Force India team chief Vijay Mallya has unexpectedly ushered in a comic new episode of self-analysis to the Formula One paddock.
As the drivers, teams and paddock observers parodied Mallya’s introduction of a new verb – ‘to un-crap’ – to the lexicon of Formula One on Saturday, 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 his ‘product’ was not worth selling this season.
According to reports, Ecclestone’s comments made last month referred to the current hybrid turbo engines in blunt fashion.
The 84-year-old Briton 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 the Force India boss said: “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 out of it, he needs to work with the participants to un-crap it.”
Mallya’s comments came during a discussion of the merits of the proposals to overhaul Formula One following Wednesday’s 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 every small step to make F1 more attractive is a welcome step.
“The most important thing is to sustain all the teams in F1. If that is addressed 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.”