Jean Todt challenges teams who say the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone should set F1's rules
FIA president says those talking down Strategy Group should make an official request for change
By Sky Sports Digital
Last Updated: 26/06/15 4:06pm
Jean Todt has challenged leading teams who say the FIA and F1’s commercial rights holder should dictate the sport’s future to back their words with actions.
The governing body’s president was speaking in response to suggestions that the Strategy Group, in which F1’s leading teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder propose rules, is ineffective.
Red Bull sit at group meetings yet team boss Christian Horner has spoken out against it. In response Todt has dismissed such talk as precisely that – unless, that is, the teams make an official request for change.
"I would say that for me it is [just] words," Todt told motorsport.com. "They are making a big story about the Strategy Group and I have read that quite often it should be FIA or FOM to decide.
"Again I am quite happy to sit with Bernie [Ecclestone] and to decide what could be good for the sport, but again we need to be sure that it is good for the sport.
"But believe me; those who claim that they should be involved and that it should be FIA and the commercial rights holder to decide, they will be the first to shout and saying 'they are not following the right governance [procedures]. They did not consult us'. So there is a way to do that.
"If they keep saying that it should be us to decide, then I should ask for an official mandate. I will have that in writing. So okay, if they want it, give us an official mandate and then we will see how they react. It is a lot of talking."
Speaking after the Austrian GP, Horner said the teams shouldn’t have a say in how the rules are written when they have a vested interest and also suggested that an independent figure like Ross Brawn should step in.
“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’," he said at the weekend.
"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."
Most recently, the Strategy Group proposed that cars should be made 5-6s per lap quicker in 2017, with wider tyres and more “aggressive” aerodynamics.
However, the introduction of customer cars is also on the agenda, leading the likes of Bob Fernley, Force India’s deputy team principal, to conclude that the big teams are seeking to control the sport.