Ecclestone says Mercedes are ‘killing F1’ as Mateschitz raises Red Bull quit threat

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says Mercedes’ Toto Wolff is ‘helping to kill F1’, while Red Bull’s threats to pull out have been given fresh impetus by owner Dietrich Mateschitc.

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Formel 1 in der V6-Krise: Toto Wolff an Ecclestones Pranger (Motorsport Total - German)

Ecclestone told Sport Bild Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff can 'have an inscription on his tombstone which says 'I helped kill F1''

Red Bull owner threatens to quit F1 if Renault doesn’t build competitive engine (The Globe and Mail)

"We’ll only stay in Formula One if we have a competitive team, and we need a competitive power unit for that."

Fernando Alonso says Ferrari title would make McLaren move an error (Sky)

"Asked if Ferrari technical director James Allison, the man credited with reviving the marque’s fortunes, had tried to convince him of the promise of the 2015 car last season, Alonso replied: 'They tried for five years so it was difficult to keep the trust.'"

Alonso expects to end driving career at McLaren (Reuters)

"I will finish with a McLaren but the real one in Formula One and that will be one-third of my life with a great experience, with great memories, with great friendships."

Jenson Button: No reason why a woman cannot race against guys (BBC)

"We have a lot of issues that need resolving but I don't think we'll have a women's championship. There's no reason a woman can't race against guys."

Merhi still unsure he will keep seat (Autosport)

"I do not know how many races I will do. At the moment, I'm just working race by race."

Valtteri Bottas expects 'more equal' fight with Ferrari (ESPN)

"I do expect already because of the conditions and because of the track to be better here than Malaysia and we also have some aero updates and hopefully they will work as plan."

Sainz: Banking early points essential for Toro Rosso (F1i)

"It’s a bit like McLaren. In the end, these teams should be in front. We just need to use this opportunity, when they fail, to be ahead of them."


Comment of the day

F1 drivers have been wondering why they’re mobbed at the hotel but not at the track in China. One reader offers an explanation – and it’s not to do with ticket price:

I am from China, although I have lived overseas for the past five years. I am still very much in touch with them, so I think I know what is going on pretty well.

The truth is, many people care more about the drivers, more than the sport the race itself. Yes, there are many actual F1 fans around China. I know many of them and we not only watch F1, we love motorsport so much that we would be watching as many racing series as we can. But many of them, only care about the driver and sometimes just about their appearance.

Why are there hundreds of Raikkonen fans? Yes, partly because Raikkonen is always being Raikkonen; but really, many of them became Raikkonen fans because he is the best looking driver on the grid in their opinion. I am not saying everybody became a driver’s fan because of his (many in the future her) appearance: Hamilton fans love his aggression, and Alonso fans love his never-give-up approach. But for a part of them, once they are in love with one driver, they only care about the driver, and soon forget about the sport itself.

Here is a story that actually happened. A fan went to a non-European overseas race because they were pretty close to the host city. However, all they did was try to discover which hotel the driver was staying at and when his flight would arrive. But, the person did not even want to buy a ticket to go to the race, not even a general admission ticket.

Price is definitely not the problem here. In China, the price has reduced a lot, compare to five or six years ago. Also the grandstand at the final hairpin is really cheap but only available for full-time students. The ticket selling situation is so bad that they had to cancel the grandstand at turn one! I have been there in 2010 and that was an awesome place to watch a race. Sadly, all the people who bought turn one ticket are given a main grandstand ticket.

Price may be a problem, but it is not the main problem. Personally, I always think the love towards the sport should be at least as high as the love you have towards the driver. But unfortunately, it is sometimes not the case in China.

But, if we are being optimistic, these great fans are at least building the base of a Chinese motorsport culture and tradition from nothing. Because for a country generally have no idea about motorsport, what we are seeing, is something of a miracle.
Cheng Jin (@Mp4-23)

From the forum


Daniel Ricciardo came face to face with martial arts expert Mr Yang Dan at Guyi Gardens, in Nanxiang as part of the build-up to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

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On this day in F1

The 1958 world champion Mike Hawthorn was born on this day in 1929. Sadly he was killed in a road car accident shortly after his championship success.

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102 comments on “Ecclestone says Mercedes are ‘killing F1’ as Mateschitz raises Red Bull quit threat”

  1. RebBull is slowing but strongly becoming one of the most annoying teams in F1! And I used to enjoy them. Yes, there were others but this is just another level, sadly for the sport.

    1. And before people say that I’m just against them and Mercedes is doing the same just by wanting these rules and no others (which I don’t agree, because teams shouldn’t have such power, but that is another F1 problem we have already discussed)… there’s a way of being critic but constructive at the same time!

    2. Red Bull gives you poor sports not wings!

    3. @key75 – Why “slowly”, and why only “one of”?

      1. @david-a Just an expression (with an error -.-) lol. And because maybe they can see the light someday and return to the good old times.
        “One of”?!? Not sure if I understand but are you asking about the others? If so, I said that because there are some people who think Ferrari/McLaren/Mercedes and others have done the same type of threats.

    4. This whole Red Bull thing is getting interesting. Dietrich Mateschitz has been involved with Formula 1 for the last 20 years. Red Bull was a major sponsor for Sauber for 10 years and Mateschitz owned a majority stake in Sauber until the Räikkönen-to-F1 “incident.” During that period Sauber was constantly 7th and 8th in WCC. Greatest result during that period was 2001, when DM sold his majority.
      Of course Red Bull as a company in 1995 is different than Red Bull in 2015. But clearly the man himself has a long history with F1.

    5. Red Bull gives you winge !

  2. Oh man, that round-up headline has to be one of the clearest examples of the pot calling the kettle black of all time.

    1. This is straight out of the Neo-con handbook, hence Clinton was responsible for 9-11, and Obama was responsible for the GFC and Iraq, likewise in Oz the deficit accrued during the GFC was due to Labors incompetence, and the increasing deficit under the current govt. is also Labors fault.

