For a racing series that some would say is built on innovation, Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski fears a new rule for 2021 will change the designers’ “risk appetite”.
This pre-season Mercedes potentially pulled a rabbit out of a hat as it debuted the Dual Axis Steering system, DAS.
The system, which has never been used in Formula 1, changes the toe of the front wheels to improve cornering and also work as drag reduction down the straights.
Immediately rivals cried foul.
Red Bull has on more than one occasions threatened to protest DAS should Mercedes use it in a grand prix, and are persisting with their line that it is illegal.
Already Formula 1 has stated that DAS will definitely be illegal come 2021 as the sport closes that possible loophole.
Next season, though, Formula 1 won’t need unanimous approval from all 10 teams to change the technical rules, only eight of the 10 need to say yes.
That means any innovation, even if it is within the rules, could be banned on the spot by that team’s nine rivals saying no.
Budkowski fears Formula 1 could lose its creativity.
“You have to be careful with these matters because in one way it protects teams from haphazard changes and gives a certain amount of stability,” he explained to Autosport.
“On the other hand in the past you could have had one team blocking a change.
“From my personal point of view, F1 has always been about good ideas and innovation and pushing the regulations to the limits, so I think it is good that teams cannot block the evolution of regulations from the point of view of self-interest because the sport has to move forward, and it is better if we collaborate to move it forward.
“I still think that if people who come up with good ideas should be able to benefit from it. How it is going to change our approach? It is a really good question.
“If you know that as there is less potential life to a new idea if it is at the edge of the regulations then that will probably change our approach in asking the FIA to clarify, so that risk appetite will probably change.”