Keeping Formula One at the forefront

You have to wonder at the level of draconian power wielded by CVC Capital Partners and their appointed front man, Bernie Ecclestone, if current reports are to be believed.

I think most of us are aware that Ecclestone relishes the melee he creates within certain sectors of the media with his controversial statements, if nothing else it achieves his objective of keeping Formula One at the forefront of the international sports news. But a small comment he made following the Strategy Group meeting on the 18th of this month demonstrates his obvious lack of respect for the teams that comprise his brain child.

The 84 year old F1 Supremo had raised the issue of the current V6 engines once again. He has been against the new power units since the decision was made some years ago to prove to the globe that F1 can be eco friendly. With complaints from many regarding the soundtrack Ecclestone is proposing a step back to V8’s effectively scrapping the latest technology.

Mercedes has of course disagreed with him and believes that the current V6 is the way of the future and can be applied to future production vehicles therefore offering more relevance to the real world.

Maybe so but whether the other manufacturers, Ferrari, Renault and Honda agree with them has not really been divulged. Many say that the reason the Japanese manufacture’s return is due to the new hybrid power plants, but I have to admit I have never seen a release from them proclaiming this as the company’s prime motivation.

The meeting of the 18th ended with no obvious consensus and we will have to wait until January 2015 for further developments. Ecclestone is reported as saying that despite his best efforts the plan did not get off the grid.

“Nobody wants to change engines, they are happy” he said. “The engine situation is unchanged. Everything is more or less unchanged. It’s not exactly great progress. The next step is that we will have another meeting in January and the teams will have to come back with something positive. If they don’t, we will say that this is how it has got to be.”

It’s that last statement that I find interesting, is he implying that if no decision is reached then his colleagues within the group, being Formula One Management and the FIA, will take the decision as to what engines they will use?

If so it once again demonstrates the dictatorial form of governance within the sport, that one sector of non competing delegates is able to take the options away from the already undemocratic Strategy Group and all the remaining teams that do not qualify for membership of that exclusive club.

Only time will tell, but it could mean that 2016 will see a reversal of the decision to make F1 more socially acceptable by using the current hybrid smaller capacity engines, or taking a retrograde step to the previous generations category of motive power.

As much as I dislike the current power units, such a step could possibly be the end of manufacturer involvement and would indicate that once again the FIA’s efforts to move F1 technology into a new era would be negated. But then that so called governing body has little to do with any aspect of constructively running the sport, having sold most of its rights to the Ecclestone organisation a few years ago. It’s a very sad situation.

today in print

today in print