Don't punish Mercedes for its success, says Capito


Williams boss, Jost Capito insists that Mercedes should not be handicapped for its success, instead it is up to its rivals to raise their game.

Despite F1 bosses such as Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali insisting that F1 should be a meritocracy, the sport appears determined to level the playing field by any means necessary.

The first step is the budget cap, while next year sees the biggest overhaul of the regulations in living memory. Then there are the restrictions on windtunnel use and CFD development, which from this year sees the introduction of a sliding scale arrangement that sees the least successful teams given the most development time and the most successful the least.

Having won every title since the hybrid formula was introduced in 2014, it is understandable that F1 bosses and even many fans want to see the German outfit given a sustained challenge, however, Williams boss, Jost Capito, who oversaw similar domination in the World Rally Championship with Volkswagen, argues that it is the job of Mercedes rivals to catch-up, as opposed to trying to handicap the world champions.

"If someone dominates for years then they dominate for years because they are the best," said the German.

"It was in rallying, at Volkswagen, when we were quite successful, Jean Todt came up to me at one rally and said 'hey Jost you are winning too much' and I said 'go to the others and tell them they are losing too much!'" he continued.

"You shouldn't blame the guy who does the best job," he insists, "and I think in motorsport, especially in Formula 1, there shouldn't be balance of performance or some artificial competition. The guys who do the best job, and the drivers who do the best job, should win, and if they win for 10 years, they win for 10 years, fine, then everybody has to catch up and has to do a better job.

"You shouldn't be punished in Formula 1 for not doing the best job, and then if you do a better job and you catch up you shouldn't be punished by the balance of performance to move back again, yeah?"

Like many, Capito fears that gimmicks such as DRS, reverse grids and (groan) Sprint Qualifying compromise the purity of the sport's DNA.

"I really like that in Formula 1 it's a pure sport, it should stay a pure sport without making it artificially interesting as it's not what the fans want to see.

"Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the sport," he continued, "and it should be attractive because it's an attractive sport and not because it's gambling. "That's why I'm not in favour of reverse grid.

"This is not because I think we are now in the front of the grid," he added, referring to Williams. "That's not why I don't want reverse grids.

"If we talk about the regulations, I have to talk about what is the best for the sport, because only if the sport is in the right way, the teams can improve and be in the right way. If the value of Formula 1 goes down, then the value of everybody who is involved goes down.

"I will push strongly that when we discuss within the teams, when we discuss what is the best for the sport.

"And when we decide what is the best for the sport, without just focussing on what is the best for my team in the regulations we have right now, it's then what's the best for the sport. Get that aligned and then fight within these regulations and have a competition there."

Sounds like our kind of guy.

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Published: 18/03/2021
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