Bernie Ecclestone: “We are in the entertainment business…”

Bernie Ecclestone has expressed his frustration at being unable to push through his plan to offer teams a low-cost customer chassis package.

In an interview Ecclestone told the Mail on Sunday that he wants to charge teams £15m for a pair of chassis which would use engines supplied by Cosworth or Renault. Ecclestone has been pushing his idea, which has sometimes been described as ‘GP1,’ for some time. However, he says that the teams won’t accept it.

“Some of the other teams are saying, ‘Well, this isn’t Formula One, this would be downgrading Formula One’,” he told the newspaper. “I can’t see that. I’d call these four or five teams that we supplied chassis to the “Team Championship”. They would all be in the Team Championship but they wouldn’t be able to win the Constructors’ Championship.

“But to all intents and purposes, nobody would ever know. The public would never know. It would not alter the way they see the races. It wouldn’t change the spectacle. It would just mean that instead of incurring big losses, these teams would be able to make a profit.

“I have come up with something that could make a difference between the people that don’t have to worry about spending and those that do. But the bigger teams say it’s downgrading. They have been living in a very rich area and they think this would be like living in a poorer neighbourhood. So they don’t want to be associated with it.”

Ecclestone says he’s frustrated by the way teams spend money: “When I ran Brabham in the Seventies, it was on a ‘be reasonable, do it my way’ dictatorship system. We were racers and we found the money to keep ourselves going. There were always the haves and the have-nots and there was always Ferrari with a lot more money.

“Nowadays, there is a big difference. There are teams that spend maybe £500m a season and other people that are trying to work with a £120m budget, which is still too much. The regulations don’t hurt the people that can spend but hurt the people who are trying to put a team together.

“When you consider teams take maybe 120 people to race two cars and spend up to half a billion pounds to be there, it’s not too logical. The Mercedes unit that they take to races and put in the paddock, it takes 24 trucks to carry the parts to assemble it. The FIA believes it keeps the world alive because F1 cars don’t use any fuel. Not true. They use a few per cent less than a normal engine.

“But some teams have 24 trucks to build their motorhomes, which use a lot of fuel. So it is all nonsense. It is all complete hypocrisy, which upsets me. It is complete stupidity. So everyone has got their corner they want to fight for. The FIA want to be green, the teams are split on what they want to do and we want to make sure the championship is successful. We are in the entertainment business.”

12 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

12 responses to “Bernie Ecclestone: “We are in the entertainment business…”

  1. Clive

    Bernie has lost his marbles … time to go

  2. True.

    This “story of thermal efficiency” is rubbish. These corporate bigwigs R outta touch with reality.

    Hybrids will go outta fashion soon & every1 will laugh when talking about this green party of clowns period of F1. Inevitable.

    2 cars on the grid per team shouldn’t require a small army of people, nonsense indeed.

    Make show 4 the masses, leave the boring politically correct stuff out of the sport.

    • BrandonCole

      Hybrids and new “green” technology are essential to the future of road cars, even more so for high performance motoring.

      F1’s difficulty is they are an entertainment business, the role of manufacturers is limited, other than Ferrari, and when winning, Mercedes, I doubt most of the public could name the other manufacturers in the sport.

      Its all in start contrast to a series like the WEC, which is based around pure engineering freedom, both in LMP1 and GTE. Manufacturers, the brand and their technology ate to the fore, and this is technology that can be passed down into Road Car development.

      • Zee problem wiz zee theory is when I look around I see no hybrids & electric cars are only owned by zee governnent officials to boost their “green” image, I’m paying for their electric toys by the way.

        Big corporations & altruism don’t mix. They should just admit how much they “avida dollars” instead of telling their “story” and “building sustainable future”.

        If you trust politicians or corporate bigwigs it’s not normal.

        WEC is not going to be around forever, it’s a phase. Once Kaiserwagen CEO Herr Schmitkerzeissel somewhere in Greater Germany decides not to spend money on LM24, the Japanese will say ‘sayonara’ and it’ll leave them ACO dudes with a bunch privateers & LMP2 cars powered by conventional V8s, etc..

        I wouldn’t invest muny into a hybrid or electric car, there’s nothing wrong with me!

  3. Melonfarmer

    Classic Bernie. If teams complain about costs in the future, he can just turn round and say “I offered you a cheaper alternative and you turned it down”. He’s absolutely correct about all the gubbins that goes with a Grand Prix. I’ll drag out the old comment about the best way to limit spending is to cap the wingspan on the private jets.

    I think Bernie is out of touch (says he!) with concentrating on the Paddock Club (where are all the blue chip sponsors?) and ignoring the fact that companies can engage directly with their customers via social media (and communicate their values/ideas) rather than having to spend all their marketing budget on project an image through brand association with sponsorship of a “cutting edge”, “exciting”, “high octane”, “gladiatorial” etc. sport (business) such as F1.

  4. It’s cute you think hybrids are the problem and that teams were not spending out of control during the V8 and V10 times.

  5. I’m sorry, but this really is a BS-story from Ecclestone.

    This is the man whom personally made it impossible to have others like the imfamous Lord Hesketh, who simply bought a chassis and engine. Few handymen and a brave driver and….you were team-boss/owner in the glamorous world of Formula One!

    This is the man whom also banned the single car F1 team, as of example Manor still needs to announce their second driver. Why do teams haveto show up with two cars anyway?

    I remember the charming -the past of the sport is usually charming- Coloni which ran with a single car for most of their races between 1987 and 1991.

    Now, he claims to have promoted the idea of something from the past. But then only in the way HE wants it to happen. Of course the teams said ‘no’, but he knew that on the beforehand…

    • Vince

      The thing is, though, that running only one car is NOT half the cost of running two cars – running only one car would still require around 80% of the budget of running two. So it makes sense to run two, because it only costs an additional 20% and you can sell the second seat to a pay driver. Two drivers also means double the driver feedback as well.

      Plus, Coloni is probably a bad example to use. After all, they only ran one car for most of their F1 lifespan, but failed to qualify for 82% of the races they entered…

    • anon

      “This is the man whom also banned the single car F1 team, as of example Manor still needs to announce their second driver. Why do teams have to show up with two cars anyway?”

      Running a one car team isn’t actually that much cheaper these days – Symonds was asked about this whilst at Marussia, and he pointed out that the costs of preparing and running a second car were negligible compared to the development costs to have a car to build in the first place.

      If you have the resources to develop a car, then you probably already have the resources to build a second car anyway – so there is no real saving in running one car.

  6. Paul Anthony Harrison

    Bernie is just after making a few more millions.I think its time he let someone else take over.

  7. I luv chicken

    … or he (CVC) could take smaller cuts, re-invest in F1, and shut the f**k up.

  8. One word for the guy that’s in the entertainment industry: INTERNET

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