Bernie backs RBR call to ‘level things up’

Date published: March 17 2015

Bernie Ecclestone has thrown his weight behind Red Bull's pleas to the FIA to help reduce Mercedes' advantage, saying they must try to "level things up a little bit".

Mercedes have started the 2015 season the same way the finished the 2014 campaign, dominating from Friday to Sunday with Lewis Hamilton claiming the victory ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg while third-placed Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari was more than 30s adrift.

Red Bull were also well off the pace and their team principal Christian Horner made it clear after the Australian Grand Prix that Merc's current level of dominance is not good for Formula 1, urging the powers that be to do something.

"When we were winning, and we were never winning to the advantage that they have, I remember that double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was prohibited, engine mapping mid-season was changed – anything was done, and that wasn't just unique to Red Bull but Williams in previous years and McLaren etc," he said.

"Is it healthy to have this situation? The FIA, within the rules, have an equalisation mechanism and I think it is perhaps something we need to look at."

Asked about Horner's comments, Ecclestone told Reuters: "They are absolutely 100 percent right.

"There is a rule that I think (former president) Max (Mosley) put in when he was there that in the event…that a particular team or engine supplier did something magic – which Mercedes have done – the FIA can level up things.

"They (Mercedes) have done a first-class job which everybody acknowledges. We need to change things a little bit now and try and level things up a little bit."

He added: "What we should have done was frozen the Mercedes engine and leave everybody else to do what they want so they could have caught up. We should support the FIA to make changes."

Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko also warned that the Milton Keynes squad "could contemplate an F1 exit" if owner Dietrich Mateschitz loses interest due to the current level of competition, or lack thereof.

"Whether they will, who knows?" Ecclestone said. "Dieter is a sporting guy and I don’t think he’ll stop because he’s being beaten. He’s more likely to stop if he was winning."