Ecclestone: 'Stupid regulations stop drivers racing'

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR). 29.04.2018.
© XPB 

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at modern rules and regulations which seem designed to stop drivers from actually racing.

“I said a little while ago when I was involved, technical regulations are more important than sporting regulations," he said. "They should have written across the top: don’t race.

“These drivers, if they do something that perhaps the team owners or sponsors feel doesn’t suit them, they get a slap: don’t do that anymore!

"That’s what it all amounts to," he added. "All the regulations are there to stop people racing.

“All the silly things they do today, penalties for this and that, it’s stupid."

Currently, Formula 1 is seeking ways to improve on-track action, with director of motorsports Ross Brawn introducing aero changes for 2019 to help boost overtaking.

Ecclestone was speaking in a video interview with Freddie Hunt, son of the 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt. He said that Hunt would have taken a very dim view of the current state of the the sport's governance.

“He just wouldn’t fit in, full stop," said Ecclestone. "He wouldn’t react in a nice way to all the silly regulations and silly instructions."

He added that Hunt would most likely simply have ignored any rebukes or reprimands he might have received.

"It wouldn’t of made any difference because he would have done the same thing the next day," insisted the 87-year-old.

Ecclestone was removed from his position at the head of Formula 1 at the start of 2017 when Liberty Media completed its buy-out of the sport.

Chase Carey took over as CEO while Ecclestone was handed the honorary title of 'chairman emeritus' - which he's since made clear means he has no involvement in the decision making any more.

While critical of many of the changes introduced by the new owners, Ecclestone also accepted that the world had moved on since his time in charge.

“What does it really rely on, Formula 1?" he mused. "You need to have the support of the public to watch television, therefore the TV companies will pay for the rights

“It needs promoters to promote the event in a way that will attract the public," he added.

“Really all types of sports have changed from the Eighties. Those days, really the most important thing wasn’t the finance - it was to do a good job.”

Ecclestone recently cast doubt on the prospects of a new Miami Grand Prix on the calendar, saying previous attempts to get agreements with the city had come to nothing.

"Street races are always hard work," he noted.

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