David Croft calls for drastic FIA removal that would rock F1’s foundation

Thomas Maher
Sky F1 commentator David Croft looks into the camera at the 2023 British Grand Prix.

Sky F1 commentator David Croft looks into the camera.

Sky F1 commentator David Croft believes the FIA should have no further involvement in the evolution of Formula 1’s rulebooks.

The governing body creates the rulebooks to which the teams and drivers must comply, ranging from the Technical Regulations governing the cars themselves, the Sporting Regulations that cover the staging of a Grand Prix, and the newly-developed Financial Regulations introduced in 2021.

On top of that, there’s also the International Sporting Code that covers overarching rules for the F1 World Championship and other FIA-governed categories.

David Croft: Stop the FIA from being the rule-makers

But while the FIA are heavily involved in the moulding and evolution of the rules, and is the entity responsible for their enforcement alongside the organisation of the championship, Sky F1 commentator David Croft believes the historic Federation needs to be cut out of the process in favour of commercial owners Liberty Media.

The current regulations set were crafted up via a democratic collaboration between F1 and the FIA, involving the F1 Commission that includes the teams, but Croft believes the balance of power needs to shift towards the commercial owners outright.

“First and foremost, I’d have to stop the FIA being the rule-makers,” he told the Sky F1 podcast, when asked what rules he’d like to see changed in Formula 1.

“That’s the trouble the commercial rights holder (Liberty Media) has, it’s that they don’t make the rules – they can have an influence because they have a standing on the F1 Commission, but they don’t make the rules… the FIA does.

“I think the time has come in F1 to actually bring the two parties a lot more closely aligned.”

Croft then elaborated on his statement, although admitted the current regulation set had been primarily driven by F1 rather than the rule-maker he’d like to see removed.

“They are a lot more closely aligned and these regulation changes had been driven by F1 rather than the FIA,” he said.

“But we need to think about the show and the spectacle. Marketing sometimes needs to be a bit more important than engineering. But we need to also keep that balance in engineering as well.”

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David Croft: We’re at the limit of the F1 calendar

Croft also posited that the expanding race calendar for 2024, an expansion that has come about under Liberty Media’s watch, is pushing the limit of what fans can cope with – particularly with the inclusion of Sprint weekends.

“I think we’re getting there with the Sprint,” he said.

“But, personally, I think we’re at the limit for the number of races. I don’t think we need any more races and sometimes less is more on that one. We’ll do 24 next year, and then we’ll revisit it again – maybe 24 might be a bit too much.

“Because to actually ask people to invest so much time in the sport for 24 races, as fans, is asking a huge amount. But I understand why it’s happening.”

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