The leaders of the F1 in search of an agreement for 2017

Bernie Ecclestone

The leaders of the F1 in search of an agreement for 2017

The leaders of the Formula 1 are meeting Tuesday in Geneva to try to agree on the rules of the World Championship in 2017, after two years of domination by Mercedes.

The sponsor of F1, Bernie Ecclestone, 85, manager of Formula One Management (FOM), delivered fuel to the fire Monday in the British newspaper Daily Mail, while the 11 teams engaged in 2016 debuted four days of tests pre-season in Barcelona with their new cars.

“I would not pay to take my family to attend a Grand Prix,” said Ecclestone, who said “F1 has never been in a worse state,” particularly because of the Mercedes monopoly and lack of sporting suspense.

Mercedes has won 32 of 38 races in two years (2014-2015) and four world titles at stake (constructors and drivers, with Lewis Hamilton). To curb this domination, the other teams need to find, before 1 March, an agreement on a change of technical regulations that would allow all stakeholders to F1 to start from scratch in 2017 … or 2018, if no agreement is reached this week.

Situation blocked for months

What F1 in 2017, with closed cockpits or not, for security reasons, and starting grid reversed to spice up the show? This will be the main theme of the meetings of the Strategic Group of F1, consisting of six teams on eleven, then the F1 Commission, which also includes representatives of the FOM and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), the guarantor of sporting and technical regulations.

“Everyone has their opinion but we really want to improve the sport, make it more exciting. Pilots would be happy to have the fastest car, “summarized in Barcelona on Monday the French Eric Boullier, director of the McLaren-Honda competition.

“We talk about it all for a long time, so if we do not find an agreement, it will fail, in my opinion,” added Boullier. The situation is blocked for several months, particularly on the issue of engines, their performance and their cost, because of the dominance of Ferrari and Mercedes, who will provide this year eight of eleven teams.

“The biggest danger is that the stables vote in their particular interest, rather than that of sport in general,” abounded Adrian Newey, technical director of Red Bull Racing.

“When you see the TV audiences decline is very worrying,” said Boullier, who is the promoter, Bernie Ecclestone, to do the necessary. “Each year the competition is stronger for sports on TV, so be careful not to be dumped,” added Newey.

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