Jun.20 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Bernie Ecclestone says he is struggling to sell a “crap product” to the public in the new era of formula one.

The F1 supremo has said consistently that the ‘power unit’ regulations are a major reason for the decline in popularity of the sport he has ruled for decades.

“I was talking to some engineers the other day and I told them that I was always pretty good at selling used cars, and I still am,” Ecclestone, 84, is quoted in an interview published in French by the AFP news agency.

“But I told them they have given me a crap product to sell,” he insisted.

F1 legend Alain Prost said recently that the sport’s biggest problem is that the overly complex rules of today were designed by those very same engineers.

“Absolutely. 100 per cent,” Ecclestone agreed.

“If I was running a team, I would not let one of my staff tell me how I should do it.”

The problem, however, is that Ecclestone is no longer the benevolent ‘dictator’, and F1 rules are devised in consultation and agreement with the teams.

“The problem is they (the teams) don’t know what they want,” Ecclestone insisted. “They don’t have a clue. It’s good for them to have dreams, to have their meetings, but if they have ideas, they have to implement them.

“They talk about customer cars, but when you come to the question of how to do it, there is a problem. So it will never happen,” he said.

As far as Ecclestone is concerned, however, the issue of ‘selling’ F1 to the public is simple.

“All people want is to be entertained,” he said. “We are, first and foremost, an entertainment company. But today, when Lewis (Hamilton) starts a race, we already know he will win by 20 seconds.”

Finally, Ecclestone played down the risk of an investigation into the governance of formula one, insisting: “I still have not heard from the European Union.”

He says the smallest teams should run their teams better rather than “complain”.

“I had a team for 18 years,” said the Briton. “I financed it myself and I didn’t expect someone else to give me money.

“Those guys (the small teams) would be in the same situation they are now in formula one if they were doing anything else. They are not able to manage their companies,” Ecclestone charged.