Williams F1 technical boss, Pat Symonds, may not be that jazzed about how Haas F1 has entered Formula 1 as a team but he is also a guy who speaks his mind and while you may not have agreed with his concern over Haas’s constructor model, you may find that you agree with his concern over team involvement in F1 decision making:
“The way I explained this to some sponsors was that if this was football and you said: ‘Right, we need some new regulations – let’s ask the teams’. If you have a team with a really, really crap goalkeeper and you say ‘how wide should we make the goals?’, they will say, ‘Let’s make them [this narrow].’
“You’ve got another team with an ace goalkeeper, they’re going to say ‘well let’s make them this wide’. Teams aren’t the people to ask. You ask what Formula 1 should do; well ask Formula 1 what they’re going to do.
“If we had a solid direction, we, as the teams, would just follow it.”
The point here is that each team is going to guard its own interests and this leads to gridlock and stalls in making the kinds of changes that most know need to be made. Max Mosley said this many times and with Max and Bernie Ecclestone at the helm, they made decisions regardless of the threat of a manufacturer leaving the sport or not.
The FIA has seemingly changed under the rule of Jean Todt and his approach toward a democratic model in which everyone is involved and unanimous votes are needed to advance regulation changes is not something Symonds feels is working:
“There is not a real body that is looking at it, an independent body that is looking at what’s required,” he explained.
“But we shouldn’t just say that everything is wrong. This process of governance that we’ve had, while I’m saying we shouldn’t involve the teams so much, we have been doing it for, well, most of the time I’ve been involved in Formula 1.
“It’s not necessarily dreadful. But as the sport becomes more professional, you get more and more polarised opinions.
“There are some teams that have huge amounts of money, they want rules a certain way. There are other teams that barely exist, they want different rules. The stronger ones win.
“If you had someone who wasn’t batting for one team, you might get something better.”
The Motorsort article does point out an interesting thought in which Red Bull’s Christian Horner suggested the sport could use Ross Brawn as an independent to help lead F1 in the direction it should go.
If you consider some F1 pundits believing that Jean Todt should ultimately focus on what he really wants which is road safety and UN membership, the FIA should hire an F1 czar who runs the sport leaving Todt to the glad-handing he cherishes. Maybe Horner is right, Brawn might be a perfect fit for that.
Hat Tip: Motorsport