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Ecclestone backs Red Bull


F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has thrown his support behind Christian Horner's call for the FIA to address Mercedes advantage.

Following a dominant performance which saw the silver cars top the timesheets in every session and subsequently finish over thirty seconds ahead of the nearest opposition (Sebastian Vettel) and a whole lap ahead of his only driver that made it to the grid, Red Bull team boss Horner called on the FIA to apply the equalisation mechanism that is apparently within the rules, claiming that Mercedes current domination of the sport is not "healthy".

Whilst Helmut Marko took things a little further, suggesting that the company might revaluate the worth in continuing in F1, Ecclestone has come out in support of Horner.

"They are absolutely 100 percent right," he told Reuters. "There is a rule that I think Max (Mosley) put in when he was there that in the event that a particular team or engine supplier did something magic - which Mercedes have done - the FIA can level up things.

"They have done a first class job which everybody acknowledges," he added, referring to Mercedes not the FIA. "We need to change things a little bit now and try and level things up a little bit.

"What we should have done was frozen the Mercedes engine and leave everybody else to do what they want so they could have caught up," he argued. "We should support the FIA to make changes."

Of course, another winter of discontent saw the manufacturers arguing over the engine freeze, and had Mercedes been ordered to 'stand still' it might well have been the German manufacturer - which currently supplies three other teams - threatening to walk away from the sport.

Instead, the powers-that-be came up with a ludicrous tokens system, the sort of nonsense that is driving fans away from the sport, that and this continual manipulation of the rules in a brazen attempt to manufacture the competition and results that will hopefully have them return.

Of Marko's comment that Red Bull could walk away from F1, Ecclestone said: "Whether they will, who knows? Dieter is a sporting guy and I don't think he'll stop because he's being beaten. He's more likely to stop if he was winning."

Ignoring the fact that Red Bull is committed to F1 until 2020, Ecclestone will do whatever will sell the most TV subscriptions - and now apps and use of his website - the purity or even the fairness of the 'sport' is of no consequence.

As was said during the Schumacher/Ferrari era it is up to rivals to raise their game, not penalise the successful. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault all started with the same blank piece of paper - so to speak - it's just that the German manufacturer made a better job of it.

It is not right to handicap it in order to appease poor losers who were uncharacteristically quiet when they were top of the heap, it is wholly wrong, it is unethical, to deliberately change the rules in order to produce the result that best suits the promoters.

Never mind Red Bull, it is the fans who are in danger of quitting F1. And who can blame them.


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1. Posted by Hondawho?, 24/03/2015 9:34

"1. Posted by Parnelli, 19/03/2015 5:48
" IndyCar was like that at one time, although the first rear-engine cars to race Indy came from Lotus Formula 1 "

Cooper had the first rear engined car at Indy 1961 , Lotus won the first race with rear engine 1965."

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2. Posted by Parnelli, 19/03/2015 5:48

"Marko needs to go to the U.S. and field a team in the IndyCar series. They're basically kit cars fielded by four manufacturers. You can put your Red Bull livery on it and watch your car go around ovals. I quit watching IndyCar when it was a "everything-is-equal" formula. Formula 1 is innovative and technologically on the cutting edge. IndyCar was like that at one time, although the first rear-engine cars to race Indy came from Lotus Formula 1. But I'm with Toto Wolf: quit whining and put your f'ing nose to the wheel! Look at Honda! They've got such a long way to go, a lot further than anyone else, and they're not bitching. "

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3. Posted by Paul C, 18/03/2015 2:20

"To increase the excitement of F1 the solicitors, lawyers and other legal wonks need to leave the rules making alone. Specify only safety standards, total car dimensions, engine displacements (for various types of powerplants), and total weight of the cars. Let the designers and engineers loose!
Another area F1 needs to wake up on is testing. Restricted testing turns the early F1 season into a running of untested cars and tires. All of F1 needs more testing to have the cars at their best. If F1 testing needs some sort of reason to exist, FIA needs to set up a class in endurance racing that is comprised of F1 chassis with full bodywork. Wasn't that what the 3 liter prototypes of the 70's were anyway? "

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4. Posted by cwilder3, 17/03/2015 19:30

"F-1 has had a rich history of teams domination for a period of time. Just going back to the glory days of Honda and Mclaren, then Williams got the leg up with their superior active suspension. Next, MS and Ferrari won numerous WCC's and WDC's. Red Bull was just happy as can be when they were on top for 4 years. NOW, Red Bull want to level the playing field and are pouting and threating to take their marbles and go home. BYE! I have been a fan since 1964 and have watched this formula go from racing and being the most technology advanced cars to fuel and tire management. There is GP2 if you want a level playing field. Domination only lasts for a season and makes the other teams work to make up the deficient. The sport is losing its heritage and historic track are being dropped or in jeopardy (like Spa) for Bernie's pockets to be lined. Then Bernie plays both sides and we talk cost cutting and introduce a new engine. Don't like the sound so let's go back to V8's. Needless to wonder why they call this a circus? The formula has lost its direction and is led by profit and not paying attention to it fans or history"

