TEAM CRISIS IN F1: Bernie Ecclestone has a solution for financially struggling teams - a grid Division 2 driving leased V8's. Image: AP / Darron Cummings
LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone has that admitted he devised a contingency plan for Formula 1's weakest teams.
Amid Marussia and Caterham's decline and the similar financial issues of even stronger teams, it was reported that the F1 supremo, now aged 84, was working on a 'Plan B' that would involve a kind of 'Division 2' on the grid.
The smaller teams would lease a two-year-old Red Bull chassis powered by Mecachrome V8 engines at a cost equivalent to "just" R180-million year.
However the reports a month earlier had said the proposal was rejected by top teams Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
Ecclestone confirmed: "Some of the other teams are saying 'Well, this isn't F1, this would be downgrading F1'." Yet he told the Daily Mail he thought the public would accept 'Plan B'.
He added: "It would not alter the way they see the races. It wouldn't change the spectacle. It would just mean that instead of incurring big losses those teams would be able to make a profit... the bigger teams say 'it's downgrading'.
"They have been living in a very rich area and they think this would be like living in a poorer neighbourhood. It's complete stupidity. Everybody has a corner they want to fight for - the International Automobile Federation wants to be green, the teams are split on what they want to do, we want to make sure the championship is successful.
"We are in the entertainment business."