One of Bernie Ecclestone’s parting remarks as he left the building of F1 through its complicated revolving doors was that he would never seek out to damage the sport after his tenure was up.
But he must be trolling us all with his recent comments to the Guardian about making Formula 1 an all-electric series after years of attacks on the current hybrid engines.
Speaking with his typical stamp of controversy, Ecclestone said:
“We still own the name Formula One, we still have contracts with promoters, let’s make different types of cars, let’s speak to the manufacturers and start a new all-electric F1, a Formula One for the future.
Can’t we do this? The manufacturers provide the cars themselves but we aren’t going to pay them because they get massive worldwide publicity. It would be a super Formula E, if you like. You can make cars be like an F1 car and the only thing you would miss would be the noise and I do not believe that people could not come up with something to make more or less the old F1 noise. They (Liberty) would need to have the balls to do it today. I think they will have to do it.”
Ecclestone’s self parodying comments can be taken with a pinch of salt given that he has always believed that there is no such thing as bad publicity. A divisive figure, Ecclestone’s impact on Formula One was commercially significant and he did transform the sport. But this transformation that he imagines is probably a distance away. Whilst what he is saying might eventually come to pass, the upcoming 2021 power unit regulation changes aren’t exactly likely to emulate Formula E in anyway.
Bernie would actually be quite a good pundit to have in F1, but these comments that can only be considered as completely out of character leave us a bit confused as to what his intentions are. Has Formula E founder Alejandro Agag recently bought him a watch or something?