F1 will be "destroyed" without independent engine - Ecclestone

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes introducing an independent engine in the next few years is essential to stop the sport being "destroyed".

F1 will be "destroyed" without independent engine - Ecclestone
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
(L to R): Donald Mackenzie, CVC Capital Partners Managing Partner, co-head of Global Investments with Bernie Ecclestone
Race winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and the team
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
The power unit of the Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Bernie Ecclestone
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06

Although the plans for a budget engine have been put on hold while manufacturers try to come up with an alternative proposal, Ecclestone still wants the power units to happen.

And as well as welcoming the financial boost that could come, Ecclestone thinks the independent engine will guarantee that is no single-team domination - which he thinks is driving fans away.

“It’s not good for the sport. It gets boring,” Ecclestone said in an interview with German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag about Mercedes' current performance.

“Some people just tune in for the start and then turn off their TV again because Mercedes makes the races rather boring. 

"With the engine of an alternative supplier we want to boost the competition and we want to make F1 more competitive throughout the field.”

F1 on the brink

Although the manufacturers are not happy about the idea of a cheaper engine being able to challenge them, Ecclestone insists the plan is not being considered as a way of driving the car makers away.

“It does not mean we want to get rid of the manufacturers, on the contrary,” he explained. “We just want to have powerful engines that can be bought and run cheaper than at the moment.

“The bottom line is: the discussions surrounding a new engine from 2018 are not finished but still ongoing. If we don’t reach an agreement between teams, the manufacturers and us, the FIA can install a new engine format.

“We must not allow F1 to be destroyed. But if we continue as we do at the moment we’re right on course to destroy it. I won’t let that happen.

“For sure there will be a different engine in the future or a different set of rules for a new engine which is more powerful and cheaper, too. This is clear to me.

“Technology must not be too dominant in this sport as we depend heavily on our audience. I think the majority of our audience isn’t interested in what engines we run. They don’t care about our highly complex technology either.

“They want exciting and entertaining races and lots of different winners. And this is what F1 has to deliver."

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