Pat Symonds regarding F1 team domination: “We want to get rid of predictability”
Ross Brawn, managing director of the Formula One Group, has a team in place to shape the future of F1. Rules are a part of the discussion.
The F1 rulebook can be seen in 3 sectors.
“We’re look at the technical and sporting regulations,” said Pat Symonds at the MIA’s Entertainment and Energy-Efficient Motorsport Conference.
“We need to use this lens [audience research] to inspect each change we want to make. Now we can say, let’s decide what our performance differentiators are.”
“F1 technical regulations are split into 21 sections. As we go through those sections, we can see some of them aren’t very relevant to the spectacle.”
“So we decided that what we wanted to do was technically, we wanted to have three performance differentiators.”
“Those would be aerodynamics – it is interesting to a lot of people and no one could write rules that didn’t make it a performance differentiator so we might as well expect it and make it one of the things that matters.”
“Equally, the power unit. For manufacturers involved in F1, it’s important to them. It interesting to fans so let’s make it a performance differential.”
“Finally is suspension – and by that I mean the way we treat the tires, the way the teams use the tires. Those are the three technical differentiators that we want to see.”
“There will be others – drivers, pitstops, pit crew, strategy. But these are the technical things we’re really going to focus on.”
Recently, costs have become an important topic in the world of F1. To the point where the idea of a budget cap is being tossed around.
“We need to look at the costs,” Pat Symonds confirmed. “Costs are making it difficult for those further down the field to make an impression on the leaders.”
“We want to get rid of predictability. Over the last couple of decades, the worst times in racing have been when the result has been predictable.”
Lewis Hamilton won 45% of the races in 2017. Together, both Mercedes teammates won 60% of the races. In 2016, they won 90% of the races.
“We had a little bit of it with the Mercedes domination. At least for a couple of years we didn’t know which driver might have won.”
“We want to look at the spectacle, we want visual appeal, we want to recognize the role of the driver.”
“We need to look at the problem of the live audience and the TV audience as they have different requirements.”
“And we have to look at the race week experience. It’s no longer good enough to think about just what happens on Sunday.”