Jun.26 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says he could step in now and fix formula one’s problems, so long as FIA president Jean Todt is also on board.
As the sport’s apparent crisis deepens, played out daily in the form of never-ending negative headlines, some are even now calling for F1 supremo Ecclestone’s scalp.
“I think he’s done a remarkable job but time has played its role and he should go,” former team owner and long-time Ecclestone ally Eddie Jordan told BBC radio.
The sport has found itself watching its global popularity and audience numbers decline, but straight-jacketed by the Strategy Group when it comes to change.
Men like Christian Horner, the Red Bull team chief, think power should be put back into the hands of Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.
F1 legend Gerhard Berger agrees: “If those two could combine their power, they would have the problem quickly under control.
“That’s what we need now,” he told Austria’s Kurier.
Ecclestone, however, said that the way the Strategy Group is structured means that he and Todt could sweep in the necessary change — so long as Todt is on board.
“At the moment, Jean and I could do what we want,” he told Sky recently. “It’s the way it’s been set up.
“We’ve both got the same amount of votes, and the teams have got equal to one of our votes. So if Jean and I agree something, that’s how it is.”
Ecclestone said the problem is that Frenchman Todt, whose low-profile, hands-off approach is in stark contrast to his predecessor Max Mosley’s, is always seeking consensus.
“One person out of step,” said Ecclestone, “and we’ve got problems.”
Indeed, as Todt met for an ultra-rare interview this week with a group of reporters in Paris, he sounded reluctant to join Ecclestone in sorting out a crisis.
“I do not believe we are facing cancer,” he is quoted by UOL Esporte, “we are facing a headache. So we need to find a prescription for a headache, not a cure for cancer.
“I do not think formula one needs big changes,” Todt added.
And so the elusive search for consensus continues, despite many believing F1 cannot wait for a package of rule changes to be ready for 2017.
“If we can find a good proposal that is accepted unanimously,” Todt is quoted by Spain’s Marca ahead of the early July meeting of the Strategy Group, “then it could be implemented in 2016.
“Otherwise, we have until February 28, 2016 to implement the regulations for 2017,” he added.