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Merc slams F1 engine rules changes

2014-04-07 08:22

RULE CHANGES TO HARM MERC? Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (right), winner of the 2014 Bahrain GP, poses with team mate Nico Rosberg. Rule changes could end Merc’s winning streak. Image: AP

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said he expects to receive unanimous agreement from teams to change the sport's "unacceptable" engine rules, despite leading engine-maker Mercedes opposing any alteration.

Ferrari and Red Bull are leading the charge against the sport's new fuel limits that restrict usage to 100kg/car/race, with the flow never exceeding more than 100kg/h. The muted sound of the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid engines has also attracted criticism though there were few complaints at Bahrain.

Ecclestone said at the 2014 Bahrain GP: "They can do something about the noise and they need another 1kg of fuel or something. Everybody will agree to that."


President of the sport's governing International Automobile Federation, Jean Todt, said more fuel or perhaps reduced race distances would need unanimous support because changes to F1's sporting regulations would be needed.

He also said Australia, Bahrain and Canada were the only races in 2014 in which teams would come close to running out of fuel. "If everybody comes and says 'it will help us to put five more kilos fuel or you reduce Montreal by one lap or two laps' I have no problem.

"If we can implement it, with unanimous agreement on how to apply it, we will do it. I will have a problem if (only) half the teams are in favour - in that situation I can't do it."

Todt was more accepting of the need to inject more sound into the cars to improve the on-track and TV spectacle - the latter, though, appearing to have improved on Sunday. He said: "To get passion and to get emotion, you need to have some noise. We can see if we can implement. Short-term and in the long term, a bigger noise."

Any agreement from Mercedes will be difficult to achieve as the team dominated the early part of the 2014 season and its engine customer teams have also largely out-performed those powered by Ferrari or Renault.


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff slammed any attempt to change the rules now the season has started. "Some engine manufacturers or teams are saying 'we've not managed to make the car efficient and fast with 100kg (of fuel), so what we are trying to do is let's add 10kg'. Well, sorry, they didn't do their job in the way we have done. I find this whole discussion absurd."

Ecclestone said any change to the rules was not designed to harm Mercedes: "We can do things without them particularly losing their advantage. Without any doubt they have done a better job and they shouldn't be punished for that."

Todt had little sympathy for those teams urging an overhaul of the engine regulations: "Those who are in front don't complain and those who are not in front do - it's the history of motorsport and the way of life. If they are quicker than the others, it's a challenge for the other teams to catch them."

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