Todt, Ecclestone clash over 's***ty' V6 engines in Formula One

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON• • Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, two of the biggest names in Formula One, have clashed over the former's criticism of the sport's 1.6-litre, V6 power unit.

Ecclestone, 84, the chief executive of the Formula One Group, described the engine introduced last year as "a s***ty product".

But Todt, 69, the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), motorsport's ruling body, said: "If he has some complaints, which may be right, it's something we should address internally and not make it public.

"All the credit and money he has got, he deserves it, but I would hope he will be more positive about the product (in the future)."

The two men have not always agreed on the direction F1 has taken. For instance, Todt would like to see the timing of races changed from lunch time to early evening.

The Frenchman said: "Maybe we should decide that rather than the race at 1pm or 2pm in Europe during the summer, I would prefer to have it at 6pm. That way people can then go to the beach, arrive home and see it."

Referring to his relationship with the Briton, he added: "I know Bernie very well. I know he may tell you I am his best friend, then five minutes later to somebody else I am the worst idiot he has met in his life. I live with that.

"It just creates some unnecessary gossip. I don't have any problems with him getting more involved, as he has to if it is bringing something on board.

"If it is not constructive, you should not do it. But it is his style. Do I intend to change him? I don't intend to change him."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Todt, Ecclestone clash over 's***ty' V6 engines in Formula One'. Print Edition | Subscribe