Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone, Interlagos, 2015

Ecclestone says Ferrari dispute his mandate to impose F1 changes

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone reveals Ferrari has told the FIA it does not have the authority to impose changes on Formula One.

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“Really and truly Mercedes should have supplied an engine,” said Bernie Ecclestone yesterday. “If they were to have given an engine to Red Bull none of these things would have come up.”

Really and truly Ecclestone should have supplied teams more funds. If he were to have given more of F1’s revenue to the struggling teams none of these things would have come up.

Really and truly Red Bull should have shared Adrian Newey’s expertise. If they were to have given aero data to other teams none of these things would have come up.

Really and truly Lewis Hamilton should have let other drivers past him. If he were to have given places to Rosberg and Vettel none of these things would have come up.

Really and truly F1 should have been free-to-air with lower track admission prices. If they were given a fair price to spectate to the fans none of these things would have come up.
Philip (@Philipgb)

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  • 53 comments on “Ecclestone says Ferrari dispute his mandate to impose F1 changes”

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      11th December 2015, 0:25

      Bernie can shout: “We’re trying to save the sport and these people are trying to save it for their own good,”
      But we all know to find the culprit you only have to ‘follow the money’.
      And if Bernie were to look at the money trail, then he would not end up at an F1 team but at a name on his Rolodex (i’m sure he still uses one).

      1. Bernie has a rolodex card with his own name on it?

    2. Paul Hembrey’s championship idea is complete & utter nonsense, Just as bad as that ridiculous chase system nascrap uses.

      The tyre supplier should have no say in how the series is run, If Paul Hembrey wants to throw his stupid ideas about then he should go & start his own series & then he can implement his dumb championship system.

      1. Well said. It’s utter nonsense. I’m being very polite.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          11th December 2015, 5:17

          I actually like some parts of the proposal.
          Regional champions and a global champion; we see the same in other sports. I would rather be the Americas Champion than walking away with the Fastest Lap Bowl, Pole Position Vase, or Longest DRS Plaque.

          And of course having regional races closer on the agenda is an interesting idea as well; less travel and creating the additional excitement of a regional sub-season.

          1. I see some of the same potential issues of fairness and legitimacy of titles that double points for the last round caused. Can only one of the regional champions be overall champion? Can the overall champion be a driver who didn’t win one of the regional championships? Is the overall champion still the driver who scores the most points during the complete season?

            What about the situation were the driver who wins the most races and scores the most points over the whole year does not win any of the regional championships (always being a close second) because their results are spread out evenly over the whole year. While the three regional championships are all won by different drivers who only win races (or even score podiums) in one regional championship. Who is the worthy champion?

          2. Grouping all the races which are geographically near to each other makes a lot of sense to me from the point of view of cutting team’s gigantic travel costs. I don’t see what’s “utter nonsense” about that?

            Whether it’s feasible in terms of having all those races on at a seasonally suitable time I don’t know. And some race organisers may not want to have their races back-to-back with one just up the road as it could make it harder for them to sell tickets – Malaysia have always resisted having their race next to Singapore on the calendar, though that will change next year of course.

            1. TheF1Engineer (@)
              11th December 2015, 12:18

              Completely agree with you.
              Having F1 races on the same continents grouped together is a good idea and should have been implemented years ago.
              It’s ridiculous teams jumping up and down about saving 6 tonnes of fuel per season compared to the V8’s, when they’re using 100’s of times that flying multiple return trips to similar destinations around the world. Not to mention the energy that actually goes into the technology in the first place. Not saying N/A engines should be brought back. In motor racing terms, they’ve had their day.
              F1 has to consider it’s entire carbon footprint as a business. Not just what happens with the cars.
              Having races next door to each other needn’t create a fan attendance problem. The fan attendance problem doesn’t stem from that. It stems from obviously a) boring races, but just as much b) exhorbitant ticket prices.
              The promotor has to charge huge prices mainly (and I know people find this fact distasteful) because FOM pay 65% of all money they make anywhere to the teams. So really, the big teams are just as much to blame for F1’s financial mess as Bernie and CVC.
              So my view is, and going off on a bit of a tangent, the single rule that F1 needs to implement above and beyond anything else, is a rule which regulates how much money the big teams can spend.
              If you can get a rule which makes it impossible to spend beyond a certain figure in order to gain performance, that would trickle down into solving all of the other problems F1 has atm, rather than trying to firefight each one individually.

