Dennis hits out at self interested rivals


Back in the spotlight once again, McLaren boss Ron Dennis claims that criticism of new regulations is driven by those that have failed to master them.

As no-nonsense and straight talking as ever, the Briton pulled no punches when asked about the ongoing row over the new regulations, and whilst not needing to name names the finger was well and truly pointed.

Asked whether the new regulations need to be changed, he told Sky Sports F1: "First of all, I think I'm reasonably qualified to have an opinion, I've been in Formula One, one way or another, for forty-eight years now. I've seen many things, lots of regulatory changes. There has to be a time, and I think that time is now, when we have to take a position of greater moral responsibility.

"The simple fact is that we live in a world where resources are depleting and the environment is being threatened," he continued. "Yes, we are Formula One, yes we have to be the pinnacle of motorsport, but being the pinnacle of motorsport means we have to have the absolute latest technology.

"And reluctantly I admit," he repeats himself for emphasis, "reluctantly, the teams and the engine manufacturers have embraced the challenge of competing in a Grand Prix with two-thirds less fuel than before and developing hybrid systems of the future.

"These KERS and ERS systems are incredibly complex," he continues. "And the intensity of the development that has gone into them masks the fact that this is the future. There is some very obvious short-termism driven often by lack of competitiveness that certain teams have.

"They use anything to try and address their shortcomings. We aren't the most competitive team at the moment, but we know what the challenge is, and that's the challenge of Formula One. We've got our own vision in terms of aerodynamics and engine development but these rules were made, everybody had an impact into them, they weren't lacking in support in the formation of them. Now we've just got to get on with it and realise that as a sport we owe it to the young people of the future to lead by example.

"Can we make the cars noisier, easily. Most of the world is trying to quieten things, not make them more noisy... aeroplanes, trains, everything in our lives… noise is a form of pollution. It's very easy for us to increase the noise but it shouldn't be to the detriment of what is a technology driven initiative which is going to better mankind.

"Let's just focus on the real issue," he continues, "which is those teams that are uncompetitive just need to get their act together and get focussed on that. If there's a rule change in the future it has to be in accordance with the rules which means that this season it has to be unanimous, which is not going to happen. For next season we can sit down and address where we can fine tune them to address the fans of today and the fans of the future. Turn the volume up on the television... it's not the end of the world. Let's let things settle down, and let's address the problem - if there is one - when we really understand it in a few races time."

Asked if the current furore could become a shouting match, with Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo leading the dissenters, he replies: "Well as influential as they are, they too are bound by the regulations that govern the sport. There is a process laid down and we should all follow it and respect it. If this is undermining the heartland of Formula One we'll address it. But it's not, their motives are not driven by what's beneficial to the sport, the motives that are there at the moment are primarily driven by certain teams not being competitive and not being able to visualise how they can get out of it quickly without a rule change.

"We need to knuckle down, get on with the show, do the very best we can and explain to people that what we are developing is the technology of the future. This technology is going to be in everyone's cars in a few years, they'll be the ones benefitting from lower fuel consumption, quieter engines, all the things we're pursuing to make Formula One the pinnacle sport in the technological sense as well as in the sense of spectacle."

Asked about public criticism of the new formula by Ecclestone and Sebastian Vettel, Dennis said: "When you have controversy it's best to keep it inside the group, find a solution and then execute the solution. I see no benefit for these matters to be discussed so freely and openly when everybody knows what the process of the change is."

Asked if he would resist any changes, such as the fuel limit rules, he says: "We can, along with all the engine manufacturers, look at a way of addressing the issue of noise, if that is an issue. But with regards the fuel flow regulations, the sentiment behind what we are doing is completely right, we need to look at the future and not look at the short term view, which, I stress again, is motivated by some people's inability, from a technical point of view, to come to terms with these regulations."

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 07/04/2014
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