Exclusive: Ecclestone welcomes F1 changes after 'wake-up' call

Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:52am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone says the sport faces a brighter future after teams agreed a new qualifying format from this season, even if he had sought a more radical approach to liven up racing.

Speaking to Reuters two days after he said current F1 was the worst it had ever been and he would not buy tickets for his family to watch races, the 85-year-old sounded a much more positive note.

"I think now I’d be a bit more confident that we are going to see some good racing," he said in a telephone interview. "Then I’ll be happy."

Ecclestone said teams, who agreed the new qualifying format on Tuesday, had finally woken up and taken a step in the right direction with more change to come.

"I think there’s lots of things we can do and will be doing," he said.

"What people needed was a bit of a shake up. I seem to be the only person that has thought we should do something in Formula One, to wake everybody up a little bit. And maybe that’s what’s happened.

"I wasn’t talking down the sport at all, quite the opposite. I was trying to sort of explain that unless we did something that’s the way we’d be going."

Formula One's core strategy group, which includes Ecclestone and the top six teams as well as governing body, approved a range of measures -- yet to be formally ratified by the International Automobile Federation -- in Geneva on Tuesday.   Continued...

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone speaks to the media at the paddock area ahead of the Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, October 9, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov