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Wolff dismisses talk of rule changes

NEWS STORY
06/04/2014

Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has dismissed talk of changes to the sport's new formula, hitting out at those talking the sport down.

It started with the noise - or lack of it - however, after just two races numerous other aspects of the new regulations have come in for criticism from fans, drivers, team bosses and the men (and women) who design the cars.

On the one hand are those who feel that change is needed, especially change that reflects the environmental concerns of the 21st century. On the other are those that feel that the 2014 changes are a step too far and that Formula One can never really be 'environmentally friendly'.

While some feel that the new rules are improving the spectacle, forcing drivers to work harder, others point to the increasing need for drivers to conserve various elements of their cars.

It just so happens that some of those making the loudest noises about the new regulations and how much they are damaging the sport are with teams currently struggling, while those teams that have successfully adapted to them appear quite content.

Having met with Bernie Ecclestone earlier in the week, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is to meet with the F1 supremo and FIA president Jean Todt ahead of today's race. Even before the season had begun the Italian was critical of the rules, claiming they would lead to "taxi cab driving", and, facing the prospect of another disappointing season, his opinion hasn't changed.

While Ferrari, arguably the most famous name in F1, has obvious clout, with numerous vetoes over the sport and how it is run, there is unease between some of the other teams and manufacturers not only in relation to the fact that they haven't been invited to the pow-wow but that the rules could be modified to suit the Italian team under the guise of appeasing the fans. Indeed, by a strange coincidence - if you believe in such things in F1 - on the same day Montezemolo met with Ecclestone in London his team issued the results of a fan survey on its site in which 83% of those who took part said they are "disappointed" with the 2014 version of F1.

Ahead of today’s meeting Wolff dismissed talk of changes to the rules, claiming that the sport should be proud of the way it has adapted to them and the eventual benefit they could bring.

"We are eight-tenths off the pole from last year with a car that is twenty-five percent down on downforce, with much harder tires, with thirty percent less fuel consumption, is heavier, with more power and more torque and greater straight-line speed," he told reporters following yesterday's qualifying session which saw his drivers fill the front row for today's race.

"So what are we talking about? We are in a brilliant technical revolution and we are talking the sport down," he continued. "Is it because we have an agenda? Somehow I don't get it.

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1. Posted by marltoro, 07/04/2014 3:15

"There are things I am disappointed with about F1 but the new engine/power unit technology is not a part of it.
I am more disappointed with the movement of teams that are seeking to change the power unit rules before giving the new engines a chance to see if there are real problems. If someone builds a better mouse trap than you, we don't ban mouse traps, we build better ones. Perhaps Ferrari should have buildt a better chassis and power unit?

The safety car system has some inherent flaws in terms of fairness. One of them is allowing lapped cars to un-lap themselves thus putting the drivers who established a lead over a competitor to have that lead reduced to nothing and anyone who was between the two to un-lap themselves. It gives a massive advantage to the following competitor, one he has not earned through performance but manipulated circumstance. It also negates any effort to build an effective race and tyre strategy because the present system will negate (as Bahrain's did) a competitors plan in the latter stages of the race.
Why even bother competing if the FIA policy is factored in such a way the safety car intervention alters the result and point score that eventually alters the outcome of the championship. Its not the same for every competitor because each intervention effects some more than others.
If they express worry about the engine rules but cannot attend to the other issues they are just PITW."

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2. Posted by Vladimir, 06/04/2014 20:05

"
The teams that were able to prepare and adjust to the new rules will be against change, while the ones who have struggled with the rules are calling for change. Fact of the matter is that whether you like them, or you don't, they are the same for every one, and each team will have to work harder to make whatever adjustments are necessary to field a competitive car. But there are 2 things in F1 that I have disliked for a long time, that I wish would change. I don't care how many different compounds of tyres that Pirelli brings to each race, but I feel that the driver should be able to use whichever compound he likes, that is working best for him, and not be required to change from the hard to soft tyres, or vice versa, simply because someone thought it was a good idea. It's like going to a great steak house and getting a fabulous hunk of meat and a delicious baked potato, only to be disappointed that the executive chef decided to give you asparagus for a vegetable, when you hate asparagus! Simply put, the driver should decide which tyres he wants throughout the race. My other complaint deals with my dislike of the use of the safety car, and how a driver who has worked hard to build a suitable lead can see it all disappear when the other cars are allowed to bunch up behind him. Perhaps it's late in the race with just a handful of laps remaining and the leader may be down on power or have some other problem that has made him a second per lap slower, but with a big lead would havd enough time in hand to make it to the in the lead. But as we know, that lead vanishes when the safety car is brought in, and all the cars behind him can take advantage of his problem. With all the technology and accurate timing devices available, why not freeze the times of every car on the track at the last full lap prior to the incident, and then, no matter if the cars are bunched up behind the safety car for several laps, when the race goes green, each car will automatically havd credit for the gap over every car behind them, even if other cars are now faster and can pass the driver who was in the lead at the time of the incident. For example, let's say that Lewis Hamilton has built a 12 second lead over Nico Rosberg with just 10 laps remaing, but he has just started to have a problem that will cost him 1 second per lap. If the safety car comes out with 10 laps remaining, timing will record Hamilton with a 12 second lead. Let's the safety car is on the track for 3 laps, and then is called in with just 7 laps to go. Rosberg and other drivers can now pass Hamilton on the track as he continues to lose 1 second per lap, but Hamilton would still win the race, by 5 seconds, because Rosberg and other drivers who passed him were only able to make up 7 seconds in the 7 laps that were left to run. It may sound strange, but at least it's fair to a driver who worked hard to build the lead and shouldn't be penalized by an incident caused by another driver. Walt Needham, Allentown, PA, USA"

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