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Ecclestone 'happy' if struggling teams collapse?

Bernie Ecclestone and Fernando Alonso
Bernie Ecclestone and Fernando Alonso
Rubens Barrichello & Bernie Ecclestone

Rubens Barrichello & Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has issued a stinging warning to struggling F1 teams.

Amid all the noise about the urgent need for cost cutting, the sport's chief executive insists he has no fear that some teams are facing financial collapse.

"I do not fear it," he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. "I would even be happy about it.

"It's like a poker game -- you don't know what the others hold in their hands. If you can't afford to be in this game, you should not be here," Ecclestone added.

The 83-year-old Briton made clear he is much more worried about other things, like the lack of noise from the new V6 engines, and certain rules.

"It's ridiculous," he says, "what drivers are being punished for -- like driving over a white line. These are all drivers who don't need rules like that.

"We need rules like we had in the past," added Ecclestone.

Mercedes team chairman and triple world champion Niki Lauda could not agree more.

"We are losing the audience," he is quoted by Austria's laola1, "because there are no more racers.

"Bring back the old days when Piquet gave the others one in the head," said Lauda, undoubtedly referring to the day in 1982 when Nelson Piquet punched and kicked the helmeted Elisio Salazar.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, however, does not agree with Ecclestone that the lack of noise from the new turbo engines is among F1's biggest problems.

"I've watched many races with the (television) sound turned off," he laughed in an interview with motorline.cc.

"To me, it doesn't matter as long as we see a good show. The problem with the new engines is that they give the impression that they have no power.

"The turbos in the 80s were not much louder, but when you looked at the cars, you could see how much power they had," Villeneuve added.

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