Ecclestone claims Mercedes have an unfair advantage

Ecclestone mostly understands how to be an effective communicator. Long monologues do not suite him and in fact at times make the F1 Supremo appear to be ‘a bit of a fool’.

A good example of this was the extended interview Bernie gave to the advertising publication Campaignlive.com, where he dismissed young people, lauded Rolex and gave a very layman’s description of ‘the ballet’ (link to article here)

“Maybe if I tried it, I’d love ballet,” said Ecclestone. “I just can’t understand the reason why they have these girls dancing on their toes. Why don’t they get taller girls? It would be so much easier”.

Later during the same Q&A, Bernie offered this pear of wisdom. “The good old days were actually the best. But that’s how people are. Women in particular like to criticize”.

One other not reported quote was amusing too, “Asia needs to get more involved [in F1}”.

Really? Is that what Asia needs? Or is more Bernie would love Asia to get more involved with F1, because those from that region who are already ‘involved’ are daft enough to pay exorbitant race hosting fees that the Europeans won’t countenance?

A more normal method of communication from Ecclestone is via the sound bite, dripped into one or two strategically placed publications. Bernie is singular in his purpose, of communicating a message, without extended debate, or to sow a seed that will take root and become cited as truth.

Today, Ecclestone re-joins the Horner/Marko calls for something to be done about Mercedes advantage over the F1 field. Yesterday we had the line from Ecclestone, “this is not about stopping Mercedes”, explaining why the call for the FIA to change the engine regulations was not born out of malicious intent. Yet today we get a whole lot more subterfuge.

Sky Italia are reporting Ecclestone is saying Mercedes have had an unfair advantage during the design process for the new F1 V6 Turbo engines.

“They knew more about the proposed power unit because the Mercedes people were in close contact with the FIA in defining the concept of this engine.

“This is why they had such a strong start last year and they are keeping that advantage now.”

Were this true, then there’s no question the matter would have been raised by Horner and Red Bull during the 2014 season. But the fact that there is no substance to this claim is irrelevant. It has been read by several million eyes on the internet today and will make it onto the tabloids sports pages tomorrow.

In a similar fashion, this writer has experienced a number casually interested Formula One fans who believe Jules Bianchi is to blame for his accident. It’s the message the FIA subtly dispensed repeatedly.

In fact what we have is a similar situation to this time last year. Red Bull are again wailing like an overcrowded hospital ward of new-born babies. Last year, the uproar which would apparently lead to the end of Formula One was about the fuel flow sensors and the fact that fuel flow should be unrestricted.

There is no evidence that Mercedes had any advantage in terms of advanced knowledge from the FIA. The new V6 Turbo engine regulations were supposed to be introduced in 2013 and include 4 not 6 cylinder engines.

Back in June 2011, Autosport reported, “F1’s teams and the FIA were in deadlock over the engine situation for several weeks until agreement was reached during a Formula 1 Commission meeting prior to the European Grand Prix weekend to delay introducing the regulations by a year to 2014.

The new plans also featured a change in the format from a four cylinder engine to a six cylinder unit – Ferrari having been against the former on marketing grounds. Mercedes and Cosworth had also voiced concerns about development costs. F1 technical chiefs then met in Valencia to give their formal backing to the V6, 1.6-litre plan.

The teams indicated after the Valencia gathering that they would ask for a rise in the proposed rev limit of 12,000rpm to 15,000rpm. It remains unclear whether this was included in the ratified plans. Similarly it is not known whether a request to delay the introduction of new chassis rules set for 2013 – to coincide with the new engine plan – has been successful”.

The series of meetings Autosport refer to were brutal in terms of their relentless scheduling, their length and the detail with which all parties engaged with. All parties were engaged on a fair and proper basis. Even other engine manufacturers not participating in F1 at the time eg Honda were invited to attend and give input.

However, for today – and for some time to come, many will believe Mercedes have gained an unfair advantage – which will serve the purpose of Bernie Ecclestone just fine.

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14 responses to “Ecclestone claims Mercedes have an unfair advantage

  1. Time to find out who really stop this show.

    citing blanket catch all rules that can apply retrospectively in vague ways…

    Who drafted that?

    How precisely did Jean Todt abdicate and to whom and by what instruments or means and with what authority to give us the authority if was elected to represent?

    Whose line of ( embedded code) is it anyway?

    And what is the standard ECU when it is not standard switching on?

    Of less Immediate interest: how many shares in Team Sauber do you need to buy a ream of landscape A4, and is there change for a Bernie rubdown?

    Equally how many judges does it take to ask the FIA a safety question?

    • Apols typos hope it makes sense s spluttered on my phone reading this….

      Because this is the second context Bernie’s been reported saying Mercedes-Benz have a unfair advantage I might need to grab the other one’s link but I’m assuming most are up with this…will rummage and check I’m not too stupidly wrong…

      Mixing up context for quotes expected to be reported as controversial is one way of blurring matters later…also thinking of worse misreporting mentioned above…If you look up how someone made up a fake Wikipedia page ludicrously you’re on the general line of thought…

  2. Someone from Mercedes should call Bernie and remind him that they supply 3 other teams on the grid, so continue with false accusations and the indirect accusations of cheating.

