Ecclestone: 'Teams may pay the price for quiet F1'


Bernie Ecclestone with Jean Todt who backed the new engine formula ( Sutton Images)
18 March 2014 by Ryan Wood | M
          

Bernie Ecclestone has warned that the teams could lose out on significant revenue as a result of a quieter Formula 1 amid reports of unhappy race organisers.

The 83-year-old made the comments in light of a threat from Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) chairman Ron Walker and chief executive Andrew Westacott, over the sound of the new V6 engines.

The pair said F1 may have breached their agreement and they may therefore look to renegotiate a reduced fee for future events as a result.

"We pay for a product, we've got contracts in place, we are looking at those very, very seriously because we reckon there has probably been some breaches," said Westacott.

Video: Comparison between 2013 V8 engine and the 2014 V6 engine

Ecclestone revealed that other organisers have been in touch to express their concern as well as Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

"I've had one or two promoters get in touch with me today and they said how unhappy they are," he told Reuters.

"I spoke to Luca di Montezemolo just now and Luca said he's never had as many emails on his desk complaining and saying this isn't F1."

The billionaire warned that it could hit the sports revenues if fans turn off and organisers renegotiate contracts, which would in turn hit the teams as they receive a share of the profits.

"If the promoters say 'Listen, this ain't what I bought and I ain't going to pay for it or I don't want to pay as much' or whatever, then it is a concern," he added.

"We give the teams a percentage of the revenue we receive. So if we are receiving less revenue, whatever the case may be, certainly the teams wouldn't get as much. So it's going to cost them."

The Briton does however doubt whether the race organisers would have a leg to stand on in court and used a rather unusual analogy to get his point across.

"I don't know whether he has [a point legally]," he said. "Let's assume he hasn't. Then you have to look at it from a moral side. If you went into the supermarket today and bought some strawberry jam and you got peanut butter you'd probably be a bit pissed off.

"It's good quality peanut butter, but he's saying it isn't what he bought," he continued.

"Whether the contract describes what he'd bought, the strawberry jam with so many strawberries, I don't know. I doubt it. I think he bought the FIA Formula One World Championship. Which is what he's got."

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