        2. I am not sure it would work – would races in the same region packed together take viewers/visitors from each other? On the other hand, it might be enticing to go for a several race trip that way. And the 4 “seasons” and then a grand finale part does make for some excitement.

          As for this coming from Pirelli – it actually solves quite a lot of issues with both getting people to watch as well as significantly lowering travelling cost for all the teams. Pirelli is a large sponsor of F1 and should have some influence, I think other sponsors would likely agree with them too. And proposing an idea up for debate is never wrong, its not as if this is Bernie trying to force a 21 race calendar with crazy amounts of travel just because he can.

      2. @rogera, I think we might be letting the Pirelli association prejudice us, I actually think this is the only sensible thing Hembrey has said on the subject of F1, he has even recognized that F1 fans want “epic battles” which means he must realize these crappy tyres are the wrong thing.
        The idea of local seasons is neither new or without merit, my 1st experience of F1 was with “Formula Tasman” in the 60s when the whole F1 circus came to Australia and New Zealand to escape the northern winter, we got to see local heroes compete against the likes of Clark, Hill, Rindt, Surtees et al. and with a race in each state the exposure was massive.

      3. Your statement needs to be echoed over and over again!!!!!!!!!!!

      4. I have read about this idea before so Hembery has not even come up with anything original. Also, I do not see how it would make seasons like 2011, 2013 or 2015 more interesting.

        1. other than making logistics easier, i can’t see that it would change much. i like the idea of grouping the races from a neatness point of view, but fundamentally, i can’t see that much would change.

          if the groups of races were all different somehow (e.g. some much longer or shorter than others, or different fuel use rules) that might spice it up a bit, though really we had that a few years ago when all the tracks were different from each other. now that they’re too similar, everything becomes duller. singapore is a weird track, unlike any other on the calendar, and we got a (very slightly) anomalous result. we need more weird tracks – why not an oval?

          1. @frood19

            we need more weird tracks – why not an oval?

            I couldn’t agree more. Let’s have more diversity.

            I also agree that the calendar could be improved from a logistics point of view. However, I do not believe that F1 would become more exciting just because “each continent, or series, would produce its own champion, leading towards an overall champion at the end of the year.”

      5. How about argumenting why it’s a bad idea, instead of limiting someone’s right to speak on ridiculous grounds such as “he’s the tyre supplier”.

    3. Just go away Hembery. I’m sorry, I don’t have anything more intelligent to say.

    4. So Bernie tells us F1 is in showbiz, it’s purpose is to entertain the public, not for car manufacturers to demonstrate their technical prowess to sell cars. Strange, I always believed that car racing began with car owners or makers challenging the owner or maker of a different car to a race, not as an entertainment for profit, further I believe there has been a continuous line of cars with different makers racing in every series that lead to F1, and, those differences are enshrined in F1 rules, “Each team must design and build their own cars”.

      Talk about the kettle calling the pan black, poor Bernie, the champion of the little man, the defender of sporting integrity, who has sacrificed his life to these great ideals, now finds himself battling these evil corporations who don’t care about racing but are only interested in (gasp) profit.

      1. The first Grands Prix back in the 1900s were actually just rich toffs with nothing better to do than race each other. Then again, it didn’t take long for the manufacturers to get involved, thanks to the marketing opportunities :)

      2. PS. @keithcollantine, When you are desperately looking for something to fill in the tween season gap, particularly “this day”, try searching Formula Tasman for nuggets, it should be a very rich mine.

      3. Indeed @hohum. What Bernie proposed would in effect mean eliminating any engine competition (we came close enough with that with the homologated V8 already) instead of a nice variance in the strengths of cars that used to make racing interesting from ist birth.

      4. Bernie is accidentally right, since the current PU formula is literally destroying F1 in terms of cost, complexity, and (for those who do live on-track attendance) sonics, which are awful. The costs of participating in F1 or spectating at F1 are completely out of control. The former is due to the preposterous hybrid PU – a bad idea done for all the wrong reasons – and the latter due to FOM’s (and mainly CVC’s) greed. Bernie owns only 5 percent of FOM, so it’s not entirely his doing.

