Ecclestone aims for improvement

There have been some unhappy mutterings about the rule changes in Formula One but Bernie Ecclestone thinks it's necessary for the sport. Last season we saw the introduction of split-session qualifying and various technical regulations and for 2004...

There have been some unhappy mutterings about the rule changes in Formula One but Bernie Ecclestone thinks it's necessary for the sport. Last season we saw the introduction of split-session qualifying and various technical regulations and for 2004 we have the one engine per weekend and banning of launch control and fully automatic gearboxes, to name the major changes.

"We're always changing, trying to improve all the time and we hope when we make mistakes we're man enough to admit it and change," said Ecclestone. "Maybe the driver who wins the world championship won't have won all the races, so it will be interesting."

The one engine rule presents the biggest challenge and reliability will be paramount this season. "The most significant regulation change for 2004, the single-engine rule, will make everyone quite conservative when running on Friday in order to keep the engine at its best for Saturday's qualifying and the race," said Sauber technical director Willy Rampf.

Six-time champion Michael Schumacher has also caused some unhappy mutterings in the past due to his winning ways. There are many that would like to see Schumacher retire but Ecclestone believes F1 needs the German.

"Michael will always be competitve whatever happens and from that point of view he should keep going as long as he wants to," Ecclestone said. "He enjoys his racing and we need him."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Sauber