Andretti: Formula 1 needs 'benign dictatorship'
7 January 2016 – Mario Andretti, the 1978 Formula 1 World Champion, says the sport needs to adopt a "benign dictatorship" if it is to operate efficiently in the future, given the growing influence of engine manufacturers.
Increased power among manufacturers, in particular Mercedes and Ferrari, which will supply over half the Formula 1 grid with engines in 2016, was a key talking point throughout the 2015 campaign.
Fears have been raised that, through supplying eight of the 11 teams, Mercedes and Ferrari are effectively in control of on and off track matters, highlighted by Red Bull's struggle to find an engine for 2016.
Andretti says he is keen to see only "one or two people" control the sport, and warned of Formula 1 running into the same issues as the former US-based single-seater CART championship.
"From everything that you hear, that you read, it boils down to control, and who should have control regarding where we go in the future," Andretti explained to GPUpdate.net.
"Right now, you have the manufacturers which are very powerful, and that's good, but it's a double-edged sword. When the manufacturers take over, there's only going to be one happy one.
"There has to be a benign dictatorship in place, for any racing organisation.
"We saw what happened to CART. As powerful as CART was, and the product that it had, it was a shambles in the way it was run, because it was too democratic – it was bound to fail.
"We don't want to see Formula 1 get to that point.
"Again, I'd like to see the decision-making come down to one or two people. Formula 1 is enjoying some strong moments at present, but there's a lot of turmoil.
"You just have to address the weak points. The manufactures per se will not be addressing that, as they don't care and they'll just address their own interests.
"You have to operate from a position of strength, as far as the control factor.
"There's always a reason why the manufacturers want to be there. You know darn well that as soon as they find no reason they'll blow anyway – they don't care about the sport.
"But whoever is running the sport has to look at the interests of the sport in general."
Renault and Honda are Formula 1's other engine manufacturers.