McLaren: Team protests not good for Formula 1

Date published: July 26 2020

Racing Point RP20

McLaren principal Andreas Seidl has said the multiple protests already seen this season are “not good” for Formula 1.

Heading into 2020 there were two teams generating plenty of attention and attracting threats of protests, those being Mercedes with their Dual-Axis Steering System, and Racing Point’s RP20 which closely resembles the Mercedes W10 of last year.

And already those threats have been acted upon with Red Bull protesting the DAS system at the opening round in Austria, whilst Renault have now filed two protests against the RP20 relating to its brake ducts.

Seidl believes all these protests are doing Formula 1 no favours, but also said the rules of the sport are very complex, making protests more likely.

“What is happening at the moment or the last six months with all the negativity around Formula 1 in terms of protests, do people follow the rules and so on, I think it is in general not good for Formula 1,” he is quoted by Racefans.net.

“But we also have to acknowledge that this sport is quite complex.

“We have very complex technical regulations, sporting regulations, financial regulations to come in the future, which makes Formula 1 also special but at the same time it’s important that Formula 1 and the FIA ensures that we are all competing according to the same regulations. That’s key to the competition we’re in.

“I think there’s no doubt the FIA doing a great job in this and that, and they are the authority to do this policing. But as I said before we have to accept also it’s very, very complex. It’s simply important now also that we as teams give maximum support to FIA to see how we can even improve this policing because we all have no interest in what’s ongoing at the moment with this negativity of protests and so on.

“From our point of view we obviously fully support initiatives like the whistle-blowing concept of FIA which I think is something that should be broadcasted and encouraged even more because I think that is one key element to make sure we all compete under the same regulations.”

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Seidl also floated the idea of placing permanent stewards with the teams to ensure everyone is following the rules.

“We will also be open to discuss even further initiatives like supporting the FIA to increase even their capacities,” he said.

“For example, in order to police what’s going on at teams and also what’s going on in terms of co-operation between teams. You could also think about ideas like putting permanent stewards at the team bases and so in, embedded into teams, simply to make sure that we have a fair sport.

“The way the regulations are at the moment, the way it is also allowed to work together or to have this co-operation between teams makes it even more complex then. It’s already complex enough to police what’s going on at each team. But as soon as you open the door also for these co-operations it gets even more complex. That’s how I see that at the moment.”

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