Domenicali warns F1 against 'propensity for self-destruction'
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has urged Formula One to give the sport's new regulations a chance before heaping criticism on them.
Following a number of teething problems during the first week of testing in Jerez, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone labelled the new turbo era of the sport a "farce". But Domenicali has urged fans and F1 decision makers to reserve judgement until the new regulations bed in.
"In this situation, it's best not to rush to draw any conclusions, and play into the hands of those scaremongers, as a propensity for self-destruction serves no purpose," Domenicali told the Ferrari website. "Every time there are changes, there are discussions, which is natural. We have only had one test so far when there were never more than four or five cars on track at the same time. Let's wait until we see all 22 together before saying that everything's gone wrong.
"Once a path has been chosen, one has to move forward in a constructive manner. If after a certain period of time we see that an element of excitement is really missing, such as engine noise, then we can see how best to react. Personally, I don't think this aspect will keep people away from the racetracks. We should be more concerned with the grand prix event as a whole and we need to find a strategy to attract youngsters to our sport, which today has a hardcore of fans aged between 35 and 50. We need to get back to having the car seen as an inspirational theme and not just as a means of transport, which adds nothing to our existence."
Ferrari had a relatively successful test at Jerez two weeks ago, but Domenicali said his team must not become complacent.
"I am always cautious, not through a fear of saying what I think, but because I am well aware how quickly things change in this sport. In Jerez, we saw the F14 T get off on the right foot, responding well to changes, while the basic data corresponds to the parameters established in the wind tunnel and there were no bad surprises. Clearly there is still much to do because it's impossible to start with a perfect car in a season featuring so many changes.
"The start of the championship will be full of unknown quantities and it is far too early to make any sort of prediction. I think we will start to understand a bit more only at the last Bahrain test. My optimism is based on the fact we know which areas need working on: caution is always a good approach, but that doesn't mean the people working on this project lack the commitment or the will to show our competitors how well we can do things at Ferrari."