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Ecclestone: New formula will turn off TV viewers

NEWS STORY
17/03/2011

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes that the plan to introduce a 1.6 litre four cylinder turbocharged engine in 2013 will lead to TV companies turning off of the sport.

The move is part of the sport's move to embrace the green agenda and become more eco friendly. However, as Pitpass predicted when the new formula was first mooted, it is the noise (or lack of it) from the new powerplants that is likely to be the biggest no-no. Ecclestone agrees.

"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," said Ecclestone, according to Australia's NineMSN website. "One is Ferrari and second is the noise.

"People love and get excited about the noise," he continued. "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 more so the women, the ladies love the noise."

His stance leaves him at odds with FIA president Jean Todt, who, following on from Max Mosley's desire to make the sport more green, is fully behind the new formula.

"I'm anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula," said Ecclestone, leaving no room for doubt. "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," he continued. "I'm sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I'm quite sure we'll lose TV."

Referring to Todt, the Englishman said: "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 system and this was supposed to solve the problem that Formula One is not green and now we've got something else."

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