New F1 rules have created a “total farce,” says Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has done little to reassure fans who harbour doubts about the new F1 rules by branding this week’s testing in Jerez as a “total farce.”

Ecclestone has long made his feelings about the rule change clear, especially with regard to the noise made by the engines.

At the end of last season he told this writer: “I still think what we’ve got now is good, I don’t think there was any need to change it. What concerns me is not so much the TV audience, but the people who come to the races. They love the noise, it’s what they like, because it’s different. So I’m hoping that we won’t lose people coming to the races.”

Having followed progress in Jerez this week the man charged with the job of promoting the sport has been even more vocal.

“Look at the last few days. I said it was going to be like this – a total farce,” he told today’s Daily Mail. “They [the FIA and the teams] insisted on these new engines. If they wanted to race like this they should go to Le Mans.

“They talk about saving fuel. They don’t need these new engines to achieve that. They should get smaller motorhomes. Then they wouldn’t need so many trucks going all round Europe. Mercedes are taking 23 trucks with them everywhere. If they really wanted to save fuel they should stop that.

“The whole thing with the new engines is totally absurd. People want noise – something special, that’s what F1 is all about – and now we have quiet engines and nobody on the track.”

Ecclestone did at least acknowledge that the form book will be mixed up this year.

“The good thing is that the season could be extremely interesting – really unpredictable, and that is the exciting thing.”

32 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

32 responses to “New F1 rules have created a “total farce,” says Ecclestone

  1. Simon

    Adam, has Mr E actually been at Jerez this week? Just wondering if he has actually heard a 2014 car on track yet.
    He amkes a good point about the mortorhomes, although it’s really a separate(ish!) issue…

  2. wombat1m

    Takes one to one as they say… double points such a better idea. If you are too to understand change its time to retire

  3. If Bernie is so concerned about what race-going fans think, perhaps he may wish to organise the calendar so it has races in countries where the population is willing and able to attend.

  4. Huggsf1

    Bernie seriously needs to go

  5. I luv chicken

    Bernard hit the nail on the head. ( At least, at this point and time.)

  6. Michal

    Really? a comment about motorhomes size from a man, that organizes race calendar in a way of flying the whole circus through half of the world for just one race (like Canada in the middle of European stint)?

  7. JonV

    Realistically there are 2 arguments about what F1 should be, each with its own merits. The first is that F1 should be the absolute limit of technology, in which case, scrap the technical regulations and let all the teams come up with their own radical ideas, it’d be an interesting watch, it’d become a battle of engineers rather than drivers and engineers as it currently is.
    The second is that F1 is the proving ground for new technology and the area where the best technical innovation is made, for example, ABS, Traction control, Launch control, etc etc. As here the idea is to save fuel, and 1.6L fuel flowrate limited engines do that, which is obviously the best for the car industry which are desperately trying to increase average mpg whilst still keeping power, F1 is the ideal place to do that.

    • Juan McMahon

      IMHO, if we consider F1 as a “Motorsport” (with emphasis in “Sport”), it should be, first of all, the ultimate “on road” driver’s challenge, in skills, but also physically and intellectually (so, no driver aids should be even consider, just information. And on a screen in the car; no radio).
      Of course, it should be “reasonable” safe, so a basic “safety cell” made according to FIA and F1 Drivers Asociation standards should be mandatory.
      After that, F1 should be the “ultimate engineering challenge” in “on road” Motorsport. And this involves the engine, the monocoque, the electrical system and the aerodynamics, not just the last the one.
      After all that, yes, F1 should be a management competition. And here comes the cost cap issue, because is not reasonable to compete only in efficacy, efficiency is even more important.
      Then, with all that well blended, spectators will come, and the “Show” will be on.
      If the FIA put this in the opposite order, well, we probably we could have some sort of a show and, in a way, a competition, but certainly not a Sport.

