At the end of last year, Fernando Alonso was reunited with his 2005 title-winning Renault in Abu Dhabi. The sound of the screaming V10 drew crowds of mechanics to the pitwall to watch the demonstration laps.
Alonso himself said that technology moves on and the sport cannot be stuck “in the old days” but Ecclestone says that F1 should stop trying to follow the direction of the road car industry.
“Formula 1 doesn’t have to be relevant to the car industry,” he says, “People forget, Formula 1 is in the entertainment business and when you stop entertaining you haven’t got a business.
“There’s going to be a lot of changes [in the world]. Everyone will have electric cars, the politicians will see to that, you won’t be able to take a petrol car into a city. People will say, ‘Hang about, all these F1 cars charging round – why aren’t they electric?’ and the manufacturers are going to stop making petrol or diesel cars within a few years.