Whitmarsh urges caution over rule changes

ESPNF1 Staff
July 2, 2010 « Webber takes to the streets of London | »
Martin Whitmarsh has urged caution over rule changes © Sutton Images

Formula One Team's Association (FOTA) chairman Martin Whitmarsh has urged F1 to avoid any knee-jerk reactions to improve overtaking in Formula One.

Moveable rear wings have been approved for next season to allow drivers to eliminate drag when following another car and attempt to overtake. However, Whitmarsh reiterated that the technology would only be introduced if it can be proven that it works in testing and said F1 must be careful to protect the impressive racing it has had this year.

"I think we've had some fantastic races this year, I think we've got a fantastic world championship fight which is good for everyone," he said at FOTA's fan forum. "So maybe now is not the time to change too much. But I think we shouldn't become complacent, we should develop some of these ideas and see how we deploy them. We have the adjustable rear wing next year which is a response to some of the pressure, but we have to be careful. We could even agree not to deploy it - we have to decide carefully. I think the sporting regulations that accompany it are critical and I'm not sure we have had enough thought on that yet"

He said F1 must not be afraid to try out new solutions and scrap them if they do not work.

"We've got to try some of these things and be prepared to say we got it wrong, it wasn't a very good idea, and pull back - which is not what Formula One has traditionally done. With too many of them [the rule changes] we never said 'actually we've screwed up, let's just reverse out of this one' because you don't look so clever. But actually we have to go into it and experiment a little bit with the show."

Mercedes engineer Jock Clear agreed that F1 had to be careful before implementing anything too drastic.

"Two years ago, I would've said 'let's try something because it's not very good the way it is at the moment,'" he said. "But looking at what we've got at the moment, it would be a crying shame to lose all that and find that we've gone completely the wrong way and given ourselves another problem which is unforeseen at the moment. We need to think long and hard, and let those brains in Formula One come up with a solution, not just have an opinion that gets pushed through."