Domenicali to simplify ‘Bible-like’ regulations

Jamie Woodhouse
Stefano Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali to simplify regulations which are currently like the "Bible".

Incoming president of the Formula One Group, Stefano Domenicali, wants to simplify the technical and sporting regulations.

One of the major battlegrounds will be the current generation of V6 turbo-hybrid engines which have been criticised both for their complexity and cost, but are here to stay for the foreseeable future, even if the new power units are brought forward a year to 2025.

Honda will leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, leaving just Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault as PU manufacturers with little chance of any other supplier entering the sport under the current regulations.

And Domenicali said Formula 1 must learn from the “mistakes of the past” and slash the costs of the engines, while also simplifying the technical and sporting rules which right now are like reading the “Bible”.

The hope is this will attract new manufacturers in the future as engine suppliers, and hopefully some new teams as well.

“This is something that will be addressed in the coming months and that will hopefully attract new manufacturers,” Domenicali told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The future of F1 is the hybrid engine. Because investing only in electric is wrong.

“It is necessary to diversify what’s on offer, keeping an eye on the costs. Manufacturers can’t be confronted with the investments that are involved in today’s engines.

“We will start with a drastic cut in costs to avoid the mistakes that have been made in the past.

“We have to simplify the rules: if you take a look at the technical or sporting regulations they look like the Bible. It must be simplified, while keeping the interpretative area as small as possible, avoiding grey areas.

“F1 will become fascinating for the manufacturers, I can’t say any more.

“F1 can be a great platform even for those who have invested so much in electric. F1 offers opportunities for the development of other technologies with a focus on sustainability.”

The other priority for Domenicali is putting the emphasis back on driver ability as opposed to car performance.

Mercedes have won all seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships on offer since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.

“F1 today, as a world sports and business platform, is still the one that has the highest number of spectators and fans and is therefore very strong and solid,” Domenicali explained.

“A lot of people have tried to say F1 isn’t interesting anymore. That is absolutely not true.

“I think on the contrary there will be more and more interest on the part of manufacturers, private teams, and many others.

“Mercedes has won for years, but the cycle have always been the same. We must make sure that our sport increasingly puts the drivers back at the centre.

“As, for example, in motorcycling where it is perceived that it is the rider who makes the difference. And on this front F1 has never been in the shape that it is now with so many drivers so young and so strong.

“It is clear that the car element has a very important impact, a burden that is lost only when there are unpredictable situations like in the second Bahrain race. When the cards mix, extraordinary races happen, but that’s not enough.

“We have taken a step forward with the 2022 rules where the impact of aerodynamics will be less and there will be a chance to stay more in the wake of a car ahead.

“The second element is the budget cap that will make the big teams review all the ways in which they develop.”

Lando Norris, McLaren, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
McLaren now have the "resources" to return to the front of the grid.

Finally, Domenicali wants a grands prix weekend to become about more than just the racing, he wants the event to be like a “concert”.

“The show will branch in to other avenues: we want to involve people more than just through the drivers.

“A GP must be an offer of sport, entertainment and music. A GP will have to be like a concert, a unique experience”.

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