- 2013 season
Ecclestone will fight 2013 engine regulations
Bernie Ecclestone appears intent on fighting the FIA's plans to switch to four cylinder engines in 2013, which he believes will detract from the show.
The governing body and most of the teams support trading the current high-revving V8s for fuel-efficient, turbo-charged four pots in two year's time. But Ecclestone has warned that F1 risks losing its two biggest selling points - the noise of over 20 naturally aspirated engines and Ferrari, which is also dead against halving the cylinder count.
"I meet people worldwide in all different walks of life - sponsors, promoters and journalists and I think there are two things that are really important for Formula One," Ecclestone told AAP. "One is Ferrari and second is the noise. People love and get excited about the noise. People who have never been to a Formula One race, when they leave you ask them what (they liked) and they say 'the noise'.
"I brought some Russian gentlemen to Singapore and I met them afterwards in Russia - it was the first race they'd ever been to and I said what was it that impressed you. I didn't even think about the noise and they said the most important thing was the noise - it's incredible, it really gets to you. It's unbelievable that even moreso the women - the ladies love the noise."
One of the main reasons behind the shift is to use F1 to develop greener technologies such as advanced turbo-charging and KERS. As part of the regulations the teams will have to race with a restricted fuel allowance, which will force the engineers to balance performance with frugality.
But such initiatives do not wash with Ecclestone, who is concerned about the cost of building new engines and selling the sport to TV broadcasters.
"I'm anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula," he added. "We don't need it and if it's so important it's the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing. The rest of it is basically PR - it's nothing in the world to do with Formula One. These changes are going to be terribly costly to the sport. I'm sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I'm quite sure we'll lose TV."
He admitted that he does not see eye-to-eye with FIA president Jean Todt on the issue.
"He's not a promoter and he's not selling Formula One to be honest. Jean and I are a little bit at loggerheads over this engine. I don't see the reason for it. We had the KERS and this was supposed to solve the problem that Formula One is not green and now we've got something else."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
Products you might like at espnshop.co.uk