Jun.22 (GMM) The mood for immediate change in the increasingly-alarmed F1 paddock is growing.
Summing up the burgeoning crisis, McLaren team boss Eric Boullier told Spain’s Marca: “Drivers are not happy, the public is noticing and they (the audience) are leaving F1.”
Front and centre of the argument is Red Bull, who spent the entire weekend at the ‘Red Bull Ring’ insisting that the sport is spiralling towards the abyss.
“Bernie Ecclestone needs to get together with Jean Todt and do something,” boss Christian Horner is quoted by the German news agency DPA.
“And as fast as possible. Formula one is running out of time.”
F1 has, however, already acknowledged collectively that it has a problem and is discussing what drastic changes should be introduced for 2017.
“We have recognised the problem,” Ferrari’s Maurizio Arrivabene told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “but another thing is certain: We must not waste any more time.”
Indeed, there is now a push to speed up the process and introduce radical changes not for 2017, but in 2016.
“The change in the cars should come as soon as possible,” agreed Dr Helmut Marko. “If everyone wants it, already in 2016.”
Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, is on board.
“We cannot wait and see,” the 84-year-old told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, arguing that the complexity of the ‘power units’ is the biggest problem.
“We need something simpler.”
Until now, F1 has baulked at simply scrapping the quiet and expensive turbo V6s, as it was said Mercedes would quit the sport in protest.
“If they (manufacturers) want to go, they will go,” Ecclestone insisted.
He said that also applies to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who is once again threatening to quit.
“He is in a position where he doesn’t have to ask anyone,” Ecclestone admitted.
“He is frustrated and that is understandable, because if he was in a position to do something about it, he would.”
Honda is also grappling with the current rules, while Renault’s problems are well known.
But Ecclestone said: “I am confident that no one is going to leave formula one.”
Red Bull’s Horner, however, thinks the current governance structure of the sport is clearly not working.
“Perhaps,” he said, “we need an independent expert, and someone who is not involved in the championship. I don’t know, but someone like Ross Brawn, who understands the business and the complexity.
“I don’t think formula one can allow manufacturers of the likes of Renault and Honda to be in this situation. Honda’s new president came to the race today and I do not think he was happy with what he saw,” added Horner.