Changes to protect the sport

FIA president Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone are in agreement that changes must be made to Formula One if another runaway championship develops next year. Much has been said recently on the subject of F1 losing its popularity and Ferrari being...

FIA president Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone are in agreement that changes must be made to Formula One if another runaway championship develops next year. Much has been said recently on the subject of F1 losing its popularity and Ferrari being so far ahead of the rest of the field has seen races become practically a foregone conclusion.

Ecclestone is determined to take action if things look like heading the same way in 2003: "After what has happened with Ferrari this year, we have to put a cap on it," he said in the British press. "We have to do something to keep the sponsors and the viewers happy. If Michael runs away with things in the first two or three races next year, we have to be prepared to do something to protect the sport."

There have been suggestions of adding extra weight to Schumacher's car should he get too far ahead in the points -- which was a somewhat less than serious suggestion -- and other ideas such as altering the points system and changing the way qualifying is organized.

Mosley agrees that something must be done, not only to save the popularity of F1 but to stop any more teams going out of business: "We are at a crossroads," he said in the Times newspaper. "There is no doubt about that. We have to improve the show and reduce the costs if teams and, eventually, the sport are going to survive as we know it now."

"There is widespread agreement that we need to do something. There is no doubt that handicapping runs counter to the traditions of Formula One, but sometimes you find yourself in a position where you can keep your traditions but no one cares because they are not watching."

"That is when you have to weigh tradition against change and what it can bring you and the sport. We have radical ideas to make the spectacle more exciting and save costs on a massive scale. The problem is that costs have gone up while income has gone down and now television companies will want to pay less because audiences are falling. We need to put that right before any more teams go out of business. It is that urgent and that important."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari