FIA is facing flak from all corners on its haphazard rule change policy mid-season. The latest change is the banning of use of engine electronics and exhaust gases for performance gain. FIA has also told teams that alteration of engine configuration is not allowed between qualifying and the race sessions.
The seemingly haphazard and biased decision has drawn flak from the Red Bull team and supporters, however FIA race director Charlie Whiting dismissed that the decision reeked of any bias. Countering claims he said that its not for the FIA to see if 1 team would be more affected than others in a rule change.
“What we are doing is stopping people breaking the existing rules,” Charlie Whiting said.
“It’s not for us to say whether a certain team would be more penalized than others. It just depends how extreme they are going. But I have certainly seen evidence of maps on a number of teams which are extremely extreme.
“It’s not confined to one team, I can assure you,”
“It’s a bit like the mass damper where its use when it was first introduced by one team was fairly benign when it came to aerodynamics. But the more it got developed, the more extreme the designs were.”
“These things escalate to the point where something has to be done.”
Christian Horner of Redbull was however adamant in his criticism :
“It is slightly confusing with the technical directive that it was not addressed at the end of the year going into next year,” He said.
“Why has it been done midseason?”
Mike Gascoyne of the Lotus team was worried about the costs associated with such a decision :
“We have all spent a lot of money developing something,” Gascoyne said.
“We are always pushing to get an advantage and will obviously implement it if it is within the rules. It is just frustrating it is done in the middle of the season without consultation.”
Ross Brawn of Mercedes however was all for the decision and justified that it was for the good of the sport :
“The protagonists behind raising this issue were threatening to protest the cars and that was the difficulty they had,” Ross Brawn explained.
“If they hadn’t have taken action, then it sounds like some teams were going to protest the situation to get clarity through the stewards and that wouldn’t be very good for Formula One. We want to avoid that at all costs because … it would probably end up in the appeal courts again and that’s no good.”
FIA has been known to pass judgments on various technical issues mid-season. So why are the teams making such a big deal about it this time ? Is it because some teams are seeing their monopoly ending ? Only time will tell if this would rein in the rampaging Red Bulls !