A number of Formula 1 team bosses would like to see Ferrari’s veto removed from the sport as part of the new regulations slated to be rolled out in 2021.
F1 is poised for a significant shake-up in two years’ time, with new sporting and technical regulations to be introduced hand-in-hand with a budget cap and fresh commercial agreements between the teams, the FIA and F1 itself. At present, Ferrari – as the sport’s longest-serving team – has the power to veto regulation changes, but Claire Williams says such an asset needs to be removed as the teams should have less say in the direction of the sport.
“I think it’s just silly, if I can be honest,” Williams said. “I have a problem in our sport anyway in the fact that I feel it’s far too democratic. I’ve been quite open about that. I feel that F1 and the FIA should take more ownership of the regulations. We run it too much in a collegiate way, which is detrimental when we all have our own agendas.
“We need to be looking at this sport and its sustainability into the future, and protecting it and protecting the true DNA of that. Doing that by committee, I think, can be very difficult. And I really don’t feel that one team should have a right, a veto. That makes no sense to me at all.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner agrees with Williams, saying the veto is a hangover from 50 years ago when Ferrari wanted protecting specific threats.
“It’s pretty outdated now,” Horner said. “That veto was put in place – from my understanding – years and years ago to stop regulations changes. Ferrari had V12 engines, they didn’t suddenly want that to be vetoed, those rules to be changed because there were all these British garagista teams that were coming into the sport. But that was in the ’60s, and things have obviously moved on.
“I think it’s a right – if I’m not wrong – for the longest-standing team, not bespoke just for Ferrari, but they are the longest-standing team. You can view it two ways: you can say, OK, it’s a safety net, if they are there representing the teams, but ultimately they are there representing Ferrari.
“Probably, if we’re going for a clean sheet of paper, it makes sense for it not to be there and as Claire says, same rules for everyone.”
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes Ferrari’s historical importance to F1 can be recognized in a better way than with a veto.
“I would concur,” Abiteboul said. “I think we need Formula 1 to be progressive rather than defensive, and the ability to block due process can be perceived or decided to be a positive for the sport is probably not good.
“Having said that, we completely recognize the specific value of Ferrari to the sport, but which can be reflected probably in the commercial agreement and not in the governance.”