Bernie Ecclestone has repeated his opposition to the current F1 rules, and hinted that the 100 kgs (220 lbs) fuel allowance could be increased.
Although the theory is that more fuel means that teams might run higher revs, which would improve the sound – they are running nowhere near the 15,000 rpm limit – there is clearly a bigger picture with regard to the relative fuel efficiency of the three engines.
“What is wrong?” he said on a visit to the Bahrain media centre. “What is wrong is these fantastic engines. The engines, without any doubt, are incredible, the amount of power they produce for the small amount of fuel. I don’t think that’s F1 business. They should be in touring cars or something, not F1.
“I think what’s important is that the teams know the problem, the engine manufacturers know the problem, and they’re trying to sort things out.
“I think everybody’s complaining, really. Even Mercedes I think. I don’t like people not being happy.”
Asked about the race promoters he said: “They’re all worried that if they lose spectators, they are going to be in trouble, obviously.”
Regarding what could be done, he said: “I think they can do something about the noise. They need another 10 kgs of fuel, or something.”
The latter is an unrealistic target given that the teams designed their cars around a fuel tank tailored to the 100 kgs limit, with a little margin for the laps to the grid and for the trip to parc ferme. The alternative would be to shorten the races, which Bernie said would not happen.
Ecclestone seemed bemused when told that some teams didn’t even need the full 100 kgs to finish the Malaysian GP, saying, “You’ve got some information I haven’t got…”
He insisted that he wasn’t out to handicap Mercedes.
“Mercedes without a doubt have done a better job. They shouldn’t be punished for doing a better job. We shouldn’t change the regulations to punish them.”
He also offered a less negative view of the situation: “There’s another way of looking at it. Will people get used to the way it is today. If that’s the case, good…”Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1