• Engine regulations

Ecclestone threatens to sue FIA if 2014 engines flop

ESPNF1 Staff
July 4, 2011 « Minor knee injury won't stop Button racing at Silverstone | »
Some circuits are concerned F1 will lose its appeal without the current V8s © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has warned the FIA that he will hold it responsible if ticket sales drop as a result of the 2014 engine regulations coming into force.

Ecclestone was very outspoken about the FIA's original plan to introduce four-cylinder turbos in 2013 as he was concerned about F1 engines losing their distinctive exhaust note. Earlier this month the F1 Commission put forward a plan to run V6s instead of inline-fours and the proposal was rubber-stamped by the FIA last week. The new formula will see drivetrains producing a similar amount of power but revving to 15,000 rpm, a drop of 3,000rpm from the current V8s.

But some of the circuits, led by Ecclestone's friend and Australian Grand Prix promoter Ron Walker, have recently threatened to switch their allegiance from F1 to IndyCar if the move to V6 turbos goes ahead as planned.

Despite Formula One running V6 turbos (and four-cylinder turbos) throughout the 1980s, Ecclestone, who was a team boss in that period, told the Independent: "[It] is not Formula One - it doesn't sound anything like Formula One"

He added that he would be willing to sue the FIA if the race promoters experience a fall in ticket sales.

"[The race promoters] believe these [new] engines will take away what people want when they go to Formula One races - the glamour and the noise - and therefore they won't be able to sell the tickets and they won't be able to pay us," Ecclestone told the Independent.

"They have got a contract with me and if they can't honour it, because they aren't selling any tickets, I probably wouldn't hold them to it," he said before adding: "We may have to sue the FIA".