Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

Moving Formula E around the world

DHL breaks down its role as logistics partner to Formula E, showing how it provides a critical role in allowing the teams and drivers to do what they love most




2018 F2 racer unveiled

Ahead of this weekend's Italian GP, the FIA has unveiled the Dallara built 2018-specification F2 car, complete with Halo safety device

As the ACO and FIA outline future plans for the WEC, are the championship's hybrid days truly over?

Opinion

« back to blog listings

Driver responsibility?

I wonder how many other people were as glad as I was when the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association issued a statement following the season-opening Australian Grand Prix?

The sport was still reeling from the fiasco of qualifying, a spectacle that delighted the fans with long periods of inactivity and saw Lewis Hamilton wrap up pole position with three minutes to spare.

Social media went into meltdown, heaping further opprobrium on a sport already overloaded with it since its leaders’ critical and derisive statements in 2014.

On Sunday morning the teams agreed to revert to the 2015 system. Unfortunately, however, nothing is that easy in the F1 world. These days no one person calls the shots, not even Bernie Ecclestone. There had to be a vote among FOM, the FIA and the teams on the so-called Strategy Group. And here the governing body revealed that it is completely out of touch with F1 reality. Far from rubber stamping the proposal, it counter-proposed a different format for the Q1 and Q2 sessions and a reversion to the 2015 system just for Q3. That, or else stick with the hopeless Melbourne format – a threat surely intended to generate the necessary unanimity for the idea of mild revision.

Incredibly, the FIA at no point appears to have considered going back to what was known to work.

In the end, neither McLaren nor Red Bull wanted another cockamamie idea that had not been thought through properly. So for Bahrain, F1 was stuck with something the fans were known to detest.

These are decidedly hard times for F1, politically, with weak management that cries out for a lone hero to step in and tell the rest how it’s going to be. I’d hesitate to put dear old Max Mosley into quite that category, but like Bernie in the old days he understood that benign dictatorship is all that works in a sport filled with such competitive individuals. Max set the rules (in collaboration with Bernie) and made the rest live by them.

These days that’s no longer possible, since Max’s successor, Jean Todt, sold out to Ecclestone in 2013 by surrendering the right to make the rules – the governing body’s raison d’être – in return for money to fund his political aspirations within the organization. To many, these seem far too inclined toward his ambitions within the realm of road safety. Thus we are saddled with the Strategy Group, comprising Ecclestone and Todt, plus Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Force India.

This hapless body – which is still struggling to agree new technical rules for fast-approaching 2017 – is hamstrung by its members’ inability to agree, and the outrageous right of veto accorded to Ferrari.

Todt’s presidency has been notable for his apparent lack of interest in F1, the good work he has done to install sensible accountability structures within the Place de la Concorde, and his efforts in WEC, WRC and Formula E. But as well as the sell-out to Ecclestone, it will be defined by his abiding interest in the road safety side and the belief many hold that he is merely using his position as a springboard to a political career in that cause within the United Nations.

Which brings me back to the drivers’ emergence as a body with something to say.

Their comments are worth hearing, but to me there is something deeper going on here. I have heard suggestions that GPDA president Alexander Wurz would make a good presidential candidate in a few years, but that he is currently too young. I disagree.

The Austrian is a former F1 racer, a driver training expert and a successful businessman. He’s 42, affable, honest, intelligent and passionate about the sport. We have young drivers, so why not a young president?

Todt is up for re-election next year. Personally, I’d like to see Wurz take him on. Failing that, how about a compromise, with Todt appointing Wurz as the F1 Commissioner. That would enable him to pursue his road safety ambitions and give Wurz the political grounding he could then massage into a presidential run in 2021.

 

Comments:

There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.
Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

Victory in round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship marked the 300th time that UK-based engineering and race team, Prodrive, had taken the chequered flag
Click here to read more

Eclipse Magnetics explains how its research and development of rubber compounds has ensured damage from timing blocks at Santa Pod is a thing of the past for the circuit owners and racers alike
Click here to read more

John Patalak, director or Safety Engineering and David Green, safety manager at NASCAR, explan the advances undertaken by the sport to ensure that its competitors remain safe, as pack speed reaches 200mph
Click here to read more


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightWe are building a list of leading suppliers covering all aspects of the professional motorsport industry. Want to see your company included? Contact aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش کانال تلگرام چت روم فال حافظ دانلود فیلم فروشگظ;ه اینترنتی

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the professional motorsport community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to john.obrien@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email john.obrien@ukimediaevents.com