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Ecclestone: New F1 rules are “nonsense”

Jan 31, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Formula One commercial supremo Ecclestone walks in the paddock before the Turkish F1 Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit in Istanbul Reuters

Even as his own future in the sport is somewhat uncertain with a pending trial, Bernie Ecclestone still isn’t holding back when it comes to opinions of the new age of Formula One.

Ecclestone spoke to Reuters Friday after Red Bull confirmed it was leaving the first test of the year early due to various teething issues.

He first called the new technical regulations “complete, utter nonsense,” and then added his official statement of disappointment.

“I am disappointed. I hate saying ‘I told you so’, but I’m disappointed because I did say I told you so and this is what’s happened,” he said, via Alan Baldwin of Reuters F1.

He added, “We had an engine that was perfect, everybody liked the sound, it was reliable, didn’t cause anybody trouble and was much, much more cheap than what they currently have to use.”

He also called last year’s championship “very good,” even though Sebastian Vettel ran away with the title with nine consecutive victories to end the season.

We now have a situation in F1 where there’s something of a disconnect between the teams, the powers-that-be, and the fans.

The PTB all agreed upon the new regulations, led by the shift to 1.6L V6 turbocharged power units. Additionally, the controversial double points finale at Abu Dhabi was suggested, then ratified.

All of this seems to fly in the face of the man who’s led F1 for decades, Ecclestone, but is quickly feeling a loss of his nearly eternal power grip. His opinions presented Friday seem exactly the opposite of what the new F1 is trying to produce.

And the fans, who didn’t ask for some of these new regulations, are completely shut out of the decision-making process. I doubt many considered the 2013 championship “very good,” as Ecclestone did. All they can do is accept the strange-looking 2014 cars, the new regulations and continue to voice their opinions in the hopes that they’ll eventually be heard.

  1. aspencer80 - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    So wait. I must have completely misunderstood how F1 management works. I assumed Bernie crafted and made law all the new regulations. He has nothing to do with that process? He can’t veto the new regulations?

    Everyone portrays him as the all powerful master of F1, so it is really confusing to me when he says he never liked this new direction in the first place.

    • indycarseries500 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Nope Bernie handles the commercial side of Formula 1, Licensing, scheduling, TV rights, advertising, credentials, etc. The FIA and the teams handle the sporting regs.

      He is portrayed as the all powerful master because at a time the commercial rights holder was involved in shaping the sporting regs with the FIA, since the commercial side got kicked out of the sporting side back in the 90s it’s probably because he is the face of Formula 1.

  2. testover6370 - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    While the new regs may not be the correct solution, the status quo wasn’t going to work either. The old formula was getting a little dull with limited advances in engine development. The only things that could be really developed were aero and suspension, and aero became the ultimate driver, dictating even suspension design. Now there might be more pathways to speed.

    • worknman24hours - Feb 1, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      That would be true if the regs weren’t written down to the tightest degree which guarantees you can’t innovate anywhere without a rules violation.

      The emphasis is to not push the equipment too hard because if you break it, you will get severe penalties.

      In a turbo engine world, that means restricting the boost so much the turbo advantage in minimized so the team will undoubtedly try to find speed in e wind tunnel and by other creative methods that have little to do with stressing the powertrain.

      Someone has already mentioned the lack of sound coming from these cars, it will be funny to see the race start and it sounds like a vacuum cleaner convention just started.

  3. dj511185 - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    I am against the homogenization of motor sports. We may as well just have Ferrari Challenge and the old IROC. I would rather watch all out competition, from the engineering, to the driving. Bring back the screaming V-10s and V-12s! Look at it another way…to “level the playing field in the name of competition” is the same thing as punishing those who succeed. It is like little league where everyone is allowed to hit, no one strikes out, no one loses. Do we really want Formula 1 cars with engines the size of a sports bike? Throughout every area of life, the Powers That Be are removing incentive to innovate and personal responsibility, dumbing down the field in the name of equality. And it is getting worse and worse in Formula 1 and other areas of motor sports.

  4. dj511185 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Also…this website and the coverage of Formula 1 overall since the hand-off to NBC stinks.

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