      1. @hohum
        LOL Great analogy

    2. + 1000

  3. COTD, maybe I should go to China.

    And before we start with the RBR are not “real racing teams” , you will never see “Williams, Mclaren and do the same…”, etc… I´m gonna post this very interesting opinion link here, becuase is the most balanced opinion that I have read the entire year.

    The criticisms range from name calling to accusations that they can’t hack it when they lose and they are being babies about the whole thing. Look, if I’m spending $400 million on a racing program to toil around in the back of the mid-grid because the engine regulations have caught out my strategic engine supplier, I’m not so sure I’d continue making that investment either. If I have not viable alternative for an engine supply to get, what I consider, a superior chassis design (Newey derived) competitive, then I’m not sure the program meets my marketing objective.

    These aren’t garagistas, in my mind, they are companies involved in F1 and they can come and go when the program suits or fails to suit their marketing efforts. Just like BMW, Honda, Toyota and Peugeot. When the system works, it serves a purpose, when it isn’t working it becomes a big liability on the balance sheet. This isn’t Ferrari or even McLaren or Williams F1. I have bad news, if F1 isn’t meeting Mercedes AMG Petronas’s goals, they’ll be ghost like Swayze.

    Is Red Bull right to, what some call, snippy and act like a toddler? I say yes. It’s their money, not ours and it’s their efforts that are heavily subjected to the performance of a supplier. Not completely but heavily nonetheless. Is Renault right in their threat to leave F1? Maybe so. They too have looked at their overall investment and come up short on their power unit.

    1. he makes a fair point, but there’s a word wich should shut up Renault and RBR: Ferrari. Look, they’ve made a HUGE step forward with the same set of rules and limitations than everyone else! so, is it that restrictive? well, maybe, but someone find a way to work it out. I’m not saying that ferrari have worked harder than Renault, maybe they’ve worked in a most clever way, and that’s why renault should shut up and work, and if RedBull isn’t happy with the engine manufacturer who helped them to win 4 WDC and 4 WCC in a row, then they should try building their own engine, or lure some other manufacturer (as McLaren did with Honda, who came back to F1 BECAUSE this new set of rules). So yes, i think they’re bad loosers, and if they want to quit, let them, F1 was well enough without them, and would be as good as it is now (not in the best shape, but surely don’t needing RedBull to survive)

      1. @matiascasali

        Ferrari last year:

        Ferrari Chairman: We Could Leave Formula One
        Of course,” Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said, “We cannot do sports-car racing and Formula One. It’s not possible.”
        It came on the back of another Montezemolo interview in which he slated modern 2014 F1: “Formula One isn’t working. It’s declining because the FIA have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on.
        “And we cannot touch the engine,” he added, referring to the rules banning development of the engines beyond reliability fixes.
        “People watch racing to be entertained,” he said. “No one wants to watch a driver save gas or tires. They want to see them push from here to there. It’s sport, yes, but also a show.”

        And don´t get me wrong, at this point I SO WANT TO RBR TO QUIT F1 just to see how everybody reacts, becuase when RBR quits, so will TR leave; ant then there will only be 16 (18 if Haas made it).

        And then Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen will all be with out a drive…

        Oh boy the drama will be great! Let´s see if Monster, Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds or a car manufacturer is willing to invest what RB does for F1… DO IT DIDI!!!!!

        1. @celeste I agree with you in many things and yes Ferrari last year call wasn’t fine either, not even close. But let’s not compare “we are losing and that’s not good for Ferrari image + we want to develop but rules don’t let us” with “we think we can’t do better and we are losing all the time, so we are leaving”.

          Yes, it isn’t good if we lose more teams, that’s for sure!!! But like I said before they could criticize the sport by presenting alternative solutions. It’s not easy, it will never be while teams can control everything and just think individually, but whining all the time leaves you nowhere also.

          1. @key75

            “we are losing and that’s not good for Ferrari image + we want to develop but rules don’t let us” with “we think we can’t do better and we are losing all the time, so we are leaving”.

            I think you need to remember what RBR have been saying the past weeks:


            Marko was equally concerned by the status quo, saying it may even lead to the death of F1. “These power units are the wrong solution for F1, and we would say this even if Renault [who supply Red Bull] were in the lead,” he said. “The technical rules are not understandable, much too complicated, and too expensive.

            “We are governed by an engineers’ formula. We wanted cost reduction too, but it is not happening like this. A designer like Adrian Newey is castrated by this engine formula. These rules will kill the sport.”


            But because the rules are not open it means that you are only allowed to make changes on a very limited scale which makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to catch up.

            This situation will last until the rules are changed again.

            So no much difference with the tune Ferrari was singing last year. Don´t you think?

            F1 fans have selective memory, and that´s ok.

            And I´m being sincere. RBR at this point isn´t getting anything, just hate, actually since 2010 they have being getting it. Almost no recognition, nor respect. So with US$400 million they can do marketing campaings, support sports and projects that will bring them more (See RB Stratos), than being in F1.

            So RBR leaves, Toro Rosso leaves… no more RBYDP… who knows what will happened with Renault…what else will we lose?

            F1 is a piranha tank and has always being, let´s eat RB and TR… and let´s see when a new fish as big will come alone… There are so many brands just waiting to get into F1!!!!

            After all the drama is part of this sport!
            Sure Mercedes will stay, so will Ferrari (maybe?)… we can hope Honda and Mclaren will do a great miracle and give the biggest jump in performance.

          2. The fact it isn’t right, doesn’t mean it will disappear.
            Voices of panic are needed but they’re far from prophecies. The sport will regroup and rebound at some point.
            Red Bull is not committed but new comer Honda is still positive, next year we will have Haas who’s in to succeed. Audi says “no” now but who knows they will say “yes” sooner rather than later.
            I see many things wrong with F1 and I don’t think it’s bad because Mercedes did a better job, Mr. Bernard Ecclestone should look in the mirror before aiming at Mercedes.

