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Bernie Ecclestone: Scrapping hybrid engines only way to stop Mercedes

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Brawn: F1 at an engines crossroad (2:18)

Ross Brawn explains the importance of Formula 1 deciding if it wants to carry on as an innovator or revert to the noisy engines of old. (2:18)

Bernie Ecclestone believes 2017's regulation shake-up will not prove enough to stop Mercedes' current domination of Formula One and has called for hybrid engines to be scrapped.

The sport is set for a major overhaul of its aero regulations this season, in the hope that wider and faster cars will not only help the spectacle but also mix up the competitive order. F1 supremo Ecclestone has been a chief critic of the hybrid formula ever since its introduction in 2014 -- in a bid to reflect the ever-increasing push towards 'green' technology.

Mercedes has won all but eight of the 59 grands prix contested so far in the hybrid era, including sealing the last three constructors' and drivers' titles. Ecclestone feels the changes brought in for this year will not be successful in derailing the reigning world champions.

"Red Bull believe they can beat Mercedes with better aerodynamics," Ecclestone said in an interview with German newspaper Bild. "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.

"It doesn't matter [what kind of engine rules]. 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 orthopedic shoes onto your pro football players, do you, just because these kinds of shoes are popular in everyday life?"

Ecclestone thinks F1's current rulebook is too complicated and should be completely revised in order to prevent alienating its fans.

"The rules must be changed: all of them," he added. "They are too complicated. We are in the entertainment business. But how are we supposed to entertain people when the audience doesn't understand a thing any more?

"Even the drivers don't know anymore what they can and cannot do on track. Sometimes I think the rule book just says: "Don't race!" But let them touch from time to time, so what? Let the drivers handle it themselves."

The Briton says he is open for a shake-up to the race weekend format and believes two shorter sprint races would be more attractive to fans.

"The attention period of young people is shorter than in the past," he said. "Therefore it makes more sense to divide the race into two sprints. Two times 40 minute racing is more attractive to a TV audience than a boring grand prix."