Bernie: F1 doesn’t have to be relevant to the car industry

bernie ecclestone

Ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has called on the sport to return to normally aspirated engines and move away from the V6 turbo-hybrid power-units.

F1 made the switch to hybrid technology in 2014 and the era has been dominated by Mercedes, with the Silver Arrows winning seven consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ titles.

The move towards hybrid power-units was part of the sport’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly and increase its road relevance. The current engine formula is currently set to remain until 2026 when the FIA plan on introducing a new set of regulations.

However, Ecclestone told Motor Sport Magazine that F1 should focus on entertainment first rather than looking to be relevant to the car industry.

“I’ll be in trouble for this, but let’s dig out all the old normally aspirated engines,” he said. “Everybody’s got them, the costs go right down, the noise will be back, and we can use them for five years while we sort out an engine for the future.

“Formula 1 doesn’t have to be relevant to the car industry. People forget, Formula 1 is in the entertainment business and when you stop entertaining you haven’t got a business.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes [in the world]. Everyone will have electric cars, the politicians will see to that, you won’t be able to take a petrol car into a city.

“People will say, ‘Hang about, all these F1 cars charging round – why aren’t they electric?’ and the manufacturers are going to stop making petrol or diesel cars within a few years.”