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Ecclestone: Green engines would turn off viewers

Bernie Ecclestone at logger-heads with FIA president Jean Todt over a possible move to 'green' engines in F1
Bernie Ecclestone has said that a decision to move to smaller, turbo engines in F1 would be detrimental to the sport and would turn off television viewers.

The FIA is keen to see the sport move to 1.6 litre turbocharged engines from 2013 onwards but Ecclestone has taken a different view by insisting that a move away from traditional engines would prove to be damaging.

"I meet people worldwide in all different walks of life - sponsors, promoters and journalists and I think there are two things that are really important for Formula One," he told AAP. "One is Ferrari and second is the noise. People love and get excited about the noise. People who have never been to a Formula One race, when they leave you ask them what (they liked) and they say 'the noise'.

"I brought some Russian gentlemen to Singapore and I met them afterwards in Russia - it was the first race they'd ever been to and I said what was it that impressed you. I didn't even think about the noise and they said the most important thing was the noise - it's incredible, it really gets to you.

"It's unbelievable that even moreso the women - the ladies love the noise."

Ecclestone added that he felt any decision to move to a 'greener' engine would be more of a public relations move by the FIA and said Todt was able to look at such a change because he wasn't in the position of having to promote the sport.

"I'm anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula,” he said. "We don't need it and if it's so important it's the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing.

"The rest of it is basically PR - it's nothing in the world to do with Formula One. These changes are going to be terribly costly to the sport. I'm sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I'm quite sure we'll lose TV.

"He's [Todt] not a promoter and he's not selling Formula One to be honest. Jean and I are a little bit at loggerheads over this engine. I don't see the reason for it.

"We had the KERS system and this was supposed to solve the problem that Formula One is not green and now we've got something else."




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Jon

March 17, 2011 5:01 PM

Tough, isn't it? F1 needs to be seen to be environmentally conscious to continue to get big ticket corporate sponsorship, but it can't be at the detriment to the racing. It's also hoped that developing 'greener' race cars will lead to greener performance road cars. But it's a drop in the ocean compared to the resources used in running a team! Fuel for cargo planes, team trucks, the thousands of tyres thrown away, the energy required to power a wind tunnel etc etc... Doesn't really matter if the car does 50mpg or 5mpg, the carbon footprint of the race cars themselves is nothing compared to the operation as a whole.

Rob01 - Unregistered

March 17, 2011 5:03 PM

Looks like Bernie is pushing back on Todt? He misses his old buddy Max. But I support his efforts on this front. As the proposed engine formula reeks.



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