          3. @jcost I don´t think Mercedes is killing the sport. And personally I think Bernie has being lossing it more lately, so my comments wasn´t in relation of that.

            My comments are in relation to the actitude some fans take regarding RBR.

          4. @celeste We have slightly different opinions but I think there’s some true in both of them.

            I’m against the way they are conducting themselves right now. Personally I think they should discuss internally all the problems, try to find solutions together and then if in the end of the season nothing changed, leave or discuss publicly. It’s the beginning of the season and saying stuff like the way they are is just bad for the team, for the brand and for the sport, no one gain with it.

            BUT I also think you see my comments like wanting RebBull to leave, which isn’t even close! When they arrived to F1 they had just a young and free spirit, it was and it is refreshing to see it, but I think they are losing some of it. What I would really love to see is them come back again, stronger and prove to all the other teams, that they can win even in different rules like other teams did. I want the recognize the team that I always admired because of their capacity to be strong and competitive on all of the sports they are despite being a “no-race” team like some people say.

            And that’s what really makes me sad and a little angry right now.

        2. Sorry @celeste, but in using that quote with Luca Montezemelo you more or less support what @matiascasali says.

          Because Ferrari saw that their president was holding them back with this mindset and threw him out and took on a new team of people who got to work, like you do in sports if you don’t win – You look at yourself, dig deep and come back stronger. Off course it its Didi feeling bad for missing a trick, he is more likely to pull out then he is to fire himself. But if he does, he will suffer for it, because he will carry the feeling of having failed with him.

          Personally I do not think its good if anyone pulls out of F1, not even “just to see what happens”. But this kind of whining when they are not winning is exactly what makes me wary of Ferrari and their attitude (they seem to have changed for the positive though).

          1. @bascb the point is: All teams wine when they are not winning!!!!!, Ferrari did, RBR is doing now.

            The problem is fans acts like RB were the only ones that have done it in the history of the sport. Just scroll down or up and you will see calls for then to leave the sport already, and maybe they should.

            I will have a different kind of fun if RB will be to leave. Because then I´m sure everyone will complaing about how few cars there are, how the others teams can mount a challence because they don´t have money. I´m thinking in start bookmarking this articles when RB are being asked to have enough material to post after they leave. Boy I´m gonna have fun.

            Dietrich Mateschitz used and is using his money to finance two teams in F1, so he deserves a little respect and not to be called a “marketing team”, the fact that they want to win proves that the marketing is not the objective, if it was, he could have bought a sponsor space and be done with it.

          2. Ldm was ousted from Ferrari because of politics and Fiat’s business goals, not attitude. He would have blocked marchionne’s plans, thus was a threat…what is this about him being fired because he supposedly had a negative outlook on future f1 success of Ferrari under current rules? Eh?

        3. @celeste the Ferrari chairman threatened to leave and yes – he did :-). And the guys he left together with the new arrivals shut up, doubled down and were rewarded by a fair and square win in Malaysia :-)

          1. @sebsronnie again the points is everybody and every teams wine, so we may as well stop pretending is not happening and just saying RB are bad losers and not a “true racing team” because they are the ones doing the wining now.

          2. Fair enough @celeste – whining does seem to be part of the sport. But then we should also accept that most of the time (if not all), a lot of fans will react to such whining by deriding the whiners’ and calling their bluff. Its all part and parcel of the banter.

          3. As @sebsronnie mentions, “all other teams” you mention shows to have been just Ferrari really and then its the team president who was dumped after underperforming for years @celeste. In other words the biggest whiner was dropped and the team got to work instead and look at their results.
            So Red Bull should do the same. Look at what they can do differently, forget the wondering about why, find areas others have overtaken them in, and get to work, either with the people they have or new people. STR seems to do fine with James Key with a far smaller budget and rookie drivers. I am sure Red Bull can as well.

            Right now its just RBR (well and Bernie) whining, none of the others is. Not McLaren, not Lotus, not even FI.

        4. @celeste
          All those negative statements by Ferrari and its management let to purge of the top management. Now we see a new Ferrari whose team principal is being all positive and finding new ways to engage the fans.
          If for RBR, publicity is the main goal then maybe they should not talk down on F1 or themselves. People understand that PU of RBR has been weak, if they show a positive attitude, then it will reflect upon them as good PR.
          For RBR talking negative is killing the sport for them. In F1 winning is not always a way to great PR campaign, trying hard, working with full commitment also gives a good vibe. See Williams, haven’t won much in last 10 years, but has it reduced their appeal ?

          1. @aks-das

            If for RBR, publicity is the main goal then maybe they should not talk down on F1 or themselves.

            If publicity was RBR main goal they could have done an F1 project like Virgin did: create a team, but never really get a serious investment and planning into the project. The fact that RB as the parent company of two teams has invested so much money is prove that marketing is not that important to them.

            As you see there is a cicle of “wining” in F1 so no point in pretending that “wining” when “you are not winning” is something exclusivitly RBR does.

            And Montezemolo wasn´t sacked for negative statement, he was sacked because he wasn´t winning.

            And Willians actitude could be a called “conformist” one, and I could tell that this kind of actitude that made teams not competitive so this could also “be killing the sport”.

          2. @celeste
            I am going to quote Marko from the globe piece:
            “We always look at input and output,” Marko said last month. “If the cost-benefit calculation isn’t right anymore, it’s not to say that we’ll continue forever.”
            Input is their investment. They are not car manufacturer, so I assume PR and promo being the output. I agree unlike Virgin they are also sufficiently committed towards F1.
            The thing about RBR is not the whining but the attitude which is like every time things are not in their way, then they start crying. What I mean is, e.g. they won 4 WC, in all that time if they win then because they built a good car, if they loose then Renault is bad or Pirelli is bad.
            I have never heard once during that time RBR ever acknowledging that Renault made a engine and engine software which worked nicely with their overall package. This is what I mean.
            For them I see, if not win: blame this and that. If win: we made good chassis.

        5. Ferrari Chairman: We Could Leave Formula One
          Of course,” Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said, “We cannot do sports-car racing and Formula One. It’s not possible.”

          I can’t see a threat to leave F1 here other than the over dramatic headline. In fact Ferrari responded to the headline with this:

          “This is a bit of a stretch based on President Luca di Montezemolo reiterating that Formula 1 needs to evolve and renew itself, while also admitting that there is a unique attraction to the 24 Hour race.
          “To say that after 2020, Ferrari could quit Formula 1 to concentrate on Le Mans and the Endurance championship takes his words to extremes. Plus of course, there’s nothing to stop Ferrari upping the ante and competing in both disciplines. So it’s just pure speculation.”

        6. Berni Ecclestone and his greed is killing this sport. Sucking every last penny out of GP Race organisations around the world, no morals only greed. If they had morals to do with F1, Germany, France and Italy (under threat) would remain on the calendar just as GB and Spa must always be part of F1 where its roots started. I did not mention Monaco because although Berni does not charge them for their GP it is the shop window for all things F1.

    2. I’ve always prefered minimal regulation of the power units but in order for F1 to continue to be a cash cow for Bernie & Co (thanks Max) the teams have to operate at less cost hence the current restrictions on engine development and testing but I am not sure these rules are actually saving the teams any money at all, what with only 3 engines to choose from and the manufacturer charging a fortune for them and the teams having to do their testing and development during the races. My solution, risky as it may be, would be to open up the PU regulations and allow continual development but fix the maximum cost of the PUs and insist that any engine is available to all teams at that price. Ford and Cosworth did very well commercially when their 3l.V8 dominated F1, as no doubt MB-AMG are doing now and will want to continue to do, we may lose Renault as an engine supplier but we may tempt 1 or 2 others to try to lift the prize of being the maker of the best powerplant in F1, and of course RBR could buy the PU they prefer and remain competitive.

    3. I reallly don’t care for any argument that tries to divert attention from one thing by showing others have/will/might/could do the same @celeste. It just shows you have a poor argument to make.

      The quote you bring up saying it “is the most balanced opinion” you have seen includes two things that clearly are not true:

      Look, if I’m spending $400 million on a racing program to toil around in the back of the mid-grid because the engine regulations have caught out my strategic engine supplier, I’m not so sure I’d continue making that investment either. If I have not viable alternative for an engine supply to get, what I consider, a superior chassis design (Newey derived) competitive,

      1. Renault “was caught out” by the new regulations? They were one of the most active lobbying for these rules and were just as much involved as any of the engine manufacturers. If they messed up, its their mess. But maybe having to push all the way with engine mapping etc to keep hold of the campionship in 2013 might have been a bit in the way of doing so, while Mercedes was full focus on 2014 already. You can’t take that in isolation

      and 2. that “superior Adrian Newey chassis” of the car that was slower than the other chassis with a Renault engine last race and wasn’t much better in Australia either, and has 2 rookies driving who did not know the tracks before the weekends? Sorry, but I call Bull…

      Its clear that Mateschitz and Bernie are pulling strings here, and we should not allow ourselves to be used in their fight to keep CVC happy and the haves powerfull. Any changes to the engine will serve only to dumb down real competition and on top will only raise cost (the reason for higher engine prices was the development, money already spent).

      1. @bascb :

        1. Renault “was caught out” by the new regulations? They were one of the most active lobbying for these rules and were just as much involved as any of the engine manufacturers.

        Ah, if my memory serves right, Renault was lobbying for V4 not a V6. I think it was Mercedes who wanted a V6 and not a V4, else they would not continue with F1. Your argument would hold 100% true if we got a V4 engine.

        1. No, it was Ferrari that wanted the V6 Foosa. But yeah, until that change the plan had been an inline 4 cylinder (partly pushed by the VW group as well).

          But the argument horner and Bernie are making is not over V4/I4 vs. V6 with use of hybrid. Its between a modern, smaller, engine that gets maximum power out of its fuel (thats why there is less waste in the form of noise) vs. an old V8 that is “cheap but makes noise”.
          Let BE and Horner (no christian, F1 is not primarily a “marketing effort” its a sport) have a look at how that kind of engine is not saving NASCAR from declining audiences either.

      2. Anyway, taking what they say at face value requires *some* gullibility!

        > we would say this even if Renault [who supply Red Bull] were in the lead

        For me, that is the clearest proof we could ever wish for that he is speaking from a purely tactical point of view. When lying, people automatically tend to attempt cover the lies by making otherwise unneccessary statements of reassurance that they are really speaking truth. In this case, the attempt led to him saying something that literally only an idiot would believe.

        Very odd, isn’t it, how every single year for over a decade there’s been complete disagreement across the grid about some aspect of the rules or other, and invariably whoever has the advantage prefers the status quo, with demands for changes becoming stronger the more trouble someone is in (or believes they are in – McLaren right now clearly have high hopes that their investments together with Honda, based on the current rules, will pay off)…?

      3. @bascb the point of the article is that yes RBR haves a point in wanting a ROI.

        I personally don´t care if the regulation are changed back or we continue.

        As I said let´s have it, RBR and TR should leave.

        1. Well, yeah everyone wants to get some value back for their investment. But the real point is, that in sports marketing its not winning per se that gives great PR (representing the ROI if we consider F1 to be a marketing tool). Its beeing seen as a great and fun sporting outfit that keeps people interested in both sport and its participating teams and sportsmen/women. Winning is part of it, but graciously losing can sometimes do even more (see Massa being best remembered for how he held himself up after narrowly losing out in 2008).

