Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has called on Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone to work with teams to ‘uncrap’ the sport.
In a lively FIA press conference on Friday ahead of the British Grand Prix, representatives from six teams were asked about the changes proposed by the F1 Strategy Group earlier this week.
Lotus CEO Matthew Carter suggested that some of the onus should lie with the media to present the sport positively and remove the negativity surrounding its current state.
In response, it was suggested that this should extend to Ecclestone, who was has been a leading critic of the V6 turbo power units that were introduced to F1 in 2014.
A misquote from Ecclestone, as explained in this article from Autosport, led to the panel members being asked what they would do if their chief executive called their product “crap”.
In Mallya’s eyes, the best way to solve any negativity within F1 would be by fixing the issues – namely the sustainability of the sport for the smaller teams.
“He shouldn’t be selling the product if he thought it was crap,” Mallya said.
“But considering that he sells the product – that he calls crap and makes billions out of it – he needs to work with the participants to un-crap it!”
Mallya has long encouraged the prioritizing of sustainability when discussing the future of the sport, and he believes that if this were addressed, much of the uncertainty and subsequent negativity would disappear.
“I believe that all the positives of Formula 1 as a sport will be given more prominence if the fundamental issue, which everybody is speculating about – I’m sure many of us get asked these questions all the time – about ‘are you going to be around next year?'” Mallya said.
“This is a burning issue which teams themselves discuss at every possible opportunity and in every possible meeting, whether inside the strategy group or outside.
“So, as I said before, at this very press conference. If the stability of all participants in Formula 1 is addressed as a matter of priority, we will have more exciting racing and we will get a lot more positive media.”