Force is with Vijay Mallya as he heaps pressure on Bernie Ecclestone

Force India team chief Vijay Mallya unexpectedly ushered in a comic new episode of self-analysis to the Formula One paddock on Saturday.

AFP| Updated: Jul 04, 2015, 18:50 PM IST
Force is with Vijay Mallya as he heaps pressure on Bernie Ecclestone

London: Force India team chief Vijay Mallya unexpectedly ushered in a comic new episode of self-analysis to the Formula One paddock on Saturday.

As the drivers, teams and paddock observers parodied Mallya`s introduction of a new verb - `to un-crap` -- to the lexicon of Formula One, it was clear its usage had heaped more pressure on the sport`s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

In answers to questions during a news conference on Friday evening, Mallya called on Ecclestone `to un-crap` F1 if the sport`s ring-master was quoted accurately in suggesting that his `product` was not worth selling this season.

According to reports, many from sources who claim to have heard Ecclestone`s comments, made last month, the 84-year-old Briton referred to the current hybrid turbo engines in blunt fashion.

He said: "As you may or may not know I used to be a used-car dealer. I was good at my job and I`m still reasonably good at running things, but you [the engineers] have given me a shitty product to sell."

When this was put to Mallya, and he was asked for a reaction, the Force India boss said: "How would I respond to the chief executive`s comment that he had a crappy product to sell?

"He shouldn`t be selling the product if he thought it was crap. Considering he sells the product he calls crap, but he makes billions (of pounds) out of it, he needs to work with the participants to un-crap it."

Mallya`s comments came during a detailed discussion of the merits of the proposals to overhaul Formula One following Wednesday`s eight-hour meeting of the sport`s Strategy Group.

Of the plans, Mallya added: "If it makes the sport more attractive, the racing more competitive, then I`m all for it.

"I`ve always held the opinion that there are more fundamental issues the Strategy Group should be focusing on, but having said that, every small step to make F1 more attractive is a welcome step.

"The most important thing for us is to sustain all the teams in F1. If that is addressed, as it should be, even the small teams can be very competitive. If Williams beat Ferrari, the racing will be really exciting. If a Sauber can beat a Williams, it will be even more exciting.

"If all the teams are strong enough to be sustainable and can focus on producing a competitive car, rather than worrying about how to survive, that will be the best thing for F1.

"There are many ways to skin this cat. The prize at the end is sustainability. That will lead to more exciting competition."

For Ecclestone, who has been the unrivalled and pivotal boss of the sport for more than four decades, it may be just another skirmish in his long spell in office.

For others, however, the sport`s need for change is seen as part of the need for a clean sweep that ushers in new ownership and a new management structure.

But if anyone can, as Mallya suggested, create a plan to `un-crap` F1, it is the man whose language created this latest mini-controversy himself: Ecclestone.