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Mercedes' stranglehold has made F1 fans switch off - Ecclestone
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone concedes Mercedes’ world championship stranglehold has made the sport boring and is causing spectators to switch off. Mercedes have swept to the last two F1 world titles with Lewis Hamilton taking back-to-back drivers’ crowns.
Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who was second in the championship, shared 16 wins in 19 Grand Prix and finished one-two on 12 occasions and Ecclestone admitted he is gravely concerned about the future.
“The domination of Mercedes is so strong that a good number of people watch the start of a race and then switch off their televisions because Mercedes have made races boring,” Ecclestone told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“It is not good for the sport. Fans don’t want to know before the start of a Grand Prix who is going to win. It’s a problem for us at the moment and one that we must resolve.”
Ecclestone, the powerful head of Formula One Management, believes teams and manufacturers need to co-operate more to make the sport more affordable and attractive and agree on a package of reform measures.
“For decades, we have tried to limit financial operations to guarantee more competitiveness,” added Ecclestone who believes more powerful and cheaper engines are key to achieving a level playing field.