Bernie Ecclestone feared the start of the new V6 era in Formula 1 would be littered with races were only half the field reached the chequered flag.
The F1 supremo, who wanted the sport to remain powered by the 2.4-litre V6 engines, revealed the sound of the new units was not his only concern ahead of the new season.
Speaking to Forbes he said: "I thought everything was going to be worse. I thought the cars were going to be unreliable and I thought half the field would be stopping.
"In the end the engineers have done an unbelievable job technically. In fact I saw a Mercedes engine the other day and said I'd like to buy one as it's like a work of art. It's like a beautiful sculpture so it is fantastic."
As for the sound, which Mercedes tried to improve by running a megaphone exhaust tailpipe during testing at Barcelona, Ecclestone has billed as a "side effect" of the new rules.
"It is like lots of things," he said. "You go to the doctors and you have got toothache or whatever and they give you tablets. Then come the side effects.
"The people that came up with the regulations didn't realise what the side effects were. Even the people who built the engines didn't.
"Why didn't they? Because they had never built one. This engine is a prototype. I said at some stage why don't we put it off for a year and then let people get one running because it has only been running in a factory. Run it in a car and let's see how it sounds."
And if you are looking to point figures, Ecclestone says that while former FIA President Max Mosley campaigned for smaller engines, he wasn't the only who ultimately put it down on paper.
"It was Max that started this but in fairness to Max he didn't write the regulations. His idea was to have a smaller engine which would be in line with the manufacturers' road cars.
"It would be one and a half liters, which is what the road cars have. This was Max' idea to get more manufacturers in. But he didn't realise what the regulations would be like. I don't think anybody did."