        On the other hand, Bernie’s harping on F1 as “the show,” “the circus,” and “entertainment” is actually quite offensive, unless one believes that ALL competitive sporting events everywhere – in all times and places – are exactly the same thing, and at the same level as water polo, badminton, and puppet shows.

        So for exactly the wrong reasons, Bernie’s attempt to get a non-hybrid engine back on to the track – and everything he’s now doing is aimed at precisely that goal – is the only way to restore the series.

    5. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. While Hembery’s proposal is, overall, nonsense, I agree with one of his points.

      The calendar needs to be optimized cost-wise. We have a mini-asian-oceanic tour (Australia, Malaysia, China). Then to Bahrain. Then the european tour which for some completely logical reason has Montreal in it. Then after the european season, we go to Singapore and Japan, but then we go back to Russia because it’s Putin’s only break from appearing in memes.

      Then we have a mini-american tour (USA, Mexico and Brazil), which logically ends at…Abu Dhabi?

      I’m no expert, but there must be some easy cost-cutting there just shuffling some races around. I know weather is an issue, yet we hit a typhoon every second Japanese GP, we had a hurricane (tropical storm, whatever) at CotA, and we have Silverstone! I mean, it’s always raining at England so why do we put so much effort in avoiding rainy seasons in other countries?

      I’m sure we can find a more efficient way to move the F1 circus around the world. And it’s one of the few cost-cutting measures that wouldn’t have an effect in racing quality.

      As for the rest of his rant…I think we’ll pass on that one.

      1. Montreal is too cold in October and November, so the Northern Hemisphere summer is the only suitable time of the year for the Canadian GP.

      2. “mini-american tour (USA, Mexico and Brazil)”

        Montreal is also part of the American tour. It’s a 5-6 hour drive from New York City, and only a 4 hour drive north of the former F1 circuit at Watkins Glen. As opposed to COTA in Austin Texas, which is 2000 miles from the northeast United States.

      3. @casjo oddly july in the UK is the (sort of) rainy season! it’s why we hold wimbledon, glastonbury festival and the grand prix at that time…

    6. The powers that be of F1 have wasted so much time squabbling over regulation changes for 2017 and who has the right to make those decisions that they are already at least a year or two behind in having the regulations finalized and approved. Major formula changes, as 2017 is purported to be, should be in place several years in advance to give teams and suppliers time to plan, budget and fully prepare. So, how long before we get a watered down set of illogical minor changes or a full blown set of illogical major changes with no possible way to implement them for the 2017 season?

      Either way, there will be no shortage of blame to spread around.

    7. Hey Paul, Montreal is cold at the end of the year. Or maybe this is his agenda to push yet another tire. Maybe Pirelli is looking to get more serious on the snow tire front.

      1. That actually sounds entertaining. An F1 car’s aero would lool cool with snow swirling past.

        Can Pirelli make spiked tires that are only good for only laps?

        1. The spikes can be designed to fall out, making it less grippy…

      2. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on a Snowmobile would be soooooooooooooo much fun!!!! better than Silverstone / Sepang / Suzuka / Spa speedboats every couple of years. Lots of rain when the track name stars with S aparently. Though not sure if it rains in Sakhir very often (technically the Bahrain international circuit tho) and it’d be more snow in Sochi!!!!

    8. Seriously. Enough with the social media debate. If F1 has to resort to getting new fans by engaging them with gimmicky technology, instead of those fans engaging themselves because the sport is truly worth watching, then it’ll all collapse when they turn the channel to watch e-sports. I want to follow a sport with integrity and dignity, not one that begs the attention of children by offering them candy. So, please, stop wasting time by paying attention to a lack of tweets and vines, and fix the bloody racing.

      1. Agree with fixing the racing, that should be job one.

        However, most businesses, large and small, utilize the best forms of communication possible to appeal to their potential customers. To eschew proper use of social media in this day and age would be akin to staying off television for many years after its advent in that era. Best practices in social media need not be undignified or lacking integrity. It is merely one of the most economical and widely used ways to place your brand at the forefront.

        Of course, this is assuming that F1 (FOM) even has any sort of marketing plan at all, at least more of a plan than going with the old adage that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

        Again, fixing the racing is primary and could solve many problems.

        1. Communication is enhanced by fans going to the track and paying for a seat, not by sitting in front of the television and poking at an iPhone.

          Personally I don’t need any tweets, walls, or emails to retain interest in F1. I need competition, racing, sonics, power, and performance.

    9. He alleged Mercedes had “given an awful lot of help” to Ferrari with their engine design.

      Yeah that totally makes sense, everyone can see how much Mercedes love Ferrari. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/11/29/teams-cannot-share-aerodynamic-data-fia-rules/

      As for Ecclestone’s “mandate”, I was also wondering the same thing. The current agreements with the teams give them certain powers. If WMSC can simply overrule those agreements, then what is the point of them? Can WMSC also declare that all those bonus payments are illegal and distribute Ferrari’s millions between Sauber and Force India? I would not mind.

      1. It might even be true @girts. Afterall, it looks like Mercedes is now also helping out Renault in the hybrid part of their engine. In other words, instead of what Bernie mentions, they are not actually all that set at keeping their advantage, but genuinly interested in managing a competitive field where others can challenge them.

        I really don’t think the mandate really mandetes anything in reality. Bernie is trying his divide and conquer for years now, trying to stay in power and give a little as he can to others. Todt has given away the FIAs hold over the rules. The horse has bolted, saying they are the masters of the stable is not going to catch the horse either.

        1. @bascb There will always be some kind of cooperation between teams. For instance, Lotus borrowed tyre blankets from other teams at the Italian Grand Prix. So I am not saying that there is absolutely nothing like that when it comes to engines. After all, the agreement to allow in-season engine development is also an example of such cooperation.

          However, giving your rivals an opportunity to catch you and actively helping them to beat you are two completely different things and I do not believe any team ever does the latter. Besides, Ferrari have more than enough resources to beat Mercedes without that kind of help and the actual court case also confirms that Mercedes are doing everything to protect their intellectual property.

          Bernie obviously contradicts himself once again. According to him, Mercedes have their cake and they have eaten it, too.

    10. Bernie is an idiot. I’d wish he just leave F1 alone and go play with formula e and his fan boost gags. Leave formula one to the real racers. Maybe if he leaves, f1 will get back to some real tracks, like nurberring, South America and the other classics who cannot afford the Bernie show, but are true classics.

      1. first four words were correct, but I’m pretty sure the main man of Formula E is Alejandro Agag!

    11. I liked the part where Mercedes sent Motorsport.com (seems to be largely based on the same lines from Bernie) a few notes on how whilly nilly the manufacturers that are in the sport are in their participation of F1 (added at the bottom of the article)

      1. @bascb Mercedes response is included also in BBC’s article that is in the round-up.

        1. yes, saw that now. It wasn’t when I read the BBC article first yesterday @girts. I forgot to check it now.

    12. Ferrari could be onto something here. They signed an agreement (whether you think it’s right or not) to have more of a say in the regulations, to have the power of veto, and here the FIA are overruling all that. I don’t see what rule allows them to do this.

    13. Start in Australia, then on to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Baku, Sochi, Montreal. 3 week break, then back to Monaco, Catalunya, Silverstone, Spa, Germany, RBRing, Hungaroring, Monza, Austin, Mexico, Sao Paulo. This way there can be shorter gaps between races so it would easily fit into 6-7 months, with it being back to back races, even triple headers for places like Silverstone-Spa-Nurburgring (what a triple header that is BTW) that are close together.

      1. @sam3110 that’s a really good calendar, kind of like east vs. west.

    14. I really disagree with this part from COTD
      “Really and truly Red Bull should have shared Adrian Newey’s expertise. If they were to have given aero data to other teams none of these things would have come up.”

      I probably already said this in another comment section, but there is a difference between giving away your car data and buying an engine! Basically a team should be able to buy an engine from anyone. The fact that Manor could get a Mercedes engine and Red Bull can’t is a farce.
      Of course I’m assuming that Red Bull just simply want to pay and get the engine, not bargaining for deeper access to the engine. Also the verbal attack potentially launched by Red Bull when they lose to Merc using the same engine isn’t something to look forward by the Merc.

      Anyway, the difference between being a engine manufacturer and purely a car/chassis team is that a car team only responsible for them self. They can’t dictate what other teams will do with their car. Meanwhile, engine manufacturer can directly influence other teams can control a little bit of their destiny. So it’s a bit unfair to compare the engine situation with giving out car data.

      Personally I don’t like Red Bull, especially the guys in charge of the team. I don’t like them threatening to quit because this whole thing. But equally, I don’t like the competitive engine manufacturer didn’t let Red Bull to buy their engine. If Merc and Ferrari isn’t competing as a team, I’m pretty sure they would be pleased for Red Bull to use their engine.

      I believe that if it were other team that asked for the Merc engine and Merc denied it, most people would hate Merc more instead of the team asking the engine.

      1. Of course I’m assuming that Red Bull just simply want to pay and get the engine, not bargaining for deeper access to the engine.

        Not a very realistic expectation @Frans. I think there lies the difference between supplying a backmarker/midfield team and a top competitor: the top competitor will always make demands on getting the best equipment available for them, with parity to the works team or even preferred treatment (they in effect barged out Lotus), while the backmarker will be glad to get a good engine for a reasonable price (that last part is not working currently however!)

      2. I do not think there is that much difference between selling your engine and selling your chassis to another team. Yes, the current rules forbid the latter but customer cars exist in other series, we have seen them in F1 in the past and there have been recent talks about returning to them in the future. These customer cars are normally sold to less capable teams that cannot win races anyway and buyers often do not get the latest version. I do not think that anyone truly believes that Red Bull would be ready to sell their actual car to Ferrari or Mercedes if the rules allowed it.

        It is a matter of concept. F1 can be a a competition between aerodynamicists, it can be a competition between engine manufacturers and it can also be a single-spec series where only drivers compete with each other. Right now it is a combination of it all. I can see benefits for every of those concepts but unfortunately there are no discussions about that, all we hear is “primadonna’s rage”.

      3. There is only a difference between sharing engine is sharing aero because there has been a long standing practice of supplying engines to customer teams.

        It’s still a performance component and though there is the option of supplying it, there is no obligation.

        As a fan of sport a Mercedes powered Red Bull would be awesome I can’t deny. But if I were running Mercedes and I had no obligation would I hell hand over my single biggest advantage to the people most likely to use it to beat me.

    15. I agree with Hembrey as far as grouping the races better. Start from the east and work your way west or whatever. However the idea of having sub-champions for each continent is just too silly, unnecessary and far too complicated for a casual to understand (just like the new tyre rules). Just have champions in drivers and in constructors. There is no need to have a champion of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia on top of that.

    16. Grouping races together is a good idea in theory but there are reasons why races are held in the slots they are.

      One reason is to try & avoid local events & local races to try & maximize F1’s potential to draw a crowd. Holding a race during a local festival or while there’s a big local sporting event going on would just hurt circuit attendance.

      The bigger reason however is climate, They try to schedule races to get the best of that regions weather. We saw for example what happened with the British Gp in 2000 when it was moved to April which is a period where the UK tends to see a lot of rainfall.
      Some other example, Japan is always towards the end of the year because the weather in Japan can be worse earlier in the year. Montreal is in the middle of the year because it suffers from very severe winters & Austin is later in the schedule because the summer’s in that region can be brutally hot.

      There’s also the considerations of the event organizers. Some prefer to hold races at certain points in the year because they feel they can draw a bigger crowd at certain times of the year thanks to local tourism trends, holidays etc..

    17. you can coin the phrase to todays F1 quite easily “too many Chiefs, no Indians”

      with that philosophy no one will ever agree, nothing will ever be accomplished. They will only ever agree to disagree.

      F1 needs to be run by a dictatorship, one that has the sport in mind over $$$. Until then RIP F1.

      1. Narain Karthikeyan was pretty useless though and Karun Chandhok wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire.

        1. :) Took a second or 2.

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