British business magnate Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, admitted that the overbearing impact of Formula 1’s current technical regulations “stop people racing” as he talks about the future of the sport.
Ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was replaced as chief executive by Chase Carey last year, has given an interview with Freddie Hunt – son of 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt – discussing his relationship and memories with the British driver and the current outlook on the sport. Ecclestone, who was appointed as chairman emeritus during the Liberty Media takeover 18 months ago, feels Hunt’s ‘playboy’ style wouldn’t suit F1’s modern set-up while giving his assessment on the sport’s current rules.
“He just wouldn’t fit in, full stop, he wouldn’t react in a nice way to all the silly regulations and silly instructions.” Ecclestone told Hunt. “These drivers, if they do something that perhaps the team owners or sponsor which doesn’t suit them they get a slap – don’t do that anymore. It wouldn’t of made any difference because he would have done the same thing the next day. All the silly things they do today, penalties for this and that, it’s stupid. I said a little while ago when I was involved, technical regulations are more important than sporting regulations they should have written across the top: don’t race. That’s what it all amounts to, all the regulations are there to stop people racing.” – he explained, as reported by crash.net.
The man who took Formula One from a niche racing competition to a global phenomenon over a four decade career also shared his thoughts on how to breathe new life into F1 by shaking up the sport in order to engage and interest a modern audience in a similar style to other mainstream sports: “What does it really rely on, Formula 1? You need to have the support of the public to watch television, therefore the TV companies will pay of the rights,” he said. “It needs promoters to promote the event in a way that will attract the public. Really, all types of sports have changed from the eighties. Those days, really the most important thing wasn’t the finance, it was to do a good job.” – he concluded.
F1 is set for major rule changes in 2021, with Liberty Media recently laying out its plans to teams and other key stakeholders. The plans revealed have covered a wide range of issues stretching from restructuring prize money and team budge cost caps to introducing sprint races and expanding the points structure. Ross Brawn, former Mercedes and Ferrari team boss, has been appointed F1’s managing director for motorsports with his primary focus on delivering technical regulations for 2021 which allow all F1 teams to be competitive. Both F1 organisers and teams are eager to nail down the 2021 rules within the coming weeks to provide enough lead-up time to prepare for the changes.