THE MAN TO TURN F1 AROUND? Former F1 team owner and technical director Ross Brawn has been named as the man to pull F1 out of the trenches..Image: AFP / Peter Steffen
LONDON, England - 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 leaving F1."
Front and centre of the argument is Red Bull which spent the entire weekend at the Red Bull Ring insisting that the sport was spiraling towards the abyss.
F1 RUNNING OUT OF TIME
The energy-drink team boss Christian Horner was quoted by the German news agency DPA thus: "Bernie Ecclestone needs to get together with Jean Todt and do something and as fast as possible. F1 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.
Ferrari's Maurizio Arrivabene told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "We have recognised the problem 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. Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull's driver development programme said: "The change in the cars should come as soon as possible. If everybody wants it, already in 2016."
Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, was on board. The 84-year-old told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, arguing that the complexity of the 'power units' was the biggest problem: "We cannot wait and see - we need something simpler."
Read: Five reasons why F1 is the pits
F1 has, until now, baulked at simply scrapping the quiet but expensive turbo V6 units as it was said Mercedes would quit the sport in protest. Ecclestone insisted: "If the manufacturers want to go, they will go."
He said that also applied to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who is once again threatening to quit. Ecclestone again: "He is in a position where he doesn't have to ask anyone. He is frustrated and that is understandable - if he were in a position to do something about it, he would."
Former F1 driver Martin Brundle now working as a TV pundit tweeted his thoughts on the current situation:
INDEPENDENT EXPERT NEEDED?
Honda is also grappling with the current rules; Renault's problems are well known. However Ecclestone asserted: "I am confident that nobody is going to leave F1."
Red Bull's Horner, however, thinks the current governance structure of the sport was clearly not working. "Perhaps," he said, "we need an independent expert, someone who is not involved in the championship."
He suggested the former team principal at Brawn GP and former technical director at Benneton and Ferrari Ross Brawn who "understood the business and the complexity".
Horner added: "I don't think F1 can allow manufacturers such as Renault and Honda to be in this situation. Honda's new president came to the race today (Austria, 2015) and I do not think he was happy with what he saw."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every week.