Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes the sport needs new engine rules if Mercedes’ domination is to come to an end.
Mercedes has ruled over proceedings at the front of the pack for the past three seasons following the switch to V6 turbo power units for the 2014 season.
Although there has been a noticeable convergence in engine performance over the past three seasons, Mercedes’ advantage remains sizeable enough for it to sweep to 19 out of a possible 21 victories in 2016.
2017 will see an overhaul of the technical regulations that places a greater onus on aerodynamics once again, but Ecclestone believes Mercedes’ advantage is such that it will only lose ground when the engine regulations are changed again.
“Red Bull believe they can beat Mercedes with better aerodynamics. However, I’m not so sure about that,” Ecclestone told Sport Bild.
“Mercedes’ advantage on the engine side still is large. Because of this we have to introduce new engine rules as soon as possible.”
Ecclestone believes that F1 should not focus on more palatable road-relevant power units, and instead return to more spectacular engines.
“The important thing is to rule out the hybrid engines. [FIA president] Jean Todt thinks they are the spirit of our times, and this may be true for normal road cars.
“But in F1, people want to see something special. They want to have noisy, powerful engines that can be managed only by the best drivers in the world.
“You don’t put orthopedic shoes onto your pro football players, do you, just because these kinds of shoes are popular in everyday life?
“The rules must be changed, all of them. They are too complicated. We are in the entertainment business.
“But how are we supposed to entertain people when the audience doesn’t understand a thing any more?”
The current iteration of F1 engine regulations are set to remain in place until the end of the 2020 season at the earliest.