Ecclestone takes aim at Todt over engine impasse

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Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has said that the FIA needs to step up and take charge in the ongoing deadlock over power unit regulation changes for 2017.

Speaking with Sky Sports News HQ, Ecclestone blamed lack of direction at the top of the sport for the current lack of progress over the issue.

Plans for a simpler, cheaper customer engine were shelved last month after the World Motorsport Council decided instead to task Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt with the responsibility "to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula 1 such as governance, power units and cost reduction."

"What we are trying to do at the moment is to get regulations for a new engine that is the same for everyone," Ecclestone explained.

"We don't want different engines for different teams if we don't have to, if we have to that is what will happen, but that is what we would rather not happen."

Ecclestone added that it might well prove necessary for the FIA to unilaterally impose changes over the heads of the teams if necessary in order to get a resolution.

"Maybe the FIA will have to write the regulations," he added, saying in that case it wouldn't matter what the team principals thought of it. "If you like it, good, if you don't, sorry, but you've a choice to stop [competing] or you can arbitrate."

But Ecclestone hinted that the task was being made more difficult by a lack of leadership from the FIA, suggesting a widening rift with Todt.

"The problem with Jean is that if there is a problem he likes to have things very democratic," said Ecclestone. "He wants everyone to be happy and everyone to agree."

Eccleston compared that to the approach of Todt's immediate predecessor in the role, Max Mosley. "When Max was in charge he hoped that he was leading the right decisions and hoped people agreed."

Ecclestone even went as far as to suggest that perhaps Todt's heart simply wasn't in the job and that the Frenchman should stand down in favour of someone more committed to taking the necessary steps to sort out the sport's problems.

"He's been doing lots of other things, he is much more interested in road safety than Formula One or sports side of things," said Ecclestone.

"Maybe he should step back a little bit from Formula One and let someone else take that part of the FIA's commitments over."

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