F1 will lose TV says Ecclestone
By Robert Grant
18:36 AEST Thu Mar 17 2011
Formula One Boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One will lose TV coverage if a smaller engine is introduced, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says.

Television networks worldwide will walk away from Formula One if the planned smaller eco-friendly engine is adopted in 2013.

That's the firm opinion of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone who is concerned that the disappearance of the unique and extreme noise of the traditional powerplants will badly wound the sport.

Ecclestone is at odds with motorsport's controlling body head, Jean Todt, the FIA president who is keen to introduce the 1.6 litre four cylinder turbocharged engines.

According to Ecclestone, the noise of Formula One is integral to the success of the sport and one of its major attractions.

"I meet people worldwide in all different walks of life - sponsors, promoters and journalists and I think there are two things that are really important for Formula One," Ecclestone said.

"One is Ferrari and second is the noise.

"People love and get excited about the noise. People who have never been to a Formula One race, when they leave you ask them what (they liked) and they say 'the noise'.

"I brought some Russian gentlemen to Singapore and I met them afterwards in Russia - it was the first race they'd ever been to and I said what was it that impressed you.

"I didn't even think about the noise and they said the most important thing was the noise - it's incredible, it really gets to you.

"It's unbelievable that even moreso the women - the ladies love the noise."

Ecclestone has dismissed the new 'green' engine as a public relations exercise by the FIA.

"I'm anti, anti, anti, anti moving into this small turbo four formula.

"We don't need it and if it's so important it's the sort of thing that should be in saloon car racing.

"The rest of it is basically PR - it's nothing in the world to do with Formula One," he said.

"These changes are going to be terribly costly to the sport.

"I'm sure the promoters will lose a big audience and I'm quite sure we'll lose tv."

Ecclestone said Todt could afford to make changes in line with current thinking because he did not have to promote F1.

"He's not a promoter and he's not selling Formula One to be honest.

"Jean and I are a little bit at loggerheads over this engine. I don't see the reason for it," he said.

"We had the KERS (energy recovery) system and this was supposed to solve the problem that Formula One is not green and now we've got something else."

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