Todt: F1’s need for controversy is "unfortunate"

FIA president Jean Todt says it is "a bit unfortunate" that Formula 1 rushes to criticise initiatives like the 2019 aerodynamic changes and is a "world of controversy".

Todt: F1’s need for controversy is "unfortunate"

Simplified front and rear wings, brake ducts and bargeboards have been introduced for this season in a bid to make it easier for drivers to follow and improve racing.

It was criticised as an expensive and unnecessary change last year, and the verdict from pre-season testing at Barcelona suggests the impact will be minimal.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Todt said: "I hear everything, that it was a waste of money, that it’s a fantastic improvement on overtaking. So I’m excited to see what it will finally do.

"But Formula 1 is a world of controversy. Rather than having people positive, building the best motor racing product we have, they always try to find something which does not work.

"Which is a bit unfortunate."

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez has supported the impact of the changes most enthusiastically.

He said during testing he was certain that "you lose less downforce, so I think so far I'd say that Formula 1 have done an incredible job at the moment with the rules".

Perez added: "I think the delta to overtake a car should be reduced by quite a bit given you can follow more and the advantage from DRS.

"So, I hope the racing can be a lot more fun for the fans and for the drivers."

However, many drivers suggested they did not feel much difference with the new rules.

New Renault signing Daniel Ricciardo offered a glimmer of hope after the first week of testing, but became more reserved in week two.

"I think it will be a little bit better, but I am not going to say it is going to be a massive difference," said Ricciardo.

"A track like this is always going to be hard to overtake. It is only when the tyres and that start to really suffer.

"I would like to think that there is a small gain following but it is hard when you are doing such fast lap times to be close with the settings we have got.

"The front wings are more basic but everyone is smart, to figure out ways to disturb everyone else.

"So, I don’t want to be naive and think that it is going to change everything."

Though the effect of the 2019 aero changes is inconclusive, pre-season testing suggested the grid will be closer this year.

Ferrari outpaced by Mercedes by just 0.003s, while 1.3s covered nine of the 10 teams.

Todt said the season would be "fascinating" with new cars and new drivers, including last year’s top three from Formula 2 – George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon.

"Watching the results of the [testing] in Barcelona, I was thinking it’s kind of a Formula 2 championship," said Todt.

"I mean, it’s a revolution. I’m very much looking [forward] to that."

Additional reporting by Andrew van de Burgt

shares
comments
Now is the time Vettel must emulate Schumacher

Previous article

Now is the time Vettel must emulate Schumacher

Next article

Mercedes' 2019 F1 car makes older one look "clunky, naive"

Mercedes' 2019 F1 car makes older one look "clunky, naive"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Scott Mitchell
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021