Formula One Commission sticks, doesn't twist

Was the decision against a technical rules change for 2016 a missed opportunity or a far-sighted judgment with cost concerns at its heart?

Today, Formula One passed up the chance during its F1 Commission meeting in Geneva to open up its technical regulations to allow for wider cars and tyres, as well as flashier bodywork in 2016.

Is this a missed opportunity, or the only sensible outcome in a time of financial crisis amid the smaller teams?

As we saw earlier today, with Ferrari's radical future concept rendering, there was an alternative solution on the table. And it's not just the images, which we either drooled over or loathed (delete as applicable due to your preference), it's what they said that was interesting...

"Would it be possible to come up with an F1 car which not only is technologically advanced, but also captivating to the eye and aggressive-looking?" it said.

"And could this be made without having to overturn the current technical rules? At Ferrari, we believe so."

Looking at it another way, what Ferrari is suggesting here is that it doesn't think that Formula One is producing cars that are 'captivating' or 'aggressive-looking'.

Recently, I had a good, close-up look at the prototype Ferrari FXX K track car. Now THAT is aggressive and captivating in equal measure. So I understand Ferrari's point completely.

F1 now frozen for two seasons

What this negative vote means is that the 2016 regulations will effectively be frozen, so what we get this year will pretty much be repeated the year after – ensuring at least a three-year cycle of technical rules as intended.

Good for the recent ethos of cost-control, sure, but bad if you were searching for some excitement in the 'look' of the cars. I can't think that Bernie Ecclestone is too happy about that…

Now the focus for a rules overhaul will switch to 2017 at the earliest. That is when 1000bhp engines have been targeted, so perhaps this is a good outcome, meaning we can have a long lead-time into this next-generation F1 and get it right, rather than rush through some ill-conceived ideas.

That said, isn't what F1 could do with right now – certainly in terms of what the fans want – some exciting technological development, and maybe a bit of old-fashioned risk taking too?

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone
Article type Commentary
Tags f1 commission