Ecclestone dismisses dispute talk

The Bolton News: Bernie Ecclestone, left, and Jean Todt were at the heart of the politicking that unfolded in Bahrain Bernie Ecclestone, left, and Jean Todt were at the heart of the politicking that unfolded in Bahrain

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed suggestions a war is looming on the horizon with the FIA and president Jean Todt.

The two men were at the heart of the politicking that unfolded in the paddock at the Bahrain International Circuit over the recent race weekend.

The speculation doing the rounds was that given their opposing views on a number of subjects, a potential split was in the air.

There were even claims Ecclestone had become so frustrated with the stance being taken by Todt he was threatening a break-away series.

But the 83-year-old said: "No, no, we're in good shape.

"We've no problem at all, zero problem, zero, zero problem."

One area of dispute surrounds a budget cap as Todt was determined to push it through for 2015, only to be met with resistance by the six teams on the Strategy Group - Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Lotus - and supported by Ecclestone.

The second bone of contention relates to what Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has described as "taxi driving", with drivers being forced to save fuel and so having a dramatic effect on the show.

On Sunday, Ecclestone even went so far as to suggest the prospect of an increase in the maximum weight of the fuel, rising from 100kg to 110kg.

Todt, however, has insisted there will be no radical changes to the regulations as he said: "Mercedes are stronger.

"I don't have the power to say 'let's slow them down'. If they are quicker than the others it is a challenge for others to catch them.

"They have had three years to do the job (when confirmation of the new power units for this year was announced), and some did a better job than others."

Todt, though, has taken Ecclestone to task over his derision of the new-style formula at the start of the season and his constant carping of the new power units.

On Sunday, ahead of one of the most entertaining races for years, Ecclestone acknowledged that whilst the technology behind the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged units was "incredible", he suggested they were more appropriate for "touring cars".

Asked whether Ecclestone was damaging F1 with his comments, Todt drew a comparison as he said: "I tell you what is damaging.

"It's like Brad Pitt going to present a new movie in Hollywood and saying 'guess our new movie is s***'."

Todt added: "Of course we wish that at each grand prix we have a different grid, a different winner. That would be ideal for everybody.

"But at least we have the responsibility - because motorsport is part of a business - for all of us at a different level to protect it and to be rational and say 'Okay, we will address the situation. What needs to be done to make it better?'.

"It is very unfair to those who have been sweating and working very hard to say it is not good."

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