          Last year, Ferrari clearly was not, nor was Red Bull. I am glad that Ferrari seems to have changed, if they keep going like this they will earn back the respect I had for them over a decade ago. Red Bull hasn’t done so, instead they keep beating the same drum that they want a rule change because they are not winning.
          To me it seems Mateschitz (and to an extent Horner, although he is just the employee) has lost sight of a target and now comes over as a kid whose favourite toy was trumphed by someone, because the negativity most certainly DOES take away PR value, in other words its the complaining that is sinking his ROI far more currently than losing on track.
          Just look at McLaren. They certainly are not winning anything right now but their struggle to get there and make improvements, has probably given them more people interested and positive than running around in the mid field last year. And look at Manor who get a lot of people enthusiastic, i.e. they get positive PR (the Return on the investment Didi is looking for) from struggling back into life and their efforts to get a car running seconds off the pace.

          If Didi is really looking for ROI, he should shut up, throw Marko, Horner and Renault together and get a realistic plan to work on. And then go out and tell the world how they are down but will not give up because they know they have a great team (as proven by 4 double championships) and can do it. They did that when they won 3 times with Ricciardo last year, and they should just do it again.

          Currently he is just a rich fool BE uses to get what he wants. Surely not something a man like Mateschitz would want to be.

          1. sorry forgot to include a reference to you @celeste.

      4. They might change their tune this weekend as Riccardo finished FP2 in third! Maybe they have made a step forward with the engine. As we have discussed here, last year Ferrari were joining RBR in slagging off the new regs. and PUs, but they are now silent!

    4. @celeste : Good arguments, backed with proper source. Some people would always see things their own way. People who are citing Ferrari example, how they have beterred themselves in 2015, have forgot the length of time they were whining.

      If RBR were in F1 only to win or leave, then they might have left in 2007, two years after debut, without winning a single race. The reason they are so vocal now, is they see no light at the end of the tunnel. I would term their situation as “stuck”.

    5. I know RB need to justify their $400m investment, but they doing it the wrong way by being crybaby. The problem they have now is normal, its call reality and happened to all teams. McLaren haven’t got dominant car since 1998 and 2007 (where they blew up the chance) and in the last few years even struggling to make race winning car. Ferrari haven’t been there since 2008 aside from some resurgence at 2012. Williams has never been on top for over 20 years and even now still have very little chance to win the championship. None of those teams threatening to leave F1 because suddenly they don’t dominating the sports anymore (well except Ferrari, but we all know they all just whining and probably will never leave F1 since its too integral for their branding).

      Now, for their current engine problem, guess what, last year 6 others teams have the same problem (not having Mercedes engine) and 1 other team (McLaren) feels its the wrong engine for them, and lets see how they worked they problem:
      1. Lotus switching to Mercedes (getting the engine everyone thinks the best atm) and already show lot of progress. This is not dismissing their chassis development of course.
      2. Ferrari making major restructuring (including booting whining LdM, who even expect that at the beginning of 2014) and works hard to improve their engine and package. Now they already a race win on pure performance and may challenge Mercedes dominance.
      3. Sauber naturally also benefitted from Ferrari engine improvement here.
      4. STR stuck with Renault but they keep their mouth shut and now they even in front of RB. This should be wake up call that RB package isn’t as good as they think, and it’s possible that it’s really not working since they are beaten by “midfield team” that have 2nd tier crew. (Not to dismissing people in STR, but RB have the 1st pick for better drivers, mechanics, designers etc.)
      5. Manor is still using 2014 car and cash strapped. Realistically we don’t hope anything from them except can compete in all race for the rest of the season.
      6. Caterham is dead
      7. And McLaren, who try something new by switching to Honda. It may not work well for them now. They know this, accepted it, and working hard to make it work. We don’t hear any whining and backstabbing between them and Honda.

      Funny that 5 other team have improving better than RB eh?

  4. Ecclestone – you are killing F1.

    Red Bull – why don’t you —ing work with Renault instead of slating them like this?
    Collaboration always has better results.

    And I’ve said it many times before, it will honestly not surprise me one bit if Alonso replaces Kimi at Ferrari (again) for 2016. I don’t care if he has contracts, I doubt he cares either, and I reckon he can easily buy his way out.

    Why on earth is it that almost all of the F1 related news is a disaster here, destroying F1 there, financial problems for these teams, contract problems for these drivers, circuits gone bankrupt, insert another stupid rule here, controversy everywhere, place the blame over there? This is the image F1 is promoting for itself.

    1. Yeah it’s interesting for relatively new fans like myself, I assumed that vitriol was pretty normal in F1 news as over the past few years there’s been such a dearth positive news. I was watching the 2000 San Morino qualifying session I think on YouTube, and Martin Brundle (I believe he was one of the commentators) was referring to one of the stories in the press about the sport being too easy, and if Button had a good race then it proves that right. Interesting that nothing has changed media-wise, so perhaps we got an overly positive perception of the sport before the Internet was as all encompassing as it is today, because there was nowhere for the normal person to present their views.

    2. @strontium, in reply to your last paragraph, read your opening sentence, voila.

    3. @strontium – Bernie has become nothing but a toxic force inside F1. Mercedes have only done what the objective of every single F1 team has ever been and that is to go as fast as you can and win as often as possible. That should be rewarded, not vilified by the so called empresario of F1. Mercedes have done a much better job than Bernie has been doing.

      By the way, Ferrari is showing how you deal with the success Mercedes has been enjoying. You get the right people in the right places and you work harder until you catch up and surpass. Red Bull would be the antithesis of that. Racing is brutal. Whingers should shut up or quit. Bernie should get out to too. He is beyond being an embarrassment, he is toxic.

      Unlike the news above, I think this season is shaping up to be a very interesting one with Ferrari mounting a very serious challenge. After watching F1 for about 50 years one thing I’ve noticed is that things change. They don’t stay the same for long. F1 will live beyond the likes of Bernie and the whinging of Red Bull. Let us hope someone better comes along and picks up their slack. F1 is dead! Long live F1!

