Bernie Ecclestone has joined Max Mosley in fearing for the very survival of formula one.
Former FIA president Mosley, a famously close ally of Ecclestone’s until the end of his reign in 2009, warned this week that the current state of the sport could see it “collapse”.
Now, F1 supremo Ecclestone has told Sport Bild: “I will not watch formula one destroy itself because some people made a mistake.”
The 84-year-old, who wants F1 to revert to its V8-powered days, sees the new turbo V6 engine regulations as arguably the biggest problem.
“The fans want the volume, the teams want the low cost — and even the racing was better,” said the Briton.
But as Mosley pointed out, there can be no change unless every team agrees unanimously — and that is not going to happen.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff confirmed: “For us, the current technology is an important part of our involvement. Our marketing strategy focuses on the hybrid technology of formula one.”
And he says the situation is not all bad.
“You can see that Ferrari has caught up. Of course, we are still the benchmark but the others are coming closer,” said Wolff.
“The spectators are down but not everywhere — in England for example. Perhaps Germany just has a ‘formula one hangover’.”
The fact that some teams cannot see an urgent need for change, however, is a major frustration for Ecclestone.
“Usually, you can make up for your mistakes. But we are not even trying,” he said.
“We are sitting and waiting for formula one to disappear.”
Pointing his ire directly at Wolff, Ecclestone charged: “Toto can have a lovely inscription on his gravestone that says ‘I helped to kill formula one’.
“He did not do it alone, but he helped.”
He announced that he will now look to the FIA, led by its president Jean Todt, for help.
“I will try to intervene and convince the FIA,” said Ecclestone. “And if certain people complain, let them complain. I guarantee that we will win.
“After 50 years of work, I will not allow formula one to be destroyed out of pure selfishness.” (GMM)