MARCH 27, 2017

Liberty will not set F1 rules says Todt

Jean Todt has made clear the FIA will continue to make the rules in formula one.

Jean Todt has made clear the FIA will continue to make the rules in formula one.

As the Liberty Media era begins in earnest, new F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn said in Melbourne he is prepared to "fight" for changes if the spectacle is not right.

FIA president Todt, also in Melbourne, responded: "I'm glad the Liberty people are thinking about the future.

"I am willing to listen to their thoughts about the regulations," the Frenchman is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport, "just as I respect any input from any side.

"But the final responsibility will always be in the hands of the FIA," Todt insisted. "We make and control the rules."

The next set of rules is already being thought about because, while the new cars are more aggressive looking and faster, most agree that the spectacle could suffer due to one-stop races and a lack of overtaking.

Todt admitted that is a problem.

"The cars are more spectacular and faster," he said, "but I'm a bit worried about the racing and the gaps between the teams.

"As nice as it is that Mercedes has an opponent in Ferrari, the gap of 2 seconds from the midfield to the top is too much.

"Another thing that surprised me is that we were promised a time improvement of up to 5 seconds, but pole was only 1.7 seconds beneath last year's time. Perhaps this is due to the circuit only," Todt added.

Nonetheless, rule changes are already being discussed, including the dire need for cheaper, simpler and louder engines to satisfy the trackside spectators.

But Todt insists F1 is actually in good health.

"Your question implies that we are talking about a dying sport," he said. "The organiser in Melbourne sold 300,000 tickets, where last year it was only 220,000.

"The media centre is also full, so there is no crisis here. Why do we always see only the negative? Let a few races pass and then we can make a judgement."