  8. Rick

    Bernie, is stupid and old. Yes he is a smart business men and he promoted F1 very well for a wile. But in the recent years he has already taken F1 from the fans by making it to expensive to visit, and hiding it behind pay tv ( witch was good for his bank balance ), he moved F1 to country’s witch the fans can’t visit ( witch was also good for his bank balance ). Bernie is not thinking in the new age, hybrid drive or full electric is coming and can’t be stopped. embrace it end enjoy the worlds best drivers adapting to the latest technology. In the future FIA should make hydrogen the primary fuel. If he wants old fashioned nose he should go and promote the historic GP series.

    The world is changing fast try and keep up…

  9. Bernie is facing either a huge fine or time in the big house.His dementia is getting more and more pronounced so hopefully bye bye Bernie!

  10. allan

    have you seen the size of bernies motorhome….and the plane!

    the new engines sounded nicer to me…. more of a growl than a high pitched whine. chances are Bernie hasnt actually heard any engine noise for years! in fact he doesnt seem to hear or listen to much of anything

  11. “I’m hoping that we won’t lose people coming to the races.”

    Then have more races in places where people actually want to come to races, regardless of the exact pitch of the engine sounds.

  12. Mick

    I really think that Bernie is underestimating F1 fans. To continue to be the pinnacle of motorsport it was essential to go further down the line of energy recovery & increased fuel efficiency, otherwise F1 would stop being a source of innovation for the road car industry, which after all is what Ferrari, Mercedes & Renault are about. I also doubt that Honda would be returning without these new rules.

  13. That’s a pretty shortsighted view from the old man. If F1 didn’t change like it has this year, manufacturers would have ended up going to Le Mans anyway! The new engines may sound less exciting but are very very important for the future. A large part of F1 (and what attracts car makers to it) is the high efficiency lab that it is for future technologies.
    Extracting every bit of performance and fuel efficiency out of smaller engines and harnessing as much power from electrical systems as possible, lets F1 stays current. That’s critical for the future of the sport. This isn’t the 70s anymore.
    That said, the FIA really needs to stop trying to slow down the cars in every possible way. The aerodynamic rules should allow a lot more. There really was no need to outlaw the beam wing. I don’t understand why they’re so hell bent on making everything slow! Every new regulation change seems to clamp down on downforce levels. Just why? Of so many things been said and changed in the last 5 years, where are the savings? Every team has ended up spending more! That’s a major fail. Limiting teams to 5 engines per driver is stupid. Save costs? Yeah, why not ban the simulators and allow more controlled in-season testing that’s cheaper, a lot more effective and reliable? Why not restrict wind tunnel usage or ban wind tunnels altogether and make design CFD-only? That’d be an instant money saver! Farcical and ineffective measures to save costs have become tedious for everybody.

  14. This is probably one of the most worrying things I have heard come from Mr. E. Not because i agree with him, I don’t think the new engines sound bad at all from what i have heard, but because he is the guy who is supposed to be ‘selling’ the sport.

    Surely its time for someone else to come in who can accept that we don’t still live in the 70’s and move with the times.

  15. Pionir

    The only farce this year is going to be the last super-shootout-bonus-double-points-rollover-jackpot race!

  16. Jim

    This is headline-grabbing by Bernie – look at where it’s appeared!

    Everyone who’s been following the issues has been expecting teething problems with the new power units, but if F1 wants to return to the forefront of technology then the new power units are if anything overdue.

    As for fuel saving, that’s more headline-grabbing. Again, everyone with more intelligence than the average Daily Mail reader will know that it’s not about how much fuel the F1 circus uses, it’s about R&D on fuel efficient engines which can trickle down to millions of road cars in years to come.

    I respect what Bernie has accomplished (not all of it good), but to me this comes across as a bitter old man clutching at straws to justify his desire to resist progress.

    • Steve C

      Since when has F1 been a test bed for road cars? Its supposed to be a sport, now its not its just pandering to tree huggers and all that green crap. Watch the TV audiences disappear this year along with the race goers who loved the noise. How can you have a race when all they will doing is cruising to save fuel.