    Before saying crap like that, he needs to know for certain that their dominace is solely down to their power unit. I can’t recall how many times I’ve seen the Mercs top the speed trap figures.

    • but some parties seem to treat media outlets like Twitter accounts.

      A way of floating half a thought short of anything definably naughty or wrong that dissolves into the ether almost as quickly…

  3. I once googled whats the difference between a compulsive liar and a patholigical liar, and i still can’t figure out which Bernie is?

    • If you did mean to ask I think he pathalogical liar is supposed to have a kind of back story they have to promote or protect as incentive to tell porkies. Someone with very low esteem who makes a claim one day they achieved something to be exceptionally proud of…such a person might embellish or elaborate and join the lie with verified facts about themselves to attain credulity for the aboriginal lie ..

      If I’m getting things right then a compulsive liar is at simplest someone who may enjoy lying or who lies out of ignorance without in that case any link to inferiority…

      Don’t cite me but I feel on surer ground with the pathalogical definition because it seems to be a affliction in business frequently … people promoting things tend to maintain a few ostensible truths about a product eg. Though that’s not as I know it strict pathological lying until they’re oblivious to the origin and action.

      I’m probably a pathalogically imprécise blog comment hound so E&EO!

  4. The guys over at Audi/Porsche/VW will read quotes like this with great interest. Just as the board of directors of Mercedes will love being effectively called cheats in the world press.
    So, let’s see. Red Bull wants out. VW after this certainly doesn’t want to get in. Mercedes directors probably pissed and ready to pull out as well. And I doubt that is a competitive field Honda were looking to join….

    • Is there a legal reason Mercedes wouldn’t sue Bernie for slander? Other than Bernie just bribing his way out of it again.

  5. It’s another case of hurting the little teams, to slow Mercedes engine down to catch them up means dropping Williams, Lotus and Force India down the pack. In which case Mercedes might as well leave the sport, what’s the point in investing money in something which punishes the best engineering?

  6. He really doesn’t understand – a telling quote from the Campaignlive article is:

    “You’re right that we should use social media to promote Formula One. I just don’t know how. They say the kids watch things on (tablets and phones), but it doesn’t mean they’re watching Formula One.”

    People (of all ages – just not octogenarians) would watch F1 on phones, tablets etc if it was available at a sensible price (preferably free).

  7. If Mercedes have technologies on their car which are pushing the rules then Bernie and Christian have reason to complain.

    However, nothing has been said which suggests they have.

    It appears they have just done a very good job. The engine is well designed and incorporates some clever solutions. The car and engine are designed as a package which optimises the overall speed.

    Unlike Red Bull who persisted in pushing things, Mercedes have just done an incredibly good job, yet they are being called cheats, it is being suggested they should be penalised and the situation is being called unfair.

    The only way in which it is unfair is that teams who haven’t done such a good job think Mercedes should be forced to give up some of the advantage they have gained to help them catch up.

    I know it doesn’t make a good competition for one team to be so far out in front but neither is it a fair competition to cripple a team for doing well.

  8. Bernie must be paying the Grim Reaper handsomely, to keep him at bay for such a long time.
    I genuinely feel that we will have less than 5 more years of Bernie ruling the roost, as how can big multinational car companies take a Hi-tech, top flight, world series like F1 seriously with a 90 year old at the helm. They must already be wandering what Bernie has over McKenzie/CVC that means they keep him in the position, which would immediately make alarm bells ring with their business ethics people, which in turn causes them to run a mile. It would be amazing to see VAG join F1, not because I’m a fan of theirs, but because the more teams that can afford to fight at the front the better. I’d like to see Ford and GMC represented too.
    Diversity is the spice of life, is it not?
    But even if you have all the resources, manpower and infrastructure to competently design and build an F1 challenger, the thought of having Ecclestone as a bed fellow far, far, far out ways the benefits your company could reap. Simply because you just never know where the next s#!t storm is coming from and if you are going to get caught up in it and become collateral damage, or even worse, choose the wrong side…..

    Re- Engine Equalization Mechanism
    Maybe there could be a system where works teams can swap championship points for extra engine tokens or something, while who ever is WCC that year cannot. So currently Mercedes can collect their record breaking statistics, the others can take some pain on their constructors championship, but at least have chance to catch up. This would also give the ‘customer’ teams the chance to possibly move up a position or 2 as they would reap rewards from their engine suppliers engine improvements, with it costing the customer teams any points of their own. It would also mean their was a way to stop domination for say more than 2 seasons. The off season tokens would still be granted, so even the WCC team’s supplier could make some improvements, but say Ferrari used half their WCC points to catch Mercedes for 2 seasons, they would finish well down the constructors, but Sauber would benefit, possibly beat Ferrari on paper (due to Ferrari spending their points) but it would give Sauber straight cash, (so they can pay for engines for example) but then as Mercedes would have only had the off season tokens, Ferrari would be able to reel them in with their ‘bought’ tokens for in season development.
    I doubt Mercedes would like it as they are currently champions, but I think it’s better than success ballast.

    Please note, this really isn’t a serious suggestion, but it was the fairest way I could come up with that would allow the catching up to happen and it a not too hard on Mercedes as they still get the credit of being WCC.
    Hell, we’ve seen far more outrageous things, double points any one?😵🔫

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