Formula 1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested a wholesale revamp of sporting regulations, arguing that they act as a hindrance in wheel-to-wheel racing.
F1’s rules of driver engagement have come under scrutiny in recent times, with many drivers penalised when racing hard against rivals in wheel-to-wheel combats.
Max Verstappen has been particularly vocal about this subject, asking the sport’s rule-makers “to put the regulations under the microscope to create more clarity.”
Inconsistent penalties by stewards, such as during the Mexican Grand Prix, have sparked further debate among drivers and viewers alike.
Now, Ecclestone has joined the bandwagon, claiming the rules are excessively complicated for F1’s audience.
"The rules must be changed. All of them,’’ he told the BILD. “They are too complicated. We are in the entertaining business. But how are we supposed to entertain people when the audience doesn't understand a thing anymore?”
“Even the drivers don't know anymore what they can and cannot do on track. Sometimes I think the rule book just says: don't race! Let them touch from time to time, so what? Let the drivers handle it themselves,'' he added.
The 86-year-old also reiterated his stance over hybrid power units, renewing a push to return to naturally-aspirated engines as the sport continues to be brought down by one-team domination.
"Red Bull believe they can beat Mercedes with better aerodynamic. However, I'm not so sure about that,’’ he said.
“Mercedes' advantage on the engine side still is large. Because of this we have to introduce new engine rules as soon as possible. It doesn't matter [what kind of engine rules]. The important thing is to rule out the hybrid engines.
“[FIA President] Jean Todt thinks they are the spirit of our times. And this may be true for normal road cars.
“But in F1 people want to see something special. They want to have noisy, powerful engines that can be managed only by the best drivers in the world.
“You don't put orthopaedic shoes onto your pro football players, do you, only because these kinds of shoes are trending in everyday life."
F1’s current set of engine regulations run through the end of 2020, coinciding with bilateral commercial contracts between teams and FOM.
by Rachit Thukral