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Dennis: Make changes, but not yet


While Ron Dennis appears to support changes to the sport, he urges that they be delayed for financial reasons.

With the new formula just a season old, there are already plans to change it, as the sport seeks to put on a better show for the current fans and hopefully attract new ones. Speaking recently, new Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene called for more 'Rock 'n' Roll in F1, a view that few have argued against.

Amongst other things, there is talk of 1,000 bhp engines and cars that look more aggressive. However, such a move would drive up costs at a time when one team has gone under, another is waving (possibly drowning) and a couple of others are in dire straits.

Ron Dennis is all for anything that will increase the fan-base, and thereby attract new sponsors, but urges a 'softly, softly, approach.

"If we're going to change F1, we should change it dramatically and therefore we should change it dramatically for 2017," he has told Sky Sports{/i]. Then it will be affordable. If we dramatically try and change it for 2016 the cost implications will be huge."

The engine manufacturers, who are joined this year by Honda, are already unhappy at some of the criticism of the new power units; their reliability and efficiency overlooked as critics, led by Bernie Ecclestone, complain about the lack of noise. Having already invested countless millions in the new units they are unwilling to start investing in a new formula just yet. Indeed, dramatic changes could see some of the manufacturers leave the sport.

Asked how Honda might feel about further changes, at a time it is still trying to get its current engine right, Dennis said: "We talk about it a lot and the philosophy we have is that as long as it's a level playing field, we'll do whatever's best for Formula 1. We'll follow. Obviously we'll voice an opinion as Honda and as McLaren."

As for the ongoing financial difficulties facing several teams, he remains opposed to the idea of a budget cap.

"It happens year on year on year," he said. "Formula 1 teams spend the money that they've got and they always will. They will find new ways to spend money that you wouldn't even believe. So the actual cost constraint has to be exercised by the senior management of a Formula 1 team. The cost constraints cannot be managed by an outside entity.

"You've got to decide what you're going to spend because it doesn't matter what people impose on you, if you want to spend more money this is a sport that will absorb anything you want to spend on it."

Chris Balfe


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1. Posted by Darvi, 13/02/2015 10:40

"Change will always favour the large teams and disadvantage the ones on a limited budget. From a fan's perspective we want to see close racing without any one team dominating, the technology is interesting, but not that critical to the competition. As usual, F1 is climbing up its own exhaust pipe and ignoring what fans want, i.e. good close racing."

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2. Posted by TheBucketOfTruth, 12/02/2015 22:54

"I'd have to agree that changing the formula as soon as 2016 seems far too early. If they're talking about 2017, then perhaps that makes sense. 3 years with a stable formula is not very long after all. Redesigning the cars and regulations takes time, so we don't need any knee jerk changes not fully thought out. Otherwise we'll be clamoring for changes again a year or two later."

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3. Posted by Hondawho?, 12/02/2015 17:05

""Ron Dennis is all for anything that will increase the fan-base, and thereby attract new sponsors, but urges a 'softly, softly, approach."

Unfortunately Ron, you are of an age when you realise this is what needs to happen; "softly softly".

However the modern age group are different, when something is not to their liking they want changes NOW, they are not prepared to wait. I guess it comes from IT culture?

Designing and making engines and racing cars is not as fast as sending an email or turning on a computer, which is how many expect everyone to jump these are expected to get it right first time out otherwise the media and forums will eat you alive........if you think the F1 was a piranha club, welcome to the world that everyone knows everything and its totally unforgiving, that is until its out of the press and short memory syndrome kicks in!

Maybe you should adopt the NASA approach "Failure is NOT an option"."

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