The need to have unanimous agreement among the teams to make short-term rule changes in Formula 1 has to change, according to the sport’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.
Mercedes has blocked the proposal to have reverse grid qualifying races at one of the two races that are being held at the same venues this year, so far confirmed as Austria and Silverstone. With further doubleheader races also potentially being introduced later this season, Brawn (pictured at right, above, with F1 chairman Chase Carey, middle, and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff) says other teams that could feel disadvantaged were in support of the proposal, but the current regulations allow just one team to stop it being implemented.
“We’re in very unusual circumstances because we have two or maybe three occasions where we’re going to have a race on consecutive weekends at the same track,” Brawn told RACER.
“We can’t reverse the tracks. Lots of people have asked why we can’t do that, and (it’s because of) the safety standards and the way the tracks are configured. The barriers are designed so that you glance off them one way if you hit them; going the other way you do yourself a lot of damage. So it’s just not feasible, unfortunately, to reverse the tracks.
“We may get lucky. We may find we go to Austria and there is a chance of some different weather. It’s the first few races of the season and it could be pretty mixed up and we may be fortunate.
“Interestingly, for me, the people who’ve been the strongest in Austria last couple of years – Red Bull – were the biggest supporters of the (reverse grid) idea. They were prepared to do it. So it’s a little frustrating, but I think that is part of the aspects of Formula 1 which in the future need to change. I think unanimous decisions by the competitors have always been difficult.”
The former Mercedes team principal and Ferrari technical director admits teams do need a voice, but feels a majority backing should be sufficient for changes to be made.
“I think we need the opinion of the competitors – we need to listen and we need to have the majority of competitors in favor of these ideas,” he said. “And I think if you can’t convince the majority, then you’re failing that. If you get one or maybe two people stopping something which the vast majority want and F1 want and the FIA want, that’s frustrating.”
Listen to the full interview with Brawn here: