Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that F1 needs to “have a very good look at all our sporting regulations” amid growing criticism of its complex rule book.
F1’s penalty system has come under criticism recently as some teams have started to exceed their penalty-free limit for power unit elements. Team McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were hit with an unprecedented 25-place place penalties for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix race due to the controversial system.
Race grid only contains 20 cars. Ecclestone said that such regulations are too confusing for the fans.
“I think we need to have a very, very good look at all our sporting regulations,” F1’s commercial chief told reporters. Don’t go over the white line, don’t do this, don’t do that, if you change your engine you go back 20 places. It’s not what the public understand,” he was quoted as saying by skysports.com on Saturday.
“They (the fans) don’t understand and when they do understand they don’t care basically.” Ecclestone also said the recent dominance of team Mercedes isn’t helping perceptions of F1 as a competitive sport.
“I think probably in the end there’s nothing more wrong than there’s ever been. There’s some people with a lot of money, some people without a lot of money. It’s always been like that,” he said.
“There’s people always complaining about something. The winners never complain. The losers complain. All I’ve ever said is that it’s a pity that one team is at the moment dominating the sport.
The product which we produce at the moment is a bit top heavy with one team winning a lot of races, probably too easy. So when Ferrari are getting their act together we’ve seen a big improvement and exactly the same thing happens with McLaren,” he added.
But the 84-year-old business magnate didn’t blame Mercedes for the lopsidedness but inisited that their rivals need to improve and catch up with the leaders.
“That’s what they (Mercedes) are supposed to do. I don’t think they are getting criticised for winning. I think people are saying it’s a pity, that’s all,” he added. “Nothing wrong with what Mercedes have done, they’ve done an incredible job. Both the drivers are doing a super job, no complaints. The problem is not the people who are winning, it’s the people who are not competing with them.”
Mercedes are currently the leaders at the team standings with 285 points, followed by team Ferrari (180) and team Williams (104).
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamiltion is the present leader of the driver’s standings with 151 points. He is closely pursued by teammate Nico Rosberg (134) and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (108).