FORMULA One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has called for new engine regulations to be brought in to help put the brakes on Mercedes’ domination of the sport.

Changes to rules on tyres have been implemented ahead of next season, with the wider style intended to reduce lap times by up to five seconds. The alterations will affect aerodynamics, which teams such as Red Bull Racing believe will help them to compete more evenly with world champions Mercedes.

However, Ecclestone has dismissed those claims – stating that the German manufacturers will continue to lead the way unless hybrid engines are banned. He believes that Mercedes’ cars are still too powerful for their rivals to overcome.

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“Red Bull believe they can beat Mercedes with better aerodynamics,” said Ecclestone. “However, I’m not so sure about that. Mercedes’ advantage on the engine side still is large. Because of this we have to introduce new engine rules as soon as possible.

“The important thing is to rule out the hybrid engines. [FIA president] Jean Todt thinks they are the spirit of our times, and this may be true for normal road cars. But in F1, people want to see something special. They want to have noisy, powerful engines that can be managed only by the best drivers in the world.

“You don’t put orthopaedic shoes onto your pro football players, do you, just because these kinds of shoes are popular in everyday life?”

The 86-year-old also criticised the F1 rule book. He wants to see an overhaul of the complicated technical regulations to make it easier for fans to understand them.

He added: “How are we supposed to entertain people when the audience doesn’t understand a thing any more?”