Ecclestone calls on big F1 teams to make sacrifices
Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he wanted to tear up all team contracts and rewrite the rules as talk of race boycotts and financial failure swept the US Grand Prix paddock on Saturday.
Inviting a select group of international reporters into his office for a 50-minute discussion about the latest of many crises to hit the sport, Ecclestone canvassed opinion while making suggestions of his own. ‘We have to decide the best way to sort this whole thing out. Frankly, I know what’s wrong but don’t know how to fix it,’ he said by way of opening explanation. ‘(We) should tear all of the current contracts up...start again.’
Ecclestone, who turned 84 last week, said he would be prepared to give up money if the teams were willing to do so to create a more level playing field and help the struggling smaller outfits survive. However he indicated that vested interests, and the regulations that require unanimous agreement to make any changes for 2015, had tied his hands. He recognised he might be partly to blame for that. ‘I’ve never felt helpless about anything. I’m not happy and we’ll have to do something about it,’ said the Briton, his usual energy sapped by a dose of flu.
‘I think the situation is such that if enough people want it resolved we can resolve it. It’s a case of the people that are involved in the sport will have to want to look after the sport and be prepared to make some sacrifices. ‘The problem is there is too much money probably being distributed badly -- probably my fault.’
Two teams have plunged into administration since last month’s Russian Grand Prix, with Marussia and Caterham now seeking buyers willing and wealthy enough to pay off their considerable debts and bankroll their survival.