Christian Horner: Ross Brawn should write F1's new rules
Red Bull boss thinks an independent person such as ex-Ferrari and Mercedes chief Ross Brawn is needed; Horner also suggests F1's current strategy group is "fairly inept"
By William Esler
Last Updated: 22/06/15 5:28pm
Christian Horner says an independent figure like Ross Brawn should write F1's rules.
The Red Bull boss has also called for the sport's Strategy Group to be abolished.
Currently Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams have permanent places on the Strategy Group, which now compiles F1's rulebook, alongside the FIA and the commercial rights holder. A sixth team, currently Force India, also has a seat based on the previous year’s Constructors’ Championship results.
However, Horner says the teams shouldn’t have a say in how the rules are written when they have a vested interest. Intriguingly, he floats the name of Brawn – the legendary former team boss and technical director who won multiple world championships – as one such person who could shape future regulations.
The 60-year-old Englishman has been on the F1 sidelines since leaving Mercedes at the end of 2013, and although he has since gone on record to say he has retired from the sport, has continued to be linked with various roles.
“The Strategy Group at the moment is fairly inept and I keep saying it needs the commercial rights holder and the governing body to decide what they want Formula 1 to be and then put it on the table to the teams and say ‘this is what we want the product to be, these are the rules, there is the entry form’," Horner said.
"Maybe you need an independent, someone that isn’t currently involved, somebody like a Ross Brawn, who understands the business, understands the challenges to write the specification for what a car should be."
F1 faced fresh criticism at the weekend in Austria after a raft of grid demotions and in-race penalties were issued to drivers making the starting grid nigh on impossible to work out without a degree in mathematics.
“The results of the Sporting Working Group are the penalties that we are seeing here which have become too complicated, the results of the technical working group are the engine rules that we have," Horner argued.
“So I think take it out of those groups, come up with a product and then place it in front of the teams."
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley has been a vocal critic of the strategy group and concurred with Horner’s comments.
“I think that type of thinking is to be encouraged,” he told Sky Sports Digital. “I think it definitely needs some sort of interaction somewhere, but with all due respect, we have the FIA to do that. So they should be taking responsibility.”
But while Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn also agreed with Horner, she accused the Red Bull boss of double standards.
“The independent teams have been saying this for very long," she told Sky Sports Digital.
"Whenever you have a dominating team that team always tries something to strengthen their position. To a certain extent even if Red Bull comes today and complains they are very much part of this problem and they are the ones that have to take the responsibility for certain technical regulations that could or could not be adopted because they were against it. So it is not that easy to say now that they should bring in someone else just because it doesn’t suit them.
"They have been, after all, the team that for four years that dominated the sport. As an independent team we have always said that you have to have a different set of rules that is not just decided or influenced so heavily by the team that is dominating. And that is the same now, if you have dominated before you have to understand why would another team that is dominating today want to give up their position unless they look at the bigger picture."
With the regulations for 2016 locked down, Horner says it is vital any changes made for 2017 and beyond are for the good of the sport.
“It is important that we get it right and it is important that everybody recognises that we need to put on a better show and create a better product," the Red Bull chief added. "We are all probably going to have to give a bit to achieve that and we can’t be precious about where we preserve or strengths or weaknesses. I think it is going to take all parties to take a bit to end up with a stronger package in the longer term.”