Ecclestone adamant F1 will never collapse

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Formula One commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone is confident the sport “will never collapse”, but reiterates his criticisms against engine manufacturers.

F1 has been going through a rough patch in the wake of dwindling TV viewing figures and race attendance, as well as growing frustration at the current 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units and the increase in costs these have incurred.

2015 saw Red Bull repeatedly threaten to pull the plug on both its teams if not given a competitive engine, while Lotus hung on for dear life until Renault finally decided to return as a works outfit.

The French manufacturer also contemplated quitting F1 altogether, but was enticed to stay by the prospect of receiving extra monies as a ‘historic team’.

“Formula 1 will never collapse, even if we had lost Red Bull and Lotus,” Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport. “Now, we are glad that both remain.

“We gave Renault some financial support so they could buy Lotus and carry on providing Red Bull with engines as well.

“However, it is a bit strange that a large company like Renault needed this help. Now, I hope they perform well, win races and world championships.”

Having been running the show for several decades, Ecclestone is no stranger to financial turmoil and political strife within F1.

“There have always been problems,” added the 85-year-old supremo. “The difficulty this year came from engine manufacturers pursuing their own interests.

“It would have been very easy for Mercedes to reach an agreement with Red Bull. They have done it with [Manor] Marussia [from 2016]. If I were them, I'd rather have secured a deal with Red Bull because I'd be sure to get my money.

“The reason why they refused to supply Red Bull is that they want to prevent what we need to give to the fans, which is competition.”

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