Date: 24th November 2015 at 11:26am
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Formula One is once again at one of those crossroads that threatens to kill off the sport.

In the past it has been the threat of breakaway series, but the current threat to Formula One is the threat from within.

For the sport to thrive it needs competition, for the sport to be popular it needs unpredictability.

For the sport to offer competition and unpredictability it needs more than two teams capable of winning races and championships.

But currently that is exactly what Formula One is.

Since the new v6 turbo-hybrid era was introduced to Formula One in 2014, the sport has seen one dominant team in Mercedes.

In 2014 the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg won all but three races with Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo picking up the other victories.

In 2015 it has been a similar story, with Mercedes once again winning all but three races but this year it has been Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel standing on the top step of the podium.

In two years, just four drivers and three teams have won in Formula One and that has been down to the dominance of the engines.

The new power-unit regulations have given Mercedes and Ferrari too much power, neither Renault or Honda are able to compete and the customer teams are not playing on a level playing field to their supplier.

Red Bull Racing have found themselves unable to secure an engine for 2016, wanting to drop Renault, they have seen their approaches to Mercedes and Ferrari rejected.

Other teams complain that the engines cost too much and are putting a financial burden on the teams.

The sport is at breaking point and this is not an over-reaction, something radical has to be done to save the sport, be it the television rights money being distributed fairer or the introduction of a budget engine for teams to run.

Former FIA president Max Mosley believes the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda should be forced into supplying their engines at a cut price.

‘What I would say is these companies are in it to promote their image, their brand and promoting your brand is expensive, So I would be inclined to pick a much lower figure, something in the 5 or 6million Euro bracket, depending on what the teams can afford. But I think it would have to be done in that bracket and then say to them that’s what you’ll supply for.’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I would have thought it was fairly straightforward to sit the manufacturers down and say ‘you are in this to promote your brands’, These engines are completely road relevant, the research you are doing is absolutely focussed on the road and will be very useful so that is part of your main business. Formula 1 is part of your advertising and promotion so you must expect to spend a bit of money’.

Formula One has attempted to introduce an engine cost cap but Ferrari used their power of veto to block the plans.

Mosley added: ‘You’ve got to look at the bigger picture if you are Ferrari. Formula 1 that doesn’t work isn’t good for Ferrari because it is a huge marketing tool for them, So I think they should have been a little bit more generous and, of course, the veto anyway is a sort of thing from history.

‘But I think it showed a certain small-mindedness and if I were in the position of Ferrari I’d be inclined to say ‘I need Formula 1 to succeed and therefore I will do everything I can to see that it will succeed and if I don’t win it is my engineers’ fault as they have the resources and they should get on with it’.’

 

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