Ecclestone Reveals New Environmentally-Friendly Engines Are 'Likely' To Be Scrapped
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone revealed that "controversial environmentally-friendly new engines," which are due to be introduced to the sport in '14, are likely to be scrapped, according to Christian Sylt of the HINDUSTAN TIMES. Ecclestone said that the the move will "save the teams as much as 30% of their projected budgets," helping them stay in business during the economic downturn. The new engine regulations are thought to be at the heart of British driver Lewis Hamilton's decision to move next year from McLaren to Mercedes. The change in engine regulations "was expected to give Mercedes an opportunity to improve performance, as it would be a fresh start for the teams." Ecclestone said, "I listened to the noise of the engines in (Ferrari's headquarters at) Maranello the other day, the new engine and the old engine, and even (Ferrari chairman) Luca di Montezemolo said it sounded terrible and didn't like it." Ecclestone believes Int'l Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt "will get rid of it. I think Luca is also saying we should suspend it for two or three years." Ecclestone also revealed that Todt asked him and the teams for an increase in the fees paid to the FIA so that "it can use the money to move into a more prestigious headquarters" and give it a stature comparable to FIFA and the IOC. The FIA's annual budget is around $60M and Ecclestone said, "They are getting about $35M from Formula 1...I think they would be happy if they could get $50M" (HINDUSTIAN TIMES, 9/29).