Formula 1 - Ecclestone: new F1 is 'unacceptable'

Bernie Ecclestone thinks urgent changes to improve the Formula 1 spectacle are now essential - after claiming on Sunday that the current state of the racing is 'unacceptable' for fans.

Formula 1 - Ecclestone: new F1 is 'unacceptable'

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Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone (L) chats with Red Bull racing team principal Christian Horner at Istanbul Park circuit ahead of the Turkish F1 Grand Prix in Istanbul (Reuters)

Ahead of a series of meetings in the Bahrain paddock between the sport's chiefs and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo on Sunday to discuss the current state of the sport, Ecclestone has ramped up the pressure for a rethink.

With AUTOSPORT understanding that race promoters have already written to him expressing concern about the impact the new rules are having on fans, Ecclestone says change is needed.

"I think we have to, for sure," he said.

"I don't think the way things are at the moment are acceptable to the public. People buying tickets to come here expect to see what Formula 1 used to be."

Ecclestone thinks that F1 has gone in the wrong direction with the new 1.6-litre turbo engines - even though he is impressed with the technology.

"What is wrong is these fantastic engines," he said. "The engines are without doubt incredible, the amount of power they produce for the small amount of fuel.

"But I don't think it is F1 business. They should do it in touring cars or something - not in F1."

Ecclestone think the changes to F1 need to be focused on tweaking the car noise and revising the fuel limitations.

He ruled out the idea of shortening grand prix distances, and instead reckoned that the best way forward would be to raise the maximum fuel allowance.

"I think they can do something about the noise," he said. "If they need another 10kg of fuel or something like that, then I think everyone will agree."

Although Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said in Bahrain that talk of changing rules was 'absurd', Ecclestone reckoned that the German car manufacturer would ultimately support moves to make the sport more appealing to fans.

"I think what is important is that the teams know the problem and the engine manufacturers know the problem," he said. "They are trying to sort it.

"I think Mercedes will be behind it. I think they will be the leaders."

He also suggested that tweaks would be able to make the racing better without eroding Mercedes' competitive advantage.

"We can do these things without it particularly doing that," he said.

"Mercedes without any doubt have done a better job. And they should not be punished for doing a good job - we should not change the regulations to punish them.

"I think everybody is complaining really - even Mercedes. They don't like people not being happy."

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