Ecclestone to push for less teams in new F1 deal

By on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mar.17 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has continued to argue that ten teams is a better number for formula one.

The F1 chief executive was a staunch critic of the sport's three new stragglers last year, but he has since said Team Lotus is a worthy competitor.

"I'm very happy that they are back," Ecclestone told the BBC. "They will get on their feet and then sponsors will be attracted to them and we'll see them grow.

"Frank Williams was like that years ago," added the 80-year-old.

As for Virgin and HRT, however, he told Reuters late last season that "one or two of them (the new teams) shouldn't be there perhaps ... it's a bit rich for their blood".

When asked how the 2011 season will be for them, he answered simply: "Difficult.

"Twelve teams is too many. Ten is enough," added Ecclestone.

A report in Spain's El Mundo Deportivo said the Briton actually wants to drop the limit for the maximum number of teams from 13 to 10 for the new 2013 Concorde agreement.

The report said Ecclestone thinks ten is a better number to financially look after the teams and ensure there are enough good sponsors to go around.

Technical boss Mike Gascoyne said he is determined to move Team Lotus forward this year.

"Formula one is about competition, it's the peak of motor sport, you shouldn't be there as a spare part," he said.

Virgin has also vowed to raise its game but had the slowest 2011 car in recent testing, while HRT will only run its new car for the first time in Melbourne next Friday.

Referring to 2010, Virgin boss John Booth said: "We thought F1 was achievable the way we were doing it, and we thought it was a wonderful thing. But you soon get the wake-up call, don't you?"

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