    4. “Ecclestone – you are killing F1”

      Did it ever occur to anyone that he wants F1 to die with him? If he cant have it, no one can?

  5. No Bernie, no. It’s you and RBR that is killing the sport right now.

  6. Andre Furtado
    10th April 2015, 0:37

    I say it’s time to slaughter the bull and divide it’s fat meat to those who need. They won’t be missed.

    1. Good point. If RBR leaves, then take the money they are owed and spread it among the mid-field and back markers next year.

      Good riddance, RBR, Don’t let the doorknob hit you where the good lord split you….as you leave

  7. suuuuuuure, we believe you after signing a multi year deal with Hisense? get over yourself and your bogus threats. no one cares.

  8. So let’s see…

    – Inequal prize money and revenues is NOT killing F1
    – Seeing F1 as an entertainment business rather than a competitive, fierce sport is NOT killing F1
    – Teams failing to unanimously agree to cutting costs time after time after time is NOT killing F1
    – A certain team calling for equalisation in car performance because they are struggling with new technical regulations is NOT killing F1
    – Racing at countries that fail in marketing and promoting races and therefore don’t draw in the numbers a European race would typically draw is NOT killing F1
    – Neglecting social media (until now finally!) as a technological platform for targeting new audiences is NOT killing F1

    But a team who are now eating the fruits of an era they have so long planned for and worked hard to achieve success in IS killing F1. I agree Bernie (the sarcasm is real if anyone didn’t notice)

    1. Hahaha it was quite obvious! Were you referring to the F1 YouTube channel when talking about neglecting social media? As I discovered the F1 YouTube channel a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality (would still prefer more detail and longer) of their videos. One thing the FOM should start doing is hyping up the weekend early on, perhaps on the Tuesday or Wednesday, and start having these ads on videos of other channels early in the week. Perhaps have some of the ads on the YT homepage as well. I watch a lot of Motorsport videos on YT and only just discovered the channel so they’re not doing nearly enough advertising.

      1. There is a F1 YouTube ? About time, commenters on F1fanatic have been calling for it for years, but no doubt Bernie thought it up all by himself. :)

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      10th April 2015, 10:12

      @younger-hamii – How about we add to that the fact that Bernie has openly admitted that he is not interested in whether the younger generation are interested in F1 or not because they don’t buy Rolex watches?

      There is no way to guarantee the death of a sport more than failing to make it appealing to youngsters.

      1. Failing to make it appealing to youngsters while making it unrecognizable to long-standing fans, with it being a conservation run, not a racing sprint.

  9. MB (@muralibhats)
    10th April 2015, 0:48

    Where i have heard similar comment by alonso?

    Oh Yeah. Here.

    1. MB (@muralibhats)
      10th April 2015, 0:54

      @keithcollantine – Someone should ask about this to Alonso :)

    2. @muralibhats

      He added a key part of the attraction of driving for Ferrari was that they are consistently competitive….because with other teams, their form can go up and down a lot, but with Ferrari, a bad year can mean finishing second or third in the championship

      How can he complain? Three second place finishes in five years = consistently competitive ;)

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    10th April 2015, 0:52

    They’re killing F1 because they simply did a better job than anyone else?

    /Ecclestone logic.

  11. wow, and here I was thinking F1 was a sporting competition… I guess it’s supposed to just be a fancy show where everyone can get positive commercial exposure… what the hell is wrong with Red Bull and Bernie?!?

    1. With all of the money involved, the sporting side went yrs ago.
      F1 is all about revenue. When costs outweigh profits, you’re out

  12. kenneth chapman
    10th April 2015, 1:02

    just how would you react when your engine supplier says, sorry old chap but it will be two years before we ‘THINK that we’ll be able to supply you with a race winning engine? i know what i would say but i won’t try and publish it here as it happens to have something to with the reasons women get pregnant!

    the ridiculous token development system has caused these problems and it anti competitive. yes, renault made a seious blunder in their design, so what? should they be forced to curtail any rectification for ever and a day?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th April 2015, 10:17

      No they shouldn’t but there is nothing to suggest they’d ever catch up to Mercedes. If you allow Renault to develop as they please, you have to allow Mercedes to do the same and I think they’d just pull further and further ahead.

      Sadly, being just a drinks company is biting Red Bull in the bum. Mercedes make their own engines as do Ferrari and unsurprisingly, they are currently the top 2 teams. Red Bull need someone else to make an engine for them because they can’t do it themselves and as such, they are stuck with what they can get.

      1. I’m just not convinced that the small number of homologated parts has locked in Mercedes’ advantage. Ferrari has been able to make strides. Besides, if Mercs advantage is truly locked in, then look for the rules to be changed sooner than later. But I suspect that the homologation, that all the teams agreed to, is a convenient excuse now, especially obviously for RBR. The only thing they can fairly do if they want to make a change is to relax the regs on the homologation…for everyone…and I’m not convinced that would change the equation. Do it for everyone but Merc and I think even the most turned off by Mercs dominance would get behind them for being unfairly treated for simply doing a better job, or stop watching altogether.

        Even when RBR had their wings clipped for succeeding the most with EBD, the rule change re diffusers and exhaust exit placing was for everyone.

        So the golden question for RBR especially, and BE, and fans disgusted with homologation would be, if they relaxed the rules would teams actually catch up to Mercedes? Perhaps, but there’s certainly no guarantee. But I suspect they’ll try that anyway. There just seems to be too much distraction for F1 to handle. Homologation will be rethought well before next season, so that F1 at least appears to be doing something to stem the honorably earned Mercedes domination. And then I’ll be behind them even more.

