FORMULA One chief Bernie Ecclestone said that this season’s controversial new Formula One rules were “unacceptable” to fans and changes were needed.
“I don’t think the way things are at the moment are acceptable to the public,” Ecclestone told www.autosport.com at the recent Bahrain Grand Prix. “People expect to see what Formula 1 used to be.”
The engineering marvels that are propelling F1 cars faster than before, but at a fraction of the noise and with less fuel, have not been widely welcomed in a world that revels in the roar of machinery.
World champion Sebastian Vettel has led the chorus of disapproval against the new quieter 1.6-liter turbocharged engines, with the reduced noise they make being compared to that of a vacuum cleaner.
When asked if things needed to change, Ecclestone replied; “I think we have to, for sure.”
Ecclestone was in Bahrain to discuss the current F1 landscape with the sports chiefs and Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo. While a big fan of the new engines he felt that they were out of place in F1.
“What is wrong is these fantastic engines. The engines are, without a 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 said.
The F1 chief believes tweaking the engines to create more ear-splitting noise and revising the fuel limitations is required.
“I think they can do something about the noise. If they need another 10 kilograms of fuel or something like that then I think everyone will agree,” he said.
Ecclestone believes changes will not count against Mercedes, which has coped best of all its pit-lane rivals in adapting to the new rules, with the team’s Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg taking a 1-2 win in Bahrain.
“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,” Ecclestone said.