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Bernie Ecclestone: "Mercedes current domination of Formula 1 is wrong”

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Bernie Ecclestone: "Mercedes current domination of Formula 1 is wrong”
Aug 26, 2015, 12:34 PM

Bernie Ecclestone has described Mercedes current domination of Formula 1 as “wrong” and reiterated his desire to see more competition in the sp...

Bernie Ecclestone has described Mercedes current domination of Formula 1 as “wrong” and reiterated his desire to see more competition in the sport after the team scored another 1-2 at the Belgian Grand Prix.

In an interview with Dutch TV rights holder Sport 1, Ecclestone explained that he didn’t want to see the Mercedes team winning races unopposed on such a regular basis.

He said: “What we really need is more competition. What I don’t want to happen is what’s happened [last weekend] – before that race, you could guarantee that the Mercedes cars were going to be first and second if they finished – we’re talking about qualifying, and the race as well.”

Lewis Hamilton

When asked what he thought about people describing F1’s current problems as a “crisis” despite exciting recent races in Britain and Hungary, Ecclestone responded that Mercedes dominance was the cause of the unrest.

He said: “What we’ve got at the moment, which is wrong, is one very, very, very dominant team – with a particularly dominant engine.”

Using four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel as an example, Ecclestone also explained that changes needed to be made to guarantee the best drivers in F1 were able to fight each other for race victories throughout the season.

He said: “It’s not nice to see somebody like Vettel two seconds off the pace, because he is not two seconds off the pace.”

Bernie Ecclestone Sebastian Vettel

Ecclestone has made comments like this before and it is regularly suggested that F1 needs another team to fight Mercedes for the title to keep the sport interesting and engaging to casual and hard-core fans alike. Vettel’s unlikely wins in Malaysia and Hungary were greeted with delight by fans weary of Mercedes dominance, despite Vettel himself recently winning four world titles in a row with Red Bull from 2010-2013.

Mercedes has scored 426 points this season, with nine wins, seven 1-2 finishes and 11 pole positions from 11 races. At the same point in 2014 they had scored 319 points, while Lewis Hamilton's 227 points today is 25 up on then points leader Nico Rosberg in 2014.

Ferrari stepped up and delivered huge improvements to its power unit over the 2014 off-season, and turned itself into a force that could occasionally threaten Mercedes in races, without needing mechanical failures or crashes to hamper the reigning champions. But the Scuderia has only been able to challenge Mercedes throughout a race on specific occasions and has not been on the same pace in qualifying all year, meaning it is unlikely to figure in the title fight at the end of the season.

However Malaysia and Hungary showed that on certain tracks in certain circumstances, if Ferrari can get in front of Mercedes somehow in the race, they have the pace to stay there.

Daniil Kvyat

It was suggested in Spa that Red Bull’s chassis is moving close to being on a par with Mercedes’ and that the team is being held back by the problems with its Renault power units.

Red Bull have been lobbying hard to switch to Mercedes engines and while the F1 team’s bosses were initially dismissive of the idea, they have soften their public stance in recent weeks.

There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of Red Bull and Ecclestone to get Mercedes to commit to supplying the Milton Keynes team with engines 'for the good of the sport', but some Mercedes sources urge caution on thinking that this is going to happen, even if the mood music from Toto Wolff has sounded more positive of late.

Bernie Ecclestone Christian Horner

While it is not guaranteed that Red Bull would instantly be able to challenge Mercedes on pure speed if it were to run Mercedes engines from next season, the team with arguably the best chassis combined with the best engine would satisfy Ecclestone’s call for more competition in F1.

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