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Head says "regressive" 2021 rules necessary for F1

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Head says "regressive" 2021 rules necessary for F1
By:
Dec 10, 2019, 4:41 PM

Formula 1 design legend Patrick Head says the "regressive" step Formula 1 is making in 2021 by reducing engineering freedoms is a necessary evil to stop spending wars ruining the sport.

The FIA and F1 have recently signed off new regulations from 2021 that are aimed at making the racing better.

Part of the compromise of the new rules, to ensure cars can follow each other more closely, is that teams will be more restricted in areas they can work on.

But while Head, who as a technical director led Williams to many world championship titles, expresses some regrets that the engineering challenge will be reduced – he says such a move is required because inequality of budgets was unsustainable.

Speaking on stage at the Autosport Awards in London on Sunday night about the 2021 rules, Head said: "I think from some point of view, the engineering side, it's regressive really, unfortunately.

"But ultimately motorsport has become far too expensive. And the difference between the top teams and the teams lower down is too big. We need to have more teams racing together.

"I think the people involved have done a good job. I wouldn't say it's unfair to say it's been dumbed down, because definitely the cleverer engineers will find ways and means of making a difference, but there are certainly not quite the freedoms that were when I was more involved."

F1 chiefs are well aware that pulling the 2021 rules together has meant teams have had to accept things they don't like – but reckons the right compromises have been made.

Chase Carey, F1 chairman, said recently: "We don't delude ourselves into saying we're trying to get to a place where everybody agrees with every component of what we put out there. That's what compromises are.

"I think we believe it was thoughtful. We believe that the right steps [have been taken]. Will there be aspects of it that need to be refined? For sure."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble