uncertainty resulting of the change could also be felt in F1, with Red Bull and AlphaTauri engine supplier Honda this week admitting that the price of electrification had put question marks over its F1 future.

Prost, formerly the co-owner of the Renault e.dams Formula E team prior to its takeover by Nissan, says that some tough decisions will need to be made concerning F1's future engine regulations beyond 2025.

He believes that F1 faces a clear choice between engines designed to deliver entertainment, or an all-new technology like hydrogen to stay one-step ahead of the automobile industry.

"You don't want to go with electrical because we have FE, and you know how difficult it is going to be for FE in the future that is for sure," he said.

"So what is the technology for F1 in the future? It is difficult to know. On one side, and it's not my position, we go back to 12 cylinder and we have the same vision of F1 worldwide.

"Or, if we go to hydrogen in 10 years time, we would have another philosophy. Why not?

"But who is going to push the button and make that decision? It's very difficult, but it's good to ask the question.

"We need to talk about sustainability all the time, but the technology is very, very difficult."

But Prost is also adamant that F1's priority should not be in appeasing car makers and instead on keeping F1 as "a human story".

"You have to consider if it's only technology, then F1 is dead," he said.

"You have to have a mix of everything and that's where we are at the moment.

"That's why I'm not very pessimistic, but we need to find the best way for the next five to seven years."

shares
comments
Williams: Changing F1 business model could prompt strategy rethink
Previous article

Williams: Changing F1 business model could prompt strategy rethink

Next article

Piola: The changes helping Mercedes accommodate dual-axis F1 steering

Piola: The changes helping Mercedes accommodate dual-axis F1 steering
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022