Capito does not want F1 to punish success

Date published: March 22 2021

Jost Capito, Williams

Williams CEO Jost Capito does not want Formula 1 to go down the route of punishing the best teams for their success.

Formula 1 is pushing to introduce sprint races in place of qualifying at three rounds of the 2021 season, which would then set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

Although there are disagreements between the teams and F1 bosses on the costs of ‘Sprint Qualifying’, it is expected the concept will at least be trialled.

Sprint races had been suggested last season, but the fact they would have been contested with reverse grids proved very unpopular and so that concept was dropped.

And even though Formula 1 right now is under pressure with Mercedes having won the last seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in succession, Capito does not want the purity of the sport to be tampered with.

FIA president Jean Todt had said recently the governing body would not need to artificially mix up the order if the other teams were more competitive.

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“I believe Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the sport and it should be attractive because it is an attractive sport, not because it is a random thing,” Capito is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.

“That is why I am not in favour of the reverse grid. It’s not because I think we [Williams] are now at the front of the grid. That’s not why I don’t want an inverted grid.

“If we talk about the rules, I have to talk about what is best for the Championship because only if the sport is doing well can the teams improve and go in the right direction. If the value of Formula 1 goes down, the value of everyone involved in it goes down.

“I stress that when we discuss between teams, we discuss what is best for the discipline. And when we decide what’s best for the Championship, without just focusing on what’s best for our team under the current regulations, it’s about what’s best for F1. You have to align all of that and then fight within those regulations and put a competition together.

“In rallying, at Volkswagen, when we were very successful, Jean Todt came up to me at a rally and said ‘hey Jost, you’re winning too much’. I said ‘go to the others and tell them they are losing too much’. Because you shouldn’t blame the guy who does the best job.

“I think in motorsport, and especially in Formula 1, there should be no balance of performance [reference to the performance rebalancing system in endurance racing] or artificial competition because 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. So everyone has to catch up and do a better job.

“But you shouldn’t be punished in Formula 1 for…doing the best job. If you do a better job and you catch up, you shouldn’t be punished with a performance balance that would take you backwards.

“I really like Formula 1, it’s a pure sport. It should remain a pure sport without making it artificially interesting because I think that’s not what the fans want to see.”

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