F1: Bernie Ecclestone vows to change 'unacceptable' state of Formula 1 to improve spectacle for fans

Ecclestone is considering a 10kg increase in fuel to allow all teams to run flat out throughout races rather than the 'economical runs' of the opening Grand Prix's

Bernie Ecclestone believes the current state of Formula One is “unacceptable” to the sport's fans and has vowed to make changes.

Ecclestone has this week held talks with FIA president Jean Todt and Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo in light of the criticism the sport has received following the new regulations changes.

Di Montezemolo, in particular, has voiced his concerns, bemoaning the lack of noise from the new power units, while describing F1 at present as being akin to taxi driving, with drivers fuel saving and coasting rather than going flat out.

Many have interpreted Di Montezemolo's comments as nothing more than sour grapes given Mercedes' early-season dominance and his own team's failure to return to the front.

Ecclestone insists plans are in the pipeline to raise the decibel level of the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units, which are far quieter than their old V8 counterparts.

 

The 83-year-old has also suggested teams will likely be given an extra 10kg of fuel to ensure they can run flat out.

At present each car is allowed no more than 100kg of fuel as part of the sport's bid to become more environmentally friendly, a saving of a third on previous seasons.

However, Mercedes, and their trio of customers - McLaren, Williams and Force India - have been comfortably able to manage with less than 100kg in the two races so far in Australia and Malaysia due to the efficiency of the engines.

It is Ferrari and Renault - the latter a supplier to reigning four-time champions Red Bull - who have struggled with economy.

Asked as to F1's current problems on a visit to the Bahrain paddock ahead of Sunday's grand prix, Ecclestone said: "The trouble is you have one thing and then people add things.

"It all started because of the lack of noise, not the type of noise we are used to in Formula One, and now people are looking and saying 'it's an economy run', and we go on from there.

"So we have to do something, for sure. I don't think the way things are at the moment are acceptable to the public.

"People buying tickets are expecting to see what Formula One used to be, and as I've mentioned before, I've had letters from promoters.

"They're all worried if they lose spectators then they are going to be in trouble.

"What is important is that the teams know the problem, the engine manufacturers know the problem, and they're trying to sort it.

"They can do something about the noise, and they need another 10 kilos of fuel or something. I think everybody will agree to that."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff on Saturday said the suggestion that changes might be made to the sport this season were "absurd".

Wolff also claimed an agenda was being set, one he was at a loss to understand because the negative publicity was harming the sport.

But asked whether Mercedes would accept the changes, Ecclestone said: "Everybody is complaining, even Mercedes.

"They don't like people being unhappy, so they're going to be behind it. They'll be the leaders.

"We can do things without them particularly losing their advantage.

"Without any doubt they have done a better job and they shouldn't be punished for that. We shouldn't change the regulations to punish them.

"But let's see what happens when they all really start racing."

Ecclestone has long decried the new power units, believing they do not belong in F1, even though they have been fundamentally necessary.

Renault suggested they would walk away if changes were not made, while Honda are to return next year on the back of the introduction of the hybrid unit.

Despite that, Ecclestone said: "The engines, without any doubt, are incredible, with the amount of power they produce from such a small amount of fuel.

"But I don't think that's Formula One business. They should do it in touring cars or something, but not in Formula One."

Di Montezemolo, meanwhile, believes the proposals on the table with regard to the increase in engine noise and additional fuel are fine for the short term.

Speaking in the paddock at the Bahrain International Circuit, and with the scream of the GP2 cars in the background to remind him of what F1 used to be like, Di Montezemolo said: "We want to increase the value, the passion, the success of Formula One.

"Formula One is our life, so we have to look ahead, sharing with the other teams a good solution.

"We have to give back to Formula One its characteristics. We cannot have an economy formula. It has to be extreme, with racing from the first lap to the last.

"Formula One is also about the engine music - not noise - and we also have to make sure it is not too complicated with regard to the rules.

"For the people in the grandstands, how can they understand what is going on with this fuel-flow meter (that led to Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification in Australia)?

"So it's important we share ideas together to improve the situation because I don't want to think of the big possibility of Formula One's decline because if we look at it today we have a race that is no longer Formula One."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York