F1 empresario Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that the latest generation of engines and Mercedes’ dominance of the sport has put off new teams from entering F1.
The FIA opened a tender for new teams earlier this year but concluded that neither of the two applications that it received were viable options to claim a place on the grid. Ecclestone has now aligned the lack of interest to the recent engine regulation changes.
The sport entered a new era by replacing the series’ long-standing but out-dated V8 engines with new 1.6-litre turbo-charged units, which cut fuel consumption by as much as 80% over race distance. Mercedes stole a march on its opponents and has dominated the sport since the new engine regulations were introduced – clearly demonstrated by Lewis Hamilton’s 25 second lead over Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix.
Ecclestone spoke with The Independent on the matter:
“The V6 is stopping other people that may want to be in Formula One from actually coming in because they think they have got to take on somebody who is doing a terrific job and try to beat them,” said Ecclestone. He added that the reason Mercedes was doing so well is that its former team director, Ross Brawn, helped to design the engine for F1’s governing body, the FIA.”
“The problem is Mercedes actually had a big, big start on anybody else because the guy who was there at that time was Ross Brawn and he was on the FIA working group with this engine, knew all about what the engine was going to be and Mercedes started working on this new engine before anybody knew there was going to be an engine change.”
It is important to note that Ecclestone did not comment on the escalating cost faced by existing and prospective F1 teams, which many have cited as the biggest obstacle to others joining the ranks of the pinnacle of motorsport.