Symonds thinks teams have too much say in F1 rules

Williams technical chief Pat Symonds thinks it is inevitable that Formula 1 finds itself in strife over its rules, because teams have too much say.

Against the backdrop of the shambolic introduction and then failure to get rid of elimination qualifying, F1 is heading into a Bahrain weekend where its under-fire governance structure will be put under the spotlight.

There have been recent calls from drivers for reform, and a huge media fall-out over qualifying, and Symonds is one who believes that until an independent authority is given the mandate to decide regulations then F1 will always find itself facing difficulties.

Speaking recently about how F1 could avoid problems like the introduction of elimination qualifying, Symonds said: "I think you should ask Formula 1, rather than ask the teams. Part of the problem is that the teams are involved a little bit too much.

"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."

Independent body

Red Bull boss Christian Horner last year called on an independent outsider, like Ross Brawn, to be appointed to help give F1 a better direction.

Symonds agrees that an authority with no links to teams – so was not influenced by self-interest – would be best to help improve F1.

"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."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Article type Breaking news