  13. Bernie has uttered a lot of nonsense during the last couple of decades, which makes it really hard to judge whether there is signs of detoriation. This line is an indication he indeed is losing it. He would have never accredited any individual team with even the slightest chance of killing F1. He sees his life´s work trembling, and he´s blindly flailing around. Bernie seemed crazy a lot of times… but lately he also seems helpless, and that is something genuinely new.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th April 2015, 10:20

      Helpless I some ways but enough money to bribe himself out of any trouble he gets himself in. Luckily for the sport, he can only physically go on for another few years.

      1. Mr Ferrari ran his company and F1 team well into his 90’s. I think Berni is only 84 or something!

  14. So the whole “let Ferrari win a race to shut the critics up” shenanigans were completely pointless? Damn, Toto must be kicking himself right now.

  15. Bernie, you are killing F1.
    And Red Bull, just quit. Even the owner of the team says that they are not a manufacturer to justify the money spending, so they need to win every year. Otherwise they will go away. Yeah, great team. I think they should learn some things with Williams and Mclaren.

  16. Snapshot of the day caption:
    Crickey! He’s doing a full Webber!

    1. Is he a 1st. Dan or 2nd. Dan .

      1. I think your comments are way funnier than how poor is the work on this photograph.

      2. Nice- very funny :)

  17. If F1 organizer will let fans get closer to the driver on race weekend, then surely a lot of people will want to go to the just because a lot of them can see their idol closer. Right now when you’re going to the race track, you are actually prevented to get closer to the driver, unlike when you mob them at the hotel or airport. F1 needs to open more to the fans.

    1. Good point Frans. The same tought ocurred to me, that these fans might come to the actual race weekend more if they had a good chance of meeting/seeing/hearing the drivers close up.

  18. Ecclestone meant that Toto’s grave should have “I helped Bernie kill F1″.

  19. It’s very safe to say Bernie is killing the sport not Mercedes and Red Bull are still selling drinks so nothing to do with motor racing, just a cash cow for sponsorship which is good in a way but the whining is uncalled for.

  20. Bernie is not killing f1 but I would advise Bernie to try to work this current formula out. He’s right that this way you can’t achieve one of the 2 of the 3 priorities but it is possible. Photoshop Ricciardo is really poor RB is used to do better marketing.

  21. I think that Red Bull need to clean house and start over. Fire Horner and Marko or least have the PR department tell them to keep their mouths shut. As for the owner of Red Bull, I can kind of see where he is coming from. If you read the whole article in Globe and Mail, he makes some good points. He didn’t say that his team needs to win, he just said that need be competitive and in contention for wins, otherwise, what is the point of being in the sport. If he could get his hands on a Ferrari, Mercedes or Honda engine I am sure he would, but he can’t because they are major rivals. So what is he left with? Cosworth?
    Personally I think that if he is as passionate about F1 as he claims then he would just follow the example of Williams and just keep trying year after year. But unlike Frank Williams, Mr. Red Bull has more on his plate than just F1, it’s not his life’s work. They should build their own engine. Find some young, bright, talented engineers who are looking for a chance to display their expertise and pay them to build an engine.
    I am not trying to defend Red Bull. I don’t think anyone can successfully defend them because of the way they have been behaving. In fact I feel bad for the rest of the company that is not involved with F1 because right now the F1 team is making a mockery of the company and disrespecting everyone who works for them.

  22. I think Bernie means Toto can have a tombstone that reads ‘I killed Red Bull Racing’.

    Ferrari are very much up for the fight and looking like even if they’re only nipping the heels this year could really be challenging next. McLaren and Honda will solve their issues and be back to the front again. And even Renault seems keen to actually increase their involvement in light of the lack of credit they get for winning in relationship to the amount of blame they get when losing.

    Bernie’s statement is just his tried and tested mud slinging tactic. He knows it’s nonsense, but it distracts just long enough he can sweep an actual problem aside.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      10th April 2015, 10:30

      @philipgb – Fair point. I remember when Red Bull won and a lot was thought to be down to their engine mapping which fed the exhaust blown diffuser – not many said “well done Renault” including Red Bull.

      Now it’s gone wrong, it’s all Renault’s fault.

  23. Karthik Mohan
    10th April 2015, 4:24

    I knew short people had trouble looking into mirrors, didn’t know it was this bad.

  24. Ecclestone told Sport Bild Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff can ‘have an inscription on his tombstone which says ‘I helped kill F1

    Ironically, I have same opinion for Ecclestone himself!

  25. Devil’s Advocate: domination does hurt a sport, any sport. Viewership fell during the Schumacher era, it began to decline during the Vettel era, and is continuing now.

    Realist and rational human being: shifting a popular sport to disgustingly expensive channels, making tickets unaffordable, neglecting marketing duties, and alienating countries with a history of motorsport to race around in glorified Arab and Russian parking lots hurts a sport far worse.

    I said during the grid girls debate earlier in the week that women are not stupid, and now I follow up with my general philosophy that people are not stupid. Bernie, the FIA, FOM, and any other incompetent acronym-dubbed association believe people are and refuse to change their stance on that.

    Just as Schumacher brought boredom to some viewers, the spectacle of such a dominant driver brought fascinated and curious new viewers to the sport. When he finally lost his crown, that uninterested crowd returned. So it is known that, left alone in a healthy environment, the sport will correct itself. Toxic, inhospitable, and unaffordable as it is now, there is no chance of recovery in F1.

    Bernie and CVC need to go, and the FIA needs to stop emulating incompetent governments for that to happen.

    1. BE wouldn’t admit this but he should thank his lucky stars that the dominant team has two solid drivers who are allowed to race each other when nobody else can touch them.

      The orchestrated MS era where it was guaranteed that the only winner at Ferrari would be MS, unless he was not within reach of a win on a rare occasion, didn’t kill F1 only because the money and audience was bigger at the time. But that era did set up F1 to be the ultra expensive and unsustainable entity it has turned out to be, but without the economy to back it. And even that processional era was at least a sprint, not an endurance event.

