Symonds talks sense


Critical of the hurriedly enforced radio ban, Williams Pat Symonds is also unhappy at the sport's failure to listen to its fans.

Curiously, when asked about the ban on performance radio communications at the official press conference on Friday, Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn claimed that it resulted from "complaints that were raised by the fans".

Ignoring the fact that the sport has never really listened to the complains of fans, and certainly not reacted with such haste, just twenty-four hours earlier Bernie Ecclestone had taken credit for the move.

At a subsequent media briefing which only further muddied the waters, when asked who was responsible for the ban, Charlie Whiting would only reveal that it followed a meeting of the Strategy Group in Monza.

Pressed a little harder the Briton merely replied; "it's not for me to say what goes on in those meetings", which suggests that it was indeed Mr Ecclestone... and not a group of frustrated fans banging down the doors.

Whilst reaction to the ban amongst fans appears mixed, and taking Kaltenborn's curious claim into account, it was interesting to hear Williams Pat Symonds speak on the issue at the weekend.

"Unfortunately Formula One doesn't ask the public what it does enjoy and that's a great shame," he told Sky Sports News.

Symonds has often shown he has his finger on the pulse regarding such matters, a couple of years back he asked why the sport wasn't actively engaging with sports fans who chose to spend their weekends out shopping rather than watching qualifying or the race. At the time, Pitpass asked why the sort wasn’t engaging with F1 fans who were out shopping rather than watching qualifying or the race

Interestingly, despite Ecclestone's belief that social media is a 'passing fad', the official F1 website began ramping up its Twitter activity at the weekend, even if much of the content - obligingly re-tweeted by a number of the teams - was as soulless and prosaic as one might expect.

Perhaps, the sport should spend a bit more time listening to the likes of Symonds, after all, he like many others working in the sport, began and remains a fan.

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 22/09/2014
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.