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5. Posted by KoosOos, 17/03/2015 13:25

"I think that Red Bull is starting to feel the financial wight of the sport know. Merc and Ferrari is willing to pay any amount to win and the price of winning is to much for them"

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6. Posted by Hondawho?, 17/03/2015 10:36

"Engines and car manufacturers being F1 teams should they be the same thing?

Perhaps we should cast our minds back to the "Cosworth era".

The engines were originally "Ford Cosworth". (I so wish Colin Chapman and others of his ilk were alive today, I miss him and characters like him).

They then became "Cosworth" and continued to dominate the F1 scene for many years and even during what many have called the "Golden Era of Formula One". Although Cosworth did try to enter F1 it did not work (I wonder why :-) and you never saw a Ford F1 car in totality did you?

Did anyone mind Cosworth winning everything in sight? ? No. Did Ferrari moan and groan? NO(? not sure) Why?

Possibly because although the engine dominated the race scene it was supplied by an independent engine supplier and NOT (in theory it was owned or controlled by Ford at the time ?) part of a team, or, part of a car manufacturer who supplied the engines. Ferrari did NOT supply to third parties at that time I believe?

If the Mercedes engine, that is so successful today was called an "Ilmor or Cosworth" for example I do not think there would be the rumpus that is currently going on which lets face it, is jealousy on the face of some of the other teams.

The other real race teams, Williams for one, just get on with it and buy the best engine of course. They are a REAL F1 RACE team, as are all the others apart from Ferrari who are similar to Mercedes and McLaren, who are now acar manufacturer, yes engine manufacturer sort of and NOT for F1 (WHY NOT, another story will they be bought out by Honda perhaps?????)

I think there is currently a psychological barrier for many, fans included, having Mercedes as main engine supplier to many other teams and a world championship team. They are just not used to it. Ferrari are similar but its only the past few years that Ferrari have been selling customer engines of course and maybe that is NOT a good thing either?

The Mercedes race team was Brawn (forget the full history it didn't work as well as it should have done) and it was he who set the whole team into winning ways (as he has always done) and that is just good planing. The fact that Mercedes came along and bought into and then took over the team, as well as supplied the engine could be said, was, AT THIS TIME with an economical situation as it is in the World, a bad mistake from a marketing point of view for Formula one.

The fact remains that they did and what would have happened to engine supply if they and in fact Ferrari had not done so? That is the leverage they now have on the sport of course and why BE is treading carefully.

One possible way to improve the "standing of F1" is possibly, I would like to see MORE engines supplied by a third party NON car manufacturer. (the third party could be owned by a car manufacturer but thats another story). What happens to the chassis and team, well thats down to the guys in charge and only they can then take the blame if it goes wrong.(CH included!)

You could argue what would happen to Ferrari, but even Ferrari have had leverage on the sport for years so what are we looking at changing here?

Are we looking at the whole issue just getting better as more manufacturers (Honda for one) come into the sport or should the sport restrict teams with the same engine and team or in this case Ferrari and Mercedes only being allowed to run their own cars with their own engines, and, if they want to sell their engines then that should be done through a third party?

The second way is the Indy car route, one chassis manufacturer and options for engines (Honda and Cevy or Ilmor rule here of course) but that is NOT F1 in my book.

There are not enough differences in the sport and certainly not enough characters in the sport and that is what is making it boring.

Bring back independent engine suppliers I think is the way forward and restrict the teams if they are car manufacturers to only use their own engine and if they want to supply them to other teams, then supply them through third parties who are allowed to change them.

All IMHO as always.


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7. Posted by Spindoctor, 17/03/2015 10:16

"In respect of the specifics, Bernie is characteristically wrong in suggesting that Mercedes should be "hobbled" because the others did a worse job. Maybe in Bernie's world Usain Bolt would have a ball and chain fitted, or Ronaldo have one of his legs broken to "level things up a bit"?

The malaise in F1 as a "Sport" is now so deep-rooted that it's probably beyond repair, certainly no amount of "tweaking" can fix it. This hasn't (yet) seriously affected the real business of F1 which is making money for Bernie & CVC, but maybe another few years of one team's domination might change that too.

From my perspective as a fan of over 50 years' standing, I don't want a return to imaginary, half-remembered halcyon days when everything was "better". Great strides have been made in 50 years, particularly in respect of safety, but much has also been lost. I can only express this as a need to inject some sporting values into an activity that seems currently focused mainly on "money".


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8. Posted by Darvi, 17/03/2015 9:58

"Why doesn't Bernie do the decent thing and fall on his wallet and let someone with half a positive idea take over. We need to get back to:

FOM - managing the commercial aspects for a smaller fee
FIA - providing the technical regulations and a strategy for the future
Teams - building cars to the regulations and helping the FIA develop its strategy for the future of F1.

At the moment, Bernie has way too much influcence and it is unhealthy and totally focussed on generating money for FOM irrespective of the damage done to the sport."

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9. Posted by airman1, 17/03/2015 9:29

"F1 Is first, and foremost a Constructor's championship, it is a part of its legacy, the creed, it is at the core of its existence. Drivers, are the stuff of legends, but they come and go, and but great teams endure, and so they must go on, and find a way to move on. I for one, am against any kind of artificial equalization, when it comes to technology, with the exception of materials being used, and even that to some extent. It is up to engineers to figure out how to make better cars. Some do, and some do not, but all, and I mean all have the access to the technical knowledge required to make good cars. So some just better than others. Or have more money. And there is the problem. Level the playing field, cap the budgets, all of it, to include driver's pay and entitlements.....divert fund in to RD and engineering talent development, and you will see soon, more than one team racing....because the very moment FIA starts meddling with the rules, "only to level the playing field" you will have problems, as some folks, rightfully so, will think that this is done just to provide teams with lesser know-how a chance to win...which is artificial...and if F1 wants to go that way, the way of standardization, unification, then F1 then, needs to re-think itself and decide it is not a Constructor championship, but rather a very expensive show for the masses. "

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10. Posted by BWesty, 17/03/2015 9:08

"I like the idea of every team brining whatever engine they like to the table. the only restriction being the limit on BHP and the maximum amount of Torque each engine is allowed to produce. this can be monitored through the FIA standardised ECU, so no cheating. The body of the car, the aerodynamics and weight of each car can be standardised, you can even standardise the gearbox. Each team will bring the same amount of power to the track. this will give the teams the opportunity to go out and source an engine supplier that fits their budget and still produce the required BHP and Torque.
We will have twin turbo V6's (Nissan) or flat 6's (Porsche), V8s (Ford), V10's (Audi or Lambo), and V12's from Ferrari all racing in the same size chassis but producing very different Sounds.

IMAGINE THE NOISE.... HELLS TEETH!!! I'd go watch that any day.

as mentioned, the cool thing here is that each team will then source a manufacturer that can provide a power plant that fits in with their budget, you'll have more manufacturers being involved in the sport and more fans as the entire population... in the world... doesn't only drive a Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault and I am certain it will be more exciting then the current "Snore fest" we are currently experiencing.

Your thoughts folks.


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11. Posted by Editor, 17/03/2015 9:06


Re: If you fans wanted a level playing field, you should have gone to watch Nigel Mansell's GP Masters whose formula was based around identical cars.

If you believe that you'll believe anything... have it on very good authority that some engines were "better" than others. Fact!"

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12. Posted by RPrior, 17/03/2015 9:01

"F1 was all about competitive edge between the Teams. This philosophy produced Technical innovation.
Now F1 is over regulated & produces little innovation that can be transferred to the auto industry.

If you fans wanted a level playing field, you should have gone to watch Nigel Mansell's GP Masters whose formula was based around identical cars. "

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13. Posted by chris.wright, 17/03/2015 3:42

"On a side note, I think the story of Renault looking at their own team has ramifications with Red Bull. To me this means that Renault wanting to own their own team feel that the supply deal with Red Bull and Torro Roso is in doubt. Putting two together I would not be surprised to see Red Bull Audi in 2016 or 2017. I think Red Bull pulling out is just posturing. Mercedies threaten this before the current rules and Ferrari before that. It is just playing the game."

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14. Posted by Joop deBruin, 17/03/2015 0:47

"Renault made a huge mistake in design for 2014, and with the rules, they're such with it for another year. Sure, Ferrari found **some** improvement, but still a huge gap. I would prefer that all could have thrown out the failed design and start over. I agree with Historian, let them power with whatever they want, the only limit being the same amount of fuel for all. I've been a F1 fan since the mid-60's, it's as boring as it ever has been. I quit watching NASCAR & Indy Car for the game reason: standardization. Yuck!"

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15. Posted by Joop deBruin, 17/03/2015 0:37

"FWK, "Arrogant Vettel?!?"
He's one of the most down to Earth guys in F1, a friend of mechanics, janitors and fans. Sie müssen nicht wie Sieger und Deutsche....."

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