  26. Whichever team Alonso races for he says that is his last tream and he will retire from that team. Today it is McLaren. 2 years ago it was Ferrari So there is not much news there.

    Poor Toto he is now guilty of making Ross Brawn build a great car !!!!

  27. ColdFly F1 (@)
    10th April 2015, 5:39

    I’m not sure what I’ve been eating these days, but after agreeing with Mosley yesterday (link), I now have to agree with Bernie as well.
    If anything the engraving should not even include the word ‘help’ and simply say ‘I killed F1’.

    PS – of course the tombstone should be on Bernie’s grave, and that cannot happen soon enough.
    PPS – maybe Red Bull can sponsor the tombstone.

  28. I don’t understand as to why the run off area is added at the pit entry. Common! It gave us some good moments and it was a punishing entry. According to me, it provided no danger as it was low speed. It’s just beyond me!

  29. ColdFly F1 (@)
    10th April 2015, 5:45

    I hear the asphalt at pit entry was demanded by Chinese Workplace Safety agency to minimise risk for under-aged workers.

  30. There´s always a team that “tried” to kill F1 at some point, but amazingly F1 still alive despite those all evil teams, hallelujah!!!

  31. Another day, another Ecclescake.

  32. Let us not forget it was Renault who was pushing for the engine change to current ones. This quit threat is so ridiculous. And RedBull can’t quit just like that, it would ruin its brand. “RedBull for quitters” etc…

  33. Let me tell you a story all about how F1 got turned upside down.

    In 2011 and 2013 Red Bull had a dominant car. To keep it simple, let’s split ‘a F1 car’ up in two parts – engine and chassis. Renault even in the V8 era had the weakest engine yet Red Bulls very good chassis did the job for five years straight. So after every year, that is ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12 EVERY team could start over and build a new chassis to match Red Bull. In those four attempts not one came even close. BUT at least every year they had a chance of gaining the lost ground.

    Now let’s take a look at that in 2014. Mercedes has a wonderfull chassis. But in 2014 that of the Red Bull was sure not that much worse. Here’s the catch. The Mercedes engine was at least some 50bhp stronger than its rivals Renault and Ferrari. In essence that is no problem because the following year they could build a new engine and break the lost ground. *oh oh* Oops my bad, no they can`t because the rules say you can’t alter or work on the engine except for reliability.

    This means every team could build an equal chassis to Mercedes, every year again, which is alllowed by the rules but still limp at the back because they can’t change their engine except for some tokens. In conclusion the Mercedes engine advantage is protected by the rules and cannot be closed unless they open development the same way it is with the chassis.

    – But Ferrari? Oh, their engine was so bad it wasn’t that hard to unlock some power. Besides that they also for the first time since ages built a proper chassis to go with their engine.

    – Red Bull chassis is terrible! One race, one race where their brakes basically didn’t work and that was enough proof to say their chassis is worse than that of the Toro Rosso. Allright then… Even if their chassis is worse now, I highly doubt it will be in the future. Oh and the Red Bull are already a full second faster in China.

    – Renault wanted these rules! Yes, and they built a terrible engine but that doesn’t mean the sport has to be deprived of any competetivity. As rules were changed to bring down the RB advantage so they should be made to bring down Mercedes, or as I prefer to bring ALL teams up to Mercedes. I strongly agree they should be implemented at the end of the season.

    – Red Bull should quit! No, no, no and several more no’s. If Red Bull leaves they take Toro Rosso with them. Renault is left without a team and they were already scratching back when Franz Tost said he would like to be bought by them. Do you really think Renault has any interest in being a Marussia?

    – People who say Red Bull should go? They are the ones who should go. They blaim Red Bull for not being constructive and do exactly the same. Great job guys, great job.

    – What about me? I don’t like Red Bull. But I would stick my head out for any team on the grid that bring this much to the sport. Looking forward to see how much Ferrari wants to pay for Monza to stay on the calender…

  34. And the award for most hypocritical statement of the year goes to… Bernie Ecclestone!

    Actually, no, that would be my soon to be ex wife, but as she’s not a public figure…

  35. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    10th April 2015, 13:35

    Ecclestone, the man who siphons billions out of the sport for personal gain, is moving it from FTA in the UK, who has sacrificed the European calendar in favour of rich and undemocratic nations – countries which find the sport boring, but the kudos exhilarating. The sport is in trouble, but he doesn’t need to bother sharing the blame around, it’s being killed by his own insatiable greed.

  36. Mateschitz raises Red Bull quit threat

    BOOOHOOO! cry me a river you rich billionaire!

  37. Bernie should be worrying about what his own tombstone will say: Here lies the laughing gnome that finally Killed F1.

  38. It’s just Ecclestone politicking as usual, lobbying for equalisation. The man wouldn’t know an honest discussion if it him square in the face (but how satisfying would that be?). He’s always done business with backroom handshakes, diversions, and grandstanding. He’s as cunning as he is disingenuous and he obviously couldn’t change if he wanted to, and changing his ways is the last thing he wants – in his defence, look where it’s got him in life. It’s actually a sad indictment of many others who helped put this slimy character where he is today.

  39. The idea that road cars could be more technologically advanced than F1 ones is just absurd. How it even came to this point is beyond me.

    The trouble is rather too few engine manufacturers joining and the potential damage caused by a single one leaving. The reason for that is stifling freezes and testing clauses, especially what is happening to Honda now. The question should be whose fault that is..

  40. Bernie chose to give more of the sport’s money to the big teams. In doing so he has made sure they stay ahead, even to the extent that the small teams go out of business. He is the cause of the problem because by the time he has taken his cut, and then given the lion’s share of the rest to the big teams , there is not enough to sustain the others.

    So if Bernie thinks Mercedes is the cause of the F1’s problems he should ask himself why he shaped the sport the way it is. He held the whip hand and (with Max Mosley) chose a damaging route for the sport to maximise his short term income.

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