  17. He’s missing the point. It’s not about saving fuel at F1 races, it’s about building fuel efficient engines that are actually relevant to what the engine manufacturers do with their main business. Honda is returning to the sport. Is that a farce? No, and he knows it. He’s being willfully ignorant here to spin some agenda he has. The only thing we know to be an utter farce about the 2014 so far is Bernie’s own double points rule.

    As you point out Adam, Bernie is the sole promoter of the sport as a whole, a task he has not just failed at, but that he has failed to even attempt. If FOM were looking to the future instead of trying to syphon ever penny from the sport in the present to line some investment bankers’ pockets to the detriment of the sport, they would not only be promoting the sport worldwide but they would be introducing modern forms of broadcast such as web streaming races for a fee. This seems like a huge missed opportunity for them to bring in more revenue.

  18. Glen

    *Reads headline*
    Ah, he’s finally realised his error regarding double points.
    *Reads article*
    Meh. It’s the usual Bernie bullshit that’s not worth paying attention to.

  19. bem

    During his notebook, Ted Kravitz interviewed some fans in the grandstand yesterday, clearly expecting them to bemoan the new engine noise. But funny enough everybody liked it: no more need to wear ear protection, can hear the gear changes, the difference in engines. I doubt any real fan will stop attending races just because the cars are more quiet.

    Personally I like all the whirs and whistles coming out of the new engines, makes them sound hi-tech. And all the new ERS technology going into the powertrain makes me drool. For the past few years F1 engineering has been stagnating, reduced to tweeks in aerodynamics inconsequential to real world cars, but this new tech is being applied to new cars already and something the common folks can relate to much more easily.

    • Pionir

      I agree Bem. All the whines and whistles make the engines sound rather scifi to me. Not a bad thing for the technical pinnacle of mototsport to be futuristic.

      Innovation is about more than just trying every combination of every shape in a wind tunnel / CFD simulation until you find the optimum.

      It should also be about more than just having the biggest spending power which is why resource restriction or cost capping would be a great idea if only the rich teams would put aside their self interest and support it.

  20. If Bernie cares what the fans think like he claims, he wouldn’t be forcing through the double points rule that all fans are against.

    99% of F1 fans can never go to races because they are priced out by Bernie & co anyway so it makes little difference. I haven’t been in Jerez but from what I’ve heard, the engines sound great!

  21. No analysis as to why he’s saying this though? Surely you have an idea, Adam, how these quotes are a conscious effort to establish a very explicit position criticizing the rules changes; linking (tenuously or not) the rules change to decline in spectators; putting blame for the decline wholly on the teams and FIA; and even including some off-the-cuff “simple” solutions that could’ve “saved gas” w/o requiring an engine swap.

    Bernie is telegraphing something big here, something very big and very bad for the business projections going fwd… Has FOM even been releasing global TV figures and separate GP ticket sales (from 2013)?

  22. floodo1

    I’m finally tired of Bernie :*( He did a lot for the sport, but he’s actually started to detract from it. I say we throw him a celebration and ceremoniously kick him to the curb, err retirement.

    PS- the new engines are awesome! ERS and turbos is a dream. So hi-tech, especially with the ERS-H. And on the sporting level I feel like having an actual engine competition is in the DNA of Formula 1. It’s not simply about manufacturing a car, but manufacturing engines too. The driver is only one part of the equation not the totality of it. If you want a pure competition between drivers then find a spec series. This is Formula 1 where it’s man AND machine, and everything is bespoke!!

  23. A-P

    Somebody tell Bernie to shut the door behind him on his way out, and make sure he takes his double points with him.

    • BW

      Totally agree with you A-P, we are the race fans, but has he asked us what we want? NO. I seriously think he has a mental disorder. He has definitely reached his use-by date and should be forced to retire for the benefit of the sport, never to show his ugly little head again.

  24. BW

    F1 is all about maximum speed. To limit fuel quantity and fuel flow is pure stupidity. May as well use VW Beetles and limit their speed to 100 Kph, it makes absolutely no sense. I was going to go to a GP this year but if drivers are not allowed to drive flat out…..I’m just not interested. Bernie E must go if the public’s interest in F1 is to be maintained.

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