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Mallya: Bernie must help improve F1 image

2015-07-04 13:35

CHANGE IS NEEDED: Major changes are needed in F1 if Bernie Ecclestone hopes to regain lost fans. Image: AFP / Christof Stache.

SILVERSTONE, England - Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has called on Bernie Ecclestone to work with teams to help "un-crap" Formula 1 if the commercial supremo thinks the product is not good enough.

Mallya was responding to recent media reports that suggested Ecclestone (84) had denigrated the sport in comments to reporters.

Mallya, who has panned the quieter V6 turbo hybrid power units that have replaced the screaming V8s, has said he was misquoted and had been criticising the engines rather than the sport as a whole.

'UN-CRAP F1'

Asked for a response, with the sport suffering from generally negative headlines, Mallya told a 2015 British GP news conference that Ecclestone "shouldn't be selling the product if he thought it was crap.

He said: "Considering that he sells the product that he calls crap and makes billions out of it, he needs to work with the participants to un-crap it."

F1 is facing dwindling audiences in some countries such as Germany, which does not have a race this year for financial reasons, although Silverstone is expected to see a record crowd of 140 000 on Sunday (July 5).

With champions Mercedes dominant, and engine performance the key factor, the sport is planning changes to make the racing more exciting.

A meeting of the key Strategy Group, that includes Mallya's team as well as Ecclestone, decided a number of measures this week aimed at making cars faster, louder, harder to drive and more aggressive-looking.

BIGGER SHARE OF F1

Mallya, who has called for privately-owned teams like his to get a bigger share of revenues to help them survive and compete on more level terms, said he was all in favour of more competitive racing.

He also said, however, the sport could have a much more favourable image if teams were given a bigger share of the revenues and did not have to face constant questions about their financial health.

He said: "F1 is perhaps the most exciting sport in the world. If F1 is made sustainable for all participants I think the negativity will be removed.

"If the stability of all participants in F1 is addressed as a matter of priority we will have more exciting racing and we will get a lot more positive media."

Stay with Wheels24 for live coverage of